How to Buckle Up Your Child Safely

by Lithium Technologies ‎08-12-2015 04:46 PM - edited ‎10-05-2015 11:39 AM (918 Views)

Is your child buckled in correctly? Here are some tips to ensure your tiny passenger is riding safely.


It can be confusing for caregivers to wade through the options for child car seats—and tricky to install them correctly. To help, the LATCH system—Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children—was introduced in 2002, consisting of built-in straps and hooks on the safety seat and anchor hardware in vehicles.


But 80 percent of child passenger safety technicians reported that caregivers aren’t always aware when a child’s car seat isn’t installed correctly, according to a 2014 survey by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. When caregivers don’t use LATCH correctly, children can be seriously injured. For example, if you don’t secure or stow the tether when using a convertible seat in a rear-facing position, then the loose top tether may swing freely during a crash, injuring the child or other riders.


Here are some other common mistakes caregivers make when using LATCH—and tips on how to avoid them:

  • Some people use both the LATCH system and seat belts for extra security. Use one or the other—don’t use both. Always follow the car seat manufacturer’s instructions for proper installation.
  • Some people misunderstand the LATCH weight limit. The recommended weight is not just for your child—it’s for the combined weight of the child and car seat.
  • When children are in the forward-facing position, parents often forget to use the top tether. All components of the system are important and work together.
  • Some caregivers read either the car seat manual or the vehicle manual when learning about LATCH. Read both—a certified child passenger safety technician can help you interpret the instructions.
  • Some people attach the car seat’s anchor to the wrong part of the car. Some LATCH bars are visible, and some are deeper inside the space between the rear seat back and bottom cushion.

Most importantly, have your car seat checked by a certified child passenger safety technician (http: //www. Technicians can teach you proper installation methods, so you and your most precious cargo will be safe and sound in your car.


Learn more about LATCH at

A version of this story appears in the September/October 2015 issue of AAA Living magazine.


Image credit/source: Günay Mutlu/Exactostock-1672

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