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  1. #1
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    Britax Boulevard Forward-Facing Shoulder Belt install- Must tether?

    Hello all, first time poster here.

    I currently have the Britax Advocate CS in my car with LATCH. I am planning to get the Britax Boulevard for my wife's car (2000 BMW 328i sedan) that does not have the LATCH system.

    I look through the BMW menu and look through the car's back seat and although there does appear to be anchor points in the back dashboard area, I think I am supposed to have to bring the car back to BMW for "installation" ( i guess they have to open up the anchor points properly).

    My question is, from reading the Britax menu ( I currently have the Britax Advocate CS in our other car that has LATCH). If installing forward-facing with the shoulder belt- it is not clear to me whether the tethering at the top of the car seat is required? I know from the lap belt installation that the tether is a must- but wonder if it would be safe to just install the shoulder belt without the tether, as I plan to install on the rear seat left or right side.

    I have also read that when forward facing, upright is safer than reclined and vice versa on another website.. is upright when forward facing the safest (comparing to reclined forward facing)

    Thank you in advance for any advice

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  3. #2
    Admin - CPST Instructor wendytthomas's Avatar
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    Re: Britax Boulevard Forward-Facing Shoulder Belt install- Must tether?

    Quote Originally Posted by sunny View Post
    I look through the BMW menu and look through the car's back seat and although there does appear to be anchor points in the back dashboard area, I think I am supposed to have to bring the car back to BMW for "installation" ( i guess they have to open up the anchor points properly).
    I haven't got my LATCH manual here with me, but someone will come around and tell you the part number to get top tethers retrofitted. It's fantastic you were reading your car manual! Not many people do that.

    My question is, from reading the Britax menu ( I currently have the Britax Advocate CS in our other car that has LATCH). If installing forward-facing with the shoulder belt- it is not clear to me whether the tethering at the top of the car seat is required? I know from the lap belt installation that the tether is a must- but wonder if it would be safe to just install the shoulder belt without the tether, as I plan to install on the rear seat left or right side.
    No, it's not required with the seatbelt (either lap, or lap and shoulder), but it's highly encouraged.

    Are there other kids in the car using the middle?

    I have also read that when forward facing, upright is safer than reclined and vice versa on another website.. is upright when forward facing the safest (comparing to reclined forward facing)
    Yes. And a child under 33 pounds in a Britax should be rear facing, so we rarely if ever recommend forward facing recline.

    How old and heavy is your child? If they're going to be forward facing, why buy a seat that can rear face as well and only use half of it? A Graco Nautilus or Britax Frontier would be money better spent in the long run. And if they're under three or four, they should be rear facing, so the top tether and forward facing recline doesn't come into play.

    Also, what car do you drive? And where is your child in the car (behind you, middle, passenger)?

    I deleted the same question in the other forum, as cross posting is not allowed, and these were more installation questions than anything.

    Wendy
    wendy, cpst-i mom to
    piper, 7/26/02, 62", 108#, seatbelt, driving her own car
    laine 9/16/09, 54", 96#, Nuna Aaces, Diono Solana 2
    in my husband's 2018 Toyota Land Cruiser, my 2017 Volvo XC90, and big sister's 2016 Honda Civic
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  4. #3
    Admin - CPS Technician Emeritus Jeanum's Avatar
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    Re: Britax Boulevard Forward-Facing Shoulder Belt install- Must tether?

    Welcome to car-seat.org. You appear to be posting from Canada where top tethering of any forward facing harnessed carseat installation is mandatory. Top tethering serves an important role by reducing head excursion, the amount a child's head moves forward/beyond the carseat's protective shell during a crash, and it should be done with either a seatbelt installation or with a lower LATCH anchor/UAS installation. From what I'm seeing in the LATCH manual, the 2000 BMW 3-series is already factory equipped with top tether anchors and I don't see anything indicating you would require the dealership to do anything further to access or use the top tether anchor, and this is supposed to be the case for BMW models in both the U.S. and Canada. So perhaps you're all set and just need to connect the top tether strap as the final step of your forward facing installation? Also, if by any chance your child is below the Boulevard's rear facing weight limit and has at least one inch of plastic shell above the top of his or her head, then the safest way to travel would be a rear facing installation due to the physics of rear facing. If you'd like more links explaining the safety advantages of rear facing, we'll be happy to oblige. Rear facing if your child can still do so could also keep you legal in terms of the top tethering requirement for a forward facing installation in Canada if the dealership actually does need to do a modification before you can use the BMW's tether anchor for a forward facing installation.

