Parents want to keep their child safe while riding in the car. However, many of them are confused about how to install their child safety seat correctly using the seat belts. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), thousands of children are injured or killed every year because they are not properly secured in their child safety seats.
The Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) restraint system was developed to address this problem by making it easy to install a car seat correctly every time.
Most cars and all car seats manufactured after 2002 come equipped with the LATCH system. Vehicles equipped with LATCH have at least two sets of anchors located in the back seat where the cushions meet. LATCH-equipped car seats have a lower set of fasteners that clip to the anchors in the vehicle to hold the car seat securely. Most forward-facing child safety seats also have a tether or top strap that attaches to an anchor in the vehicle.
Before installing a child safety seat, it is imperative that parents read the installation instructions that come with the car seat as well as the information pertaining to LATCH in the manual that comes with their vehicle. After that, installing the car seat is generally as easy as putting the car seat into position and clipping the lower fasteners on the car seat to the lower anchors on the car and attaching the top tether on the car seat to the top anchor in the car. After the adjustments outlined in the instructions are made, a properly installed car seat should not move more than an inch sideways or forward.
Children should ride in a child safety seat appropriate for their height and weight every time they are in a passenger vehicle. While there are a wide variety of car seat options to consider, the only safe car seat is one that is installed properly. David Todd, a San Marcos car accident attorney recommends that parents use the LATCH restraint system to install their car seat because it greatly simplifies installation and helps keep kids safe.
If you have been in a car accident and need legal assistance, contact the Todd Law Firm at 512-472-7799 for a free case review or download a free copy of the book Seven Deadly Mistakes That Can Wreck Your Texas Accident Case for more information.