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What is LATCH and How Do I Use it?

Answer

LATCH stands for Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children.  It was developed to make it easier to properly install child restraints without the use of seat belts.  LATCH can be found on car seats and vehicles manufactured after September 1, 2002. 

 

Some important facts to remember about LATCH:

  • For rear facing car seats, only the two lower anchors are used unless the manufacturer allows rear facing tethering (Dorel does not).
  • When using LATCH, the car seat must have a set of lower anchor connectors that attach to the vehicle’s lower anchors and tether anchors.
  • LATCH systems = 2 lower anchors and 1 top tether. If there are lower anchors in a vehicle seating position, there should be a tether anchor in that same seating position.  Use tether when forward facing.
  • Most vehicles manufactured after 2002 have at least 2 complete LATCH systems (lower anchors + top tether) and 1 additional tether anchor.
  • Only install car seats with LATCH when allowable by the vehicle manufacturer. For instance, many caregivers install their restraint with lower anchors in center seating position when the vehicle manufacturer does not permit it.
  • Some vehicles have standard LATCH in the center and others ALLOW LATCH in the center, but it may not be standard LATCH position. See both vehicle and car seat manual for installation instructions/clarification.  Do not share anchors – 2 seats should never be attached to the same anchor.
  • ALWAYS review the owner’s manual to determine authorized LATCH seating positions vs. tether only.
  • A seating position with tether only (no lower anchors) is not considered LATCH. In these instances, we would use the tether and seat belt to secure the child restraint.
  • NEVER use both the vehicle seat belt AND LATCH unless allowable by the vehicle manufacturer AND child restraint manufacturer (Dorel does not allow this).
  • Tethers reduce head movement/excursion 4-6” in the event of a crash. We always recommend

 

 

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