    The Boulevard has two mechanical recline modes/settings, with the mechanically reclined mode required for a rear facing installation and the more upright mode meant for forward facing installations only. The mechanical recline mode is optional for forward facing children up to 33 lbs. in U.S. certified Blvd. versions, and the mechanical upright mode is required for forward facing installations beyond 33 lbs. Overreclining a forward facing child beyond any allowed recline specified by the carseat manufacturer can run the risk of increasing loads to the pelvis during a crash. I'm actually not positive if the Canadian certified Blvd. model allows you to use the mechanical reclined mode at all when forward facing or if it requires the upright mode at any weight forward facing. Your Blvd.'s manual should specify about that.
    Regards,
    Jean

    DD1 Age 16, 66" Driver's Ed
    DD2 Age 12, 64" 5 steps

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  6. #4
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    Re: Britax Boulevard Forward-Facing Shoulder Belt install- Must tether?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeanum View Post
    I'm actually not positive if the Canadian certified Blvd. model allows you to use the mechanical reclined mode at all when forward facing or if it requires the upright mode at any weight forward facing. Your Blvd.'s manual should specify about that.
    My Marathon manuals state that using the recline for FF is allowed for under 33lbs ... just thought I would add that
    #1 9y 54lbs TB~ #2 6y 43lbs TB~ #3 4y 38lbs RXT~ #4 17m 22lbs Fllo

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  8. #5
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    Re: Britax Boulevard Forward-Facing Shoulder Belt install- Must tether?

    Thank you so much for the responses, I have been agonizing all afternoon.

    Sorry about the cross post as I did not realize there was a sub-forum on installation until after I posted first in the general safety forum.

    If I could further explain my situation. Our main car that we travel with our 14 month old now (he's tall for his age at 80 inches but only about 22 lbs). We had gotten the Britax Advocate CS for our main car, Mercedes GLK that we had been using rear facing until he was one year old. From talking to friends and reading the manual, I was under the impression that after they turn one (and above the required weight) that they should be forward facing. I had delayed that until last month (month 13) but my wife was noticing that my son's legs seem to be cramped up when he was in the seat.

    I had made sure my rear facing installation did not slip not inaccurate. So, since he was already 13 months, I decided to install the Britax Advocate CS forward facing (LATCH) with Tethering thru the back seat onto the anchor point in the trunk area of the GLK.

    As our local baby store is having a Britax sale (Marathon and boulevard, mostly $50-$70 off, we thought that perhaps buying a second car seat for our other car, a 2000 BMW 328i sedan (without LATCH) might be a good idea just in case. So I started to go through the BMW manual to make sure I can install it. I then realize the BMW don't have the LATCH and that further reading the manual stated that

    "if the child restraint of your choice requires the use of a tether strap, three fastening points (as shown in manual diagram) have been provided on the rear shelf for attachment. Ask you BMW Retailer to perform the necessary work"

    So indeed on the rear shelf in 3 areas (left mid and right) I see a plastic covering and if I look under the trunk to the corresponding area, I kinda feel there is a "hole" but I can't definitely feel a hook or fastening area. So I guess I am going to call up the BMW dealer tomorrow am to see if all it requires is that they "pop" the plastic area and the fastening area will be readily available.

    Sorry for the long winded post- so in summary, even if my kids legs seem to be cramping up between the car seat and the back of the seat of the GLK, is that okay? Judging from the post in this forum, as my child is only 14 months old, 80 inches tall, he should still be rear facing for sure?

    And regarding the Britax Advocate/Marathon manual stating that up to 33 lbs, recline FF is allowed, if that's not as safe, why would they even suggest us to do it?

    Thank you again in advance for all the comments/help/suggestions.

  9. #6
    Admin - CPST Instructor wendytthomas's Avatar
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    Re: Britax Boulevard Forward-Facing Shoulder Belt install- Must tether?

