LATCH And Seat Belts: Using Both Is Not Necessarily Safer!
While a couple of car seats do allow you to use both the seat belt and LATCH lower anchors to install, most do not - and it can actually make the installation less secure. Let’s find out why!
Car Seat Safety Dictionary
LATCH: LATCH is an acronym for Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren. LATCH has been required on all car seats and in all vehicles since 2002.
You only use glasses OR contacts to correct your vision, not both at the same time. Each one separately corrects your vision, but using both together would make your vision worse because they will interfere with each other.
Using a seat belt and LATCH to install a car seat is similar: Either one can be used to properly and safely install a car seat, but using both together can cause the two belts to interfere with each other and compromise their performance (and the performance of the car seat) in a crash.
Unless your car seat manual specifically says you may use both the seat belt and LATCH to install (Nuna Pipa and a forward facing Clek Foonf come to mind!), your car seat was not crash tested using both installations together, so using both is not safe.
Pro Tip: You can (and should!) still use your top tether when you install your car seat forward facing with the seat belt. It’s okay to use the tether part of LATCH with the seat belt as directed by the manufacturer!
Guest Post written by Britney Schroeder, CPST from Buckle & Latch (@buckleandlatch)