Top Tethers: What They Are, What They Do, And Why You Should Use Them!
Top tethers are an important part of installing your child’s forward facing car seat safely. But did you know that only about 36% of people in the US are using the top tether? Let’s talk about what they are, what they do, and why you should use them for every forward facing installation!
What are top tethers?
The “T” in LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) stands for tether! Tethers look like a piece of webbing with a hook at one end and they are attached to the top of the car seat shell.
The top tether goes over the top of the vehicle seat (over, under, or around the headrest!) and hooks to a LATCH tether anchor. They are typically only used for forward facing installations, but some seats do require tethers for rear facing installations (especially rotating seats).
What do top tethers do?
Using the top tether can reduce head excursion by 4-6 inches in a crash! Head excursion is when a child’s head moves outside the car seat shell during a crash.
Why should we use top tethers?
To help prevent additional injuries in a crash! If a child’s head stays within the car seat shell, it’s less likely to contact the inside of the vehicle during a crash.
Some manufacturers have even started using orange webbing or red hardware to help call attention to the top tether and make it easier for parents to identify. So be sure to use your top tether for every forward facing installation!
Guest Post written by Britney Schroeder, CPST from Buckle & Latch (@buckleandlatch)