    He should definitely be rear facing, though I doubt he's 80 inches. Do you mean 80 cm? I'm 61" tall. 80" is nearly seven feet tall.

    His legs are better protected rear facing as they won't fling forward in a collision. Having them bent is not at all a concern. It's his spine that's most at risk. If you need to amputate something, would you rather do the knee down, or the neck up?

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sssIsceKd6U"]YouTube- Rear facing vs forward facing position in the car[/ame]

    If you would like another Britax, a sale is fine to buy one. Otherwise, I'd look at the Learning Curve True Fit, Graco My Ride, Sunshine Kids Radians. I'm not going to give you pricing or weights, as they're different in Canada, but those are the ones I'd look at. The My Ride is about the same size as your Advocate, the others are all much taller, which means you can rear face in them longer. They also have more leg room, which may be more comfortable for your son.

    Since 2002 the AAP has recommended that children face the rear to the maximum limits of the convertible carseat. The new bare minimum, set in 2008, says two years, with ideally longer.

    http://carseatblog.com/?p=5168

    I'd get the tethers installed, but you shouldn't need them for another few years.

    Is your son in the middle of your car?

    Wendy
    wendy, cpst-i mom to
    piper, 7/26/02, 62", 108#, seatbelt, driving her own car
    laine 9/16/09, 54", 96#, Nuna Aaces, Diono Solana 2
    in my husband's 2018 Toyota Land Cruiser, my 2017 Volvo XC90, and big sister's 2016 Honda Civic
    https://www.car-seat.org/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=1353&dateline=1552329  785

  10. #7
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    Re: Britax Boulevard Forward-Facing Shoulder Belt install- Must tether?

    Yes, at 14 months, he should emphatically still be rear facing.

    Legs are not an issue. My daughter (80th percentile for height) rear faced to her fourth birthday. My 3 year old son will also be rear facing to his fourth birthday (75th percentile for height).

  11. #8
    CPS Technician Pixels's Avatar
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    Re: Britax Boulevard Forward-Facing Shoulder Belt install- Must tether?

    After age one and the minimum weight, the child may turn forward. Not required. The 1and 20 minimums are just that, minimums, based on 30 year old assumptions that we've since proven wrong. Legislation doesn't change quickly. Your child will be significantly safer if rear facing up to the limits of the seats.
    Melissa, CPST and Mom to three

  12. #9
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    Re: Britax Boulevard Forward-Facing Shoulder Belt install- Must tether?

    Thank you so much again for the replies.

    Wendy- you're right, my son is only 80 cm He is in the middle seat in our GLK (now facing forward). From all the suggestions and comments on the forum, I think it would be prudent for me to change him back to rear facing and as many of you mentioned, the legs cramping up is not an issue. As for my second car seat (for the middle seat in the 2000 BMW 328i, the dealership don't have an answer but they will contact me back once the technicians are back). Thanks for the suggestions regarding other options, my feeling is I should get another seat there to RF in the middle seat, but from comments on the forum, seems like Britax do have less leg room when RF?

    Jeanum, thank you for the detailed explanation regarding top tethering in FF. you mentioned that top tethering for FF is mandatory in Canada, so for RF is that just "advisable"? My MB GLK don't seem to have a place to let me top tether when RF- i look all over the back of the front seat and there is no anchor point anywhere.

    Thank you all again in advance for all the help.

  13. #10
    Admin - CPST Instructor wendytthomas's Avatar
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    Re: Britax Boulevard Forward-Facing Shoulder Belt install- Must tether?

    Ok, whew, glad that's cleared up about his height. LOL

    Britaxes allow for rear facing tethering. Your seat came with a tether connector strap, or the D ring. You use that to make a rear facing tether point.

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2upADev-UrM"]YouTube- Installing a Rear-Facing Tether Connector Strap (D-Ring)[/ame]

    You cannot use LATCH in the center of your car. Mercedes does not allow it. You must reinstall with the seatbelt.

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SuZQp_xij_w&feature=related"]YouTube- Installing a Rear-Facing Britax Convertible with Tether[/ame]

    Just about anything besides the Recaros will have more leg room than the Britaxes. All of the ones I suggested earlier will work well for him in terms of leg room.

