Britax tether confusion

M

mcglone

Guest
Britax tether confusion

We just got a Roundabout and installed it rear-facing in our Volvo station wagon. But I'm worried we didn't do it properly. Two questions:

Should the seat move at all with the tether installed? I can move the top of the seat back and forth a bit. I don't really see what purpose the tether is serving! (It's anchored to an anchor point in the hatchback of the wagon, behind the back seat.)

And the bigger question: How the heck do you get your kid into the seat with those tether straps in the way?

I'd appreciate any advice on how we can make sure we did this correctly!
 
C

Caviller

Guest
Britax tether answers

You did do it right-

What you did is to install the tether in the "Austrailian" method, or toward the rear of the vehicle (TRV). As you noticed, this doesn't add much stability. What it does do is reduce the possible downward rotation of the top of the seat in a frontal crash. This may possibly reduce the chance of injury in a frontal crash. The disadvantage, as you observed, is that the straps are in the way of loading and unloading.

There is another way to anchor a rear-facing Britax Roundabout or Advantage. It is called the "Swedish" method, or toward the front of the vehicle (TFV). To do this, you find an acceptable anchor point under the seat in front. You might be able to hook to the same anchor as a front seatbelt, or maybe a non-moving part of the seat rail. If the hook doesn't fit, you can also loop the included Britax strap around the anchor point, then attach the hook to the metal ring on the strap. Doing it this way will increase the stability of the installation. It will also help you get enough recline if you have an infant. Finally, it may also reduce the risk of injury in a side impact, rear impact or rollover.

Whichever way you do it, you may still get some movement, especially at the top of the seat. The important thing is that the seat does not move much at the base, where the seatbelt is routed. It should only move up to 1 inch side-to-side or front-to-back when gripped at the base.

Some more information can be found at these links:

www.childseat.com/tips/con_step4.htm

www.angelfire.com/wa3/isa...herrf.html

Both sites have photos of possible tether points and installations with the rear-facing tether.

If you still have questions, please feel free to ask again!
 
M

mcglone

Guest
One more question

Thanks so much for all the info!

My husband and I are now debating whether to just switch the seat to forward-facing. Our daughter is 14 months old and just over 20 pounds. Any thoughts on whether we would be wise to wait until she's a little heavier?
 
C

Caviller

Guest
Please read this first:

Your Roundabout will still be much safer rear-facing without using the tether than it will be forward facing! See our page on rear-facing:

www.car-safety.org/rearface.html

If you'd like to use the tether in the other manner I mentioned, but can't find a spot to anchor it, you may consider visiting a certified technician or free checkup event in your area. Many hospitals, public health, police and fire departments have one on staff. The can inspect your installation by appointment, or refer you to a fitting station or a checkup event. You may need to ask if they have experience with rear-facing tethers on Britax seats, or ask if they can refer you to a senior tech or instructor in some cases. For more contact information, please visit the "FAQ" link under the banner at the top of the page.

Thanks again for your questions!
 
M

mcglone

Guest
thanks again!

Thanks--we'll check into using the other tethering method. It actually isn't all that hard to get her in even the way it is now.

Thanks so much for your time--this site is a wonderful resource!
 
C

Caviller

Guest
Thanks again for visiting!

The more questions we get, the more we can help parents. Judging by the number of hits the forums get daily, we have a lot of lurkers, and we'd love to have more questions no matter how simple they might seem. Every question on carseat safety is a good one!
 
T

Thia327

Guest
Re: Thanks again for visiting!

I purchased the Britax Roundabout car seat for my daughter when she was 4 months old - It was getting a little tight in the infant carrier - Even though she was only 15+ lbs and 25 inches. Since the Britax doesn't recline as much as an infant carrier when she fell asleep her chin was on her chest.
To solve this problem I purchased from One Step Ahead - Prop-O's head support - This keeps her head up when she falls alseep.
I love this car seat - I would definatley recomend it to anyone
who needs a car seat
 
C

Caviller

Guest
Recline angle, and caution with aftermarket products!

First, the recline of any carseat should never be more than 45 degrees. 45 degrees may be needed for infants and newborns, but a little less is OK for older babys who have some neck support. Your Britax Roundabout can be reclined to 45 degrees. The rear-facing tether can help you get the necessary recline. On other models, we also use rolled towels or pool noodles to add recline to a rear-facing seat. If you are unable to get a 45 degree recline, please let us know and we might be able to offer some tips. Please post the age&weight of your child, and the model and year of your vehicle. You might also try to see a local, certified technician for a free check. They can help make sure you have the correct recline also. There are some resources to find a tech in the FAQ link under the top banner.


Products that are not specifically recommended by the manufacturer of the carseat can (in some cases) reduce the safety of the harness system.

I'm not familiar with the Prop-Os, but these types of products may not be safe:

Products that put compressible padding between the baby's head and the carseat cover

Products that put compressible padding between the baby's head and the harness straps

Products that put compressible padding around the straps, and might force the chest clip to be too low on baby

Some methods that can be used:

A rolled receiving blanket on the sides of baby's head

A thin, cotton baby sock with the toes cut off can be put around the straps to prevent gouging baby's neck

Any product that is supplied by the manufacturer with the carseat is fine, since it has been tested.

Any product that the manufacturer of your carseat sells and says is compatible with your specific model is also OK.
 
C

Caviller

Guest
Sorry for my wording!

The issue is that you shouldn't have any thick, fluffy material between the straps and your baby, or between your baby and the carseat. This material will basically cause the harness to be looser in a crash, and that can add to the risk of injury.

From the picture, I would tend not to use a product like this. First, it does look like it puts material under the strap, between baby and strap. Second, depending on the size of your baby, it could force the chest clip to be too low on the child. The chest clip should normally be around armpit level, like in the photo. In real life, products like this can force it to be down on the tummy, which is not recommended.

I generally prefer to use rolled receiving blankets for head support, and very thin cotton material if the straps are pressing on baby's neck. Many parents use baby socks with the toes cut off, and put them around the straps.

I can't advise you without seeing it in person. On the other hand, after seeing the picture, I would definitely recommend that you visit a certified, local carseat technician for a free checkup. You can usually find one at a local safekids organization, hospital, public health, police or fire department. You can also try the "FAQ" link under the top banner, and see Question #32 for more resources to find an expert in your area.

Thanks again for the comments, and for posting!
 
T

Thia327

Guest
Re: Sorry for my wording!

Thanks - I understand, I do notice that I push the covers up so that I can put the chest clip where it belongs.
I'm going to go and have her car seat checked out

Thanks again
 
T

Thia327

Guest
Re: Sorry for my wording!

I took my car seat to a safety inspection -
They insalled a noodle in the car seat since my seat reclines a little (2000 Chevy Malibu) and my daughters car seat reclines a little more and she seems a little more comfortable.
The saftey inspection was at our local hospital (the police and certifed techs run it) - It was great and took maybe 10 minutes and now I know my daughter is safe
If they offer one in your town- Go - it's worth it.
 
C

Caviller

Guest
That's great!

I'm glad you were able to have it checked. I'm curious what the techs said about the head support product when they saw it in person. Thanks again!
 
T

Thia327

Guest
Re: That's great!

Sorry - I meant to include that -
She said that she did think that they would cause a problem.
Of course since they are after market she couldn't say definitly that they wouldn't cause a problem - But she saw them on my daughter and thought they would be ok.
 

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