Q: How do I properly secure a LATCH compatible car seat into my seats?

asked by on December 15, 2015

How do I properly secure a LATCH compatible car seat into my seats?

If you are using a LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) compatible car seat, you are already off to a good start as the LATCH system uses a standard set of attachments and tethers to consistently install car seats safely into the seats of many different vehicles. The vehicle is compatible with these car seats. If you are looking to install a LATCH compatible seat into your vehicle, here is the best way:

  1. Clear the area on and around the seat on which the car seat will be secured. Make sure no pieces of fabric, seat covers, and seat belts, get caught under the car seat.

  2. Once the seat is cleared off and set as far back as possible (if it’s a front seat). The the car seat can be set onto the seat in the center of the seat. Either a single or a double tether will be attached to the top of the car seat.

3a. If your truck is a regular cab model, take the tether(s) and attach the tether to the upper tether anchor. This anchor is located behind the front passenger seat on the rear panel. Lean the seat forward slightly and remove the plastic plug labeled with the “anchor” symbol to access the tether anchor. Single tether systems will route the tether underneath the head restraint while double tether systems will route the tethers around both sides of the headrest.

3b. If the truck has and extended cab or crew cab, then the upper tether anchor is located on the top of the seatback. The tether should be looped through the tether atop the passenger seat that the car seat is positioned on along with the loop over the center seat. This ensures that, even though the seat is secured to the moveable setback it is still secured by multiple points.

  1. Secure the two lower anchors to the anchor points located between the seat cushion and the seatback. The car seat, if it is LATCH compatible, will come with two attachments that secure the seat to the lower anchor points. This is the same on the front and rear passenger seats along with the driver side rear seat.

Tips

  • If the vehicle is involved in a crash, pieces of the LATCH compatible points may need to be replaced if they were secured to a car seat during the crash.

  • Some manufacturers may suggest the lower anchor points be secured first with the upper tether(s) secured after.

  • Test the seat when installed by trying to move it on the seat. If it moves more than an inch, tighten the straps or re-install

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