    Wendy
    wendy, cpst-i mom to
    piper, 7/26/02, 62", 108#, seatbelt, driving her own car
    laine 9/16/09, 54", 96#, Nuna Aaces, Diono Solana 2
    in my husband's 2018 Toyota Land Cruiser, my 2017 Volvo XC90, and big sister's 2016 Honda Civic
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  14. #11
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    Re: Britax Boulevard Forward-Facing Shoulder Belt install- Must tether?

    Hi Sunny,

    Welcome to car-seat.org. I am mainly just posting to say that all of the information you've been given so far is bang on. Even though the Canadian Pediatric Society hasn't yet released a formal statement similar to that of the American Academy of Pediatrics, they do still advocate rear facing past age 1. Also, Transport Canada recommends that we not switch our children to forward facing any sooner than we have to. Certainly age 1 and 22 pounds is a bare mimimum for rear facing. All convertible seats in Canada rear face to at least 30 pounds; some to 35 pounds, some to 40 pounds, and some even to 45 pounds. Gone are the days when we "had" to switch to forward facing when baby hit age 1.


    Further to some of your questions...

    As Wendy said, Mercedes does not allow you to "borrow" one lower anchor from one side, and one lower anchor from the other side to install in the middle of your backseat. You have a set of lower anchors (LowerAnchorsTethersforCHildren) on your passenger side, and another set behind the driver's side. A middle install requires you to use the seatbelt. It's important to remember that LATCH wasn't created to be safer than a seatbelt install; rather it was created to make things easier for parents.

    Top tethering is mandatory in Canada. It sounds like you have pre-drilled holes for a top tether anchor to be installed. If you need a parts number (as in, the dealership is blissfully clueless on what you're needing to have installed) please post back.



    I think that's it. Again I mainly just wanted to let you know that there are many Canadian techs on this forum who fully advocate rear facing past age 1.
    dd1 - 8y6m, hbb PWSGL
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    Re: Britax Boulevard Forward-Facing Shoulder Belt install- Must tether?

    Hello again everyone,

    Thank you so much again for the detailed answers, I feel so much more at ease now- wish I had found this forum before I got my first car seat!

    Canadiangie- thanks for your specific answers regarding the CPS and Transport Canada- I called the BMW dealer today and the parts department guy said that I have to purchase the part for tethering- but there are 2 different ones, so he has to look at my car (2000 BMW 328i 4 door sedan) before he can tell me which one I need. As I will be doing RF for both the GLK and the 328i- I suppose I won't be top tethering anytime soon.

    But if you happen to have the part number handy for my BMW hook that I need, that would be wonderful when I eventually have to go FF. (I am currently using a Britax Advocate CS with the Versa Tether).

    Also, just want to make sure when you said Top tethering is mandatory in Canada- do you mean that for FF only, and RF Top tethering is still optional in Canada?

    But as everyone has already mentioned, I should really be doing RF so I will be switching it back to RF with the middle seat shoulder belt install on my Mercedes GLK (even the dealer I got my GLK from today said he used the middle seat LATCH- sigh). I will be looking for an anchor point behind the front seats to tether RF- but if my Britax is in the middle, I don't think I will be able to find a tether/anchor point that would be "central" (I remember previously looking in the GLK for one), so my question is- should I Top tether RF with a slightly off center anchor point behind the driver or passenger seat, or should I not tether like that at all?

    Thank you again in advance!
    Last edited by sunny; 08-04-2010 at 03:18 AM. Reason: spelling and grammar mistakes

  16. #13
    Admin - CPST Instructor wendytthomas's Avatar
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    Re: Britax Boulevard Forward-Facing Shoulder Belt install- Must tether?

    Slightly off center is fine. Up to 20º. I used the front seat inside leg when my older daughter was rear facing in a Britax.

    If no one has gotten the part number for you tomorrow I'll get it.

    Wendy
    wendy, cpst-i mom to
    piper, 7/26/02, 62", 108#, seatbelt, driving her own car
    laine 9/16/09, 54", 96#, Nuna Aaces, Diono Solana 2
    in my husband's 2018 Toyota Land Cruiser, my 2017 Volvo XC90, and big sister's 2016 Honda Civic
    https://www.car-seat.org/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=1353&dateline=1552329  785

  17. #14
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    Re: Britax Boulevard Forward-Facing Shoulder Belt install- Must tether?

