It’s highly critical that your infant or baby seat installation is completed properly. It can be next to useless when you’re in a rush. LATCH, which stands for Lower Anchor and Hooks for Infants, is a series of built-in straps and hooks intended to make car seat placement simpler. However, despite the fact that almost every car seat and most of the vehicles produced since 1 September 2002 are expected to use the LATCH mechanism, we still have a long way to go when it comes to streamlining the installation of a car seat.
With car seats becoming heavier, the problem is that the extra weight might allow the lower anchors to break during the crash. Once your child reaches the full weight, he or she will choose to ride in the car, but you may need to consider using the lower anchors and turn to the seat belt. If necessary, you can also use the top tether.
How to Install Infant and Toddler Car Seats
Use either the lower anchors or the seat belt not both: Some parents believe that using both methods will make their child doubly safe. But most manuals will tell you that this has not been tested and therefore should not be done.
Start with the rear-center position: parents are sometimes required to use the center seat belt instead, which is always safe but often not as convenient. The workaround is to place the seat in the centre, borrowing a LATCH anchor from each side spot, which only some of the vehicles would allow. The downside to this workaround is that if you have more than one child, you won’t be able to add another restriction in that row.
Place the seat where you can get the tightest fit: Start with the car seat in the center—again, but if you can’t find a tight fit, switch it to either foot. A decent fit on the side is better than a bad fit in the middle. This means that the seat can shift less than an inch from side to side or from front to back.
Lock the seat belt into position: if you use the seat belt instead of the lower anchors, make sure you take the seat belt all the way out to turn it to lock mode; this way, the belt will remain locked while you mount the seat. The user manual of your car will help with this.
Position your kid: The belt straps that secure your child in place should be strong, and the chest strap should be at the child’s armpit level to prevent the straps from falling off the shoulders, and the clip is extremely necessary for rear-facing children who may be removed if they are not in the correct position. The harness straps must also be inserted into the proper rear-facing holes, i.e. the slots at or below the shoulders.