Rear Facing Child Seats and Top Tether Anchors

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Andrew Estel says:

Great video! Love this feature of my 2014 Volvo XC60.

Mason Wu says:

Nice video<<< does 2016 Civic queuing in your list? cant wait for it X)

CarSeatSite says:

Nice video! However, I’d like to clear up some potentially very dangerous misconceptions. First, you do list the carseats that are compatible with rear-facing tethering at the beginning of the video and it’s important that parents/caregivers pay careful attention to that list. The carseat you use for demonstration in the video is NOT capable of using a tether while rear-facing. Seats that have that capability have extra reinforcement in the shell and, with the exception of the Clek Foonf and Fllo, Combi Cocorro, and Peg Perego PV Convertible, have a V-shaped tether to dissipate crash energy. This is important to their design. Tethering a carseat rear-facing that’s not designed for that purpose could cause the carseat to break apart in the crash from the crash forces.

Furthermore, in your video, you stress that the majority of carseats are installed incorrectly and I cannot agree more! Ask any child passenger safety technician and they will tell you upwards of 90% of carseats are installed incorrectly. The reason you were getting so much movement with your seat belt installation before you tethered incorrectly was because you didn’t lock the seat belt—if you did, there was too much slack in the shoulder belt. Whether this was out of ignorance or for effect, I don’t know. Switching to a LATCH installation led to a tighter installation for sure, but was a bait and switch for your audience and also showed that you didn’t need to tether RF because there wasn’t as much movement.

There have been few reported injuries from children rebounding into the back seat because of their carseats pivoting around the fulcrum that is the belt path of the carseat, and those injuries have been minor bruising. Considering the transference of energy loads that could happen in the event of a seat tethered that shouldn’t be because it wasn’t designed to be, the injuries could be much greater. —Child Passenger Safety Technician Instructor

Rosie Terrell says:

“A child catapult”? That’s awful. A child is not going to be catapulted anywhere. They should be securely harnessed in their seat. Your description is going to do nothing but cause parents to panic and therefore begin using the top tether anchorage inappropriately. Car seats are designed to move in the event of a crash. They are tested and approved without any top anchorage while rear facing and they are perfectly safe to use. Most manufacturers are moving to anti-rebound bars as energy management anyway, and getting away from Swedish style rear tethering because of vehicle incompatibilities. This video is poor at best, and completely unnecessary.

ganelon georgieff says:

WOW, I was just dealing with this last night, with this seat. This helped me so much. Big fan, keep up the good work.

MikesCarInfo says:

Thanks Alex!

The Car Seat Lady says:

The purpose and function of Swedish tethering that you show is not to restrict movement downward (i.e. when the car seat becomes more reclined) – but rather it eliminates the motion of the car seat towards the back of the vehicle (referred to as rebound during a frontal crash). Swedish tethering prevents a car seat from becoming more UPRIGHT in a crash, rather than more reclined as you indicate in your video.

Australian tethering – where the rear-facing car seat is tethered to the forward facing tether anchor – is the method that prevents the car seat from becoming more reclined in a crash (in the same way as load legs do on the infant seats (in US & Europe) and Group 0+/1 seats (only in Europe) that offer them.

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