Question **do u use the latch system and seatbelt?**

galesville

New member
I have a snug ride & a true fit...my friend thinks you only use one or the other (seatbelt or latch system)..we are using both is that wrong??
 
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zactayaus

Well-known member
You can only use one or the other not both.

I'll let someone else chim in on why you can't use both but I believe it has something to do with seats not being tested using both and not knowing whether the car seat would pass or fail.
 

galesville

New member
ok so is one better then the other? I posted a differnt thread saying i have a 99 jeep cherokee and it does not have a latch system but the car seat rocks like crazy..what do i do?!
 

zactayaus

Well-known member
ok so is one better then the other? I posted a differnt thread saying i have a 99 jeep cherokee and it does not have a latch system but the car seat rocks like crazy..what do i do?!

One is not better than the other. If you had both in your vehicle you would use which ever one gave you a better install. But keep in mind that both car seats and the vehicles latch bar have limits which differ from car seat to car seat and from vehicle to vehicle. Most however have a 40lb or 48lb limit. So once the child was past the weight limit you would have no choice but to use the vehicles seat belt to install the car seat.
 

Shaunam

New member
Your friend is right. It's one or the other, never both. Just use the one that gets the best fit and you are most comfortable using. If you prefer to use LATCH and want the seat in the center, make sure your car has center LATCH (many do not).

Car seats either have not been tested with both systems or have been tested and failed. We don't know the specifics of the crash testing, so we can't say for sure what would happen if you use both. It seems like common sense that it would hold the seat in place better, but actually, a car seat is supposed to be able to move and flex some during an accident to absorb some of the impact. Using both could make too much of the impact transfer to the child. Or having two straps could simply put too much stress on the car seat's belt path.

So the car seat should be installed with one or the other and shouldn't move more than 1" at the belt path. If you need both to get it to move less than 1", you should see if there is a certified tech in your area to help. :)
 

wendytthomas

Admin - CPST Instructor
Staff member
Because it's not been tested that way, or it's been tested and failed. None of us are willing to turn our kids into crash test dummies to see how it works. It may be the best thing ever. Since every single carseat manufacturer says don't do it, though, I have to guess they've tested it and it's not worked as well.

It may be like two outfielders. Each system is tested to take crash forces. But if you put them together you've got two ballplayers running toward the ball. In the end the ball ends up on the grass and your ballplayers have black eyes from slamming into each other. LATCH is supposed to stretch up to 20% in a collision. So is the seatbelt. If neither has the full crash put on it, neither may stretch. And now those crash forces, instead of being absorbed by the LATCH strap or seatbelt, need to go elsewhere. And the only elsewhere to go is into the seat where your child is sitting, magnifying crash forces and possibly causing more injury to the child in the seat.

You probably have locking latchplates in your car. So you can try twisting the buckle 180 degrees to see if that holds it. It may be you have belts that lock at the shoulder. Try pulling them all the way out to check if they lock going back in. If so, lock the belt.

Your True Fit has built in lockoffs, so it shouldn't move nor matter what kind of belt you have. The Snugride is less forgiving.

If they're rear facing movement at the child's head is normal and fine. If the True Fit is forward it shouldn't move. You want to check for movement at the beltpath only.

Wendy
 

Mommy0608

New member
Hi there! I agree with everyone else... you can only use either the seatbelt or lower anchors to install the seat. However, you can (and should) use the top tether even with a seatbelt when installing a forward-facing harnessed car seat.

I just want to make sure this is clear, because you said you have a '99 Jeep and no LATCH, but you also said you're using both. Are you using a seatbelt and top tether anchor (not even sure your vehicle has a top tether)? If so, that's good, as long as it's the approved top tether location. If you're somehow using the lower anchor strap and seatbelt together, that is not acceptable for two reasons - 1) you choose one or the other, never both for reasons listed by others above and 2) your vehicle doesn't have lower anchors, so if you're using the lower anchor strap you must be connecting it to an unapproved lower anchor position, which is not good.
 

southpawboston

New member
It seems like common sense that it would hold the seat in place better, but actually, a car seat is supposed to be able to move and flex some during an accident to absorb some of the impact. Using both could make too much of the impact transfer to the child.

this is not correct. the only real reason not to use both is because of potential interference and they haven't been tested and/or approved.

studies on rigid LATCH have shown that the more "one" with the car the carseat is, the better.
 

