There’s been a lot of cyber-chatter recently about how child seats are anchored (aka “latched”) to the car seat — and the safety of some LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) systems. Since more than 80 percent of car seats are installed incorrectly by parents — and since we are now in the midst of the summer travel season — now is a good time to double-check that specific latching mechanism and how your car seat is installed.
Most cars and car seats manufactured after 2002 must have lower anchors and tethers to attach the child seat to the vehicle. While anchorage systems vary, all are designed to minimize the movement of both the car seat and your child in the event of a crash. The Britax LATCH system is easy to install, with release mechanisms that are secure, strategically placed and inoperable by young hands or feet. For details about how to install the LATCH, please watch this video.
Once you secure the anchors, verify that your child’s seat is properly installed by pushing it front-to-back and side-to-side. If the seat does not move more than one inch, the car seat is securely installed in your vehicle.
Despite the best efforts of parents to follow installation instructions, most install car seats incorrectly. To be safe, we urge you visit your local Child Passenger Safety (CPS) technician to certify that your child seat is properly installed. To find a CPS near you visit www.safekids.org.
And please drive carefully.
Sarah Tilton, Britax Child Passenger Safety Advocate and Certified CPS Tech Instructor