    Top tether is mandatory for forward-facing in Canada. Only Britax and Sunshine Kids seats tether rear-facing, and it is optional.

    A slightly off-center tether is fine -- the general rule (and I don't think Britax is an exception, but please check your manual) is that a tether can be angled up to 20 degrees.

    According to the LATCH manual, BMW does not make a model-specific tether anchor and recommends using a "generic tether anchor".
    CPST and Mama to a 13yo girl, 5-stepped at age 10 and 5'

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  18. #15
    Admin - CPS Technician Emeritus Jeanum's Avatar
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    Re: Britax Boulevard Forward-Facing Shoulder Belt install- Must tether?

    Right, there is no specific BMW part or kit number listed in the LATCH manual but the BMW dealership should be able to sort it out and seems to be in the process of doing so for the OP. As I posted earlier, the LATCH manual actually indicates that the 2000 3-series is already factory equipped with top tether anchors but apparently that's not really the case in the OP's 2000 model and it needs to be retrofitted before ultimately doing a forward facing installation. Glad to hear that the kiddo will be rear facing in both cars to the convertible carseat's maximum potential rear facing capacity.
    Regards,
    Jean

    DD1 Age 16, 66" Driver's Ed
    DD2 Age 12, 64" 5 steps

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    Re: Britax Boulevard Forward-Facing Shoulder Belt install- Must tether?

    Hello chickabiddy and Jeanum,

    Thanks for clarifying the Canadian tethering requirement for me

    Thanks for the follow up reply to Wendy's answer- from talking to the parts guy he did seem to think I need to get buy 1 of the 2 available part for the BMW sedan- but from reading the manual, it clearly stated it's already there,
    also as both of you have stated in the LATCH manual that it is factory equipped.

    From the manual- "if the child restraint of your choice requires the use of a tether strap, three fastening points (as shown in manual diagram) have been provided on the rear shelf for attachment. Ask you BMW Retailer to perform the necessary work"

    I tried to feel into the 3 corresponding area of the back trunk and can't definitely feel anything- seeing I am going back to RF for now, I might hold off driving by the dealership (they take forever with anything...) for now and maybe call the parts department again to see if another technician there might know more.

    I want to thank all of you again for letting me know about the importance of RF- my wife and I read up on your site and the other referenced site re: RF safety and felt so scared that we had been FF for no good reason, but relieved that we'll be going back to RF. Also, the Youtube video will be VERY helpful as I will be doing the middle seat shoulder belt (GLK) and middle seat lap belt (BMW Sedan) install.

    Hopefully I will have a successful install after work tonight!

  20. #17
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    Re: Britax Boulevard Forward-Facing Shoulder Belt install- Must tether?

    Just a quick follow up to my own question and re-install for RF.

    I reinstall the Advocate CS RF using the middle shoulder belt and installed fine. When looking for a tether under the front seats, there was none- I look everywhere and the only remotely possible way would be to hook around the actual front or passenger seat bottom, which I don't think would be a good idea. In reading the Britax Manual, it does mention that for a RF install, the tether can be done either via an anchor point behind the front seats, or to an anchor point behind the back seat (where I was tethering previously with my FF install).

    My question is: if I install the tether by hooking to behind the back seat, and seeing the Britax diagram, the tether strap would be running form the top of the car seat horizontally across the length car seat, then to the back- would that not be kinda hazardous as the child might be able to touch it?

    Also, in that kinda of tethering, is the idea to re-hook the tether every time? as it would be quite difficult to put the child in when the tether is always in the way?

    Thank you again in advance.
    Last edited by sunny; 08-06-2010 at 02:42 AM. Reason: spelling

  21. #18
    Senior Community Member Jennifer mom to my 7's Avatar
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    Re: Britax Boulevard Forward-Facing Shoulder Belt install- Must tether?

    Usually you can use the seat track to wrap the d ring around.
    http://carseatsite.com/videos.htm#rear-facing videos
    Scroll down to installing a rear facing tether connector strap.
    Whatever Wendy said

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