Mae

New member
It seems like common sense that it would hold the seat in place better, but actually, a car seat is supposed to be able to move and flex some during an accident to absorb some of the impact. Using both could make too much of the impact transfer to the child.

this is not correct. the only real reason not to use both is because of potential interference and they haven't been tested and/or approved.

studies on rigid LATCH have shown that the more "one" with the car the carseat is, the better.

I have heard that is part of the reason as well, and I heard it from people on here :twocents:.

I heard it's mostly because we don't know what will happen, but also the fact that if you use both systems, it may not allow for the seatbelts to stretch enough in a crash...putting more force directly onto the child.

Not trying to argue, simply stating that the above poster has heard the same that I have.
 

southpawboston

New member
I have heard that is part of the reason as well, and I heard it from people on here :twocents:.

I heard it's mostly because we don't know what will happen, but also the fact that if you use both systems, it may not allow for the seatbelts to stretch enough in a crash...putting more force directly onto the child.

Not trying to argue, simply stating that the above poster has heard the same that I have.

i heard it here too, from several people. does that mean it's correct? you can't take everything you read on the interwebs at face value, ya know? ;)

with all due respect to techs, not all have correct info 100% of the time, and many feel pressed to come up with plausible explanations to parents even when the information is not known. or, one tech hears an explanation from another tech and assumes it is correct. word of mouth is not always a reliable source of information.

if stretching seatbelts were necessary to reduce the load on the child, then rigid LATCH would be bad because there is no stretching... at all. yet, the data is showing that it is superior in terms of loads placed on children in a crash. what conclusion would you make?

this is not to say that using LATCH + seatbelt is okay, which it clearly isn't. but the reason of stretching is not the valid one; the only truthful reason is that it hasn't been tested (or approved).
 

Shaunam

New member
i heard it here too, from several people. does that mean it's correct? you can't take everything you read on the interwebs at face value, ya know? ;)

with all due respect to techs, not all have correct info 100% of the time, and many feel pressed to come up with plausible explanations to parents even when the information is not known. or, one tech hears an explanation from another tech and assumes it is correct. word of mouth is not always a reliable source of information.

if stretching seatbelts were necessary to reduce the load on the child, then rigid LATCH would be bad because there is no stretching... at all. yet, the data is showing that it is superior in terms of loads placed on children in a crash. what conclusion would you make?

this is not to say that using LATCH + seatbelt is okay, which it clearly isn't. but the reason of stretching is not the valid one; the only truthful reason is that it hasn't been tested (or approved).

It's a *theory*. No one said it was fact. Just something to roll around your head when you are wondering the "why's" of the whole thing. And it makes perfect sense anyway, although Wendy explained it way better than me. I've heard that it's best for the seat to be "one with the car" and I've heard that it's best for the seat belt and seat to stretch/flex in an accident to absorb some of the impact. But regardless, even if you get a rock solid install, or "one with the car", it's GOING to move when you hit something at 20 mph. And the way Wendy described it explains why LATCH and seat belt together MIGHT fail.
 

Maedze

New member
Touching on the 'stretching' thing...I'd like to clear this up, because I've heard it a few times.

The HARNESS provides the stretch. In an impact, it will stretch up to 18%, and that definitely plays a part in diverting the energy of an impact and creating ride-down time particularly for a forward facing child.

While the seatbelts *may* stretch, it's certainly not necessary for them to do so, or, as SPB pointed out, rigid LATCH would be a bad thing.


On the other hand, it's not stupid to theorize about the whys and wherefors that we don't allow cross installation. It's best, of course, to be honest with parents. "We don't do it because it hasn't been tested that way. I don't have any hard facts about why we can't. But here are some theories, if you're interested...."

And then of course we've got Ford muddying the waters by RECOMMENDING dual installation after 40 pounds in their 09/10 MY manuals :D
 

southpawboston

New member
theorizing is great, but stating theories as fact only propagates misinformation. the only real fact in this matter is that using both seatbelt + LATCH is not approved. post #6 was stated as fact, not as theory.

and 3B, ford is actually onto something, because they have some internal research on the matter that most people don't know about :whistle:. still, that doesn't make it an approved practice.
 

Maedze

New member
Which is precisely why I said it should be presented as a theory, not a fact :whistle:


Honestly, I'm really curious to see where this goes. Ford and Sunshine Kids' are both gripping the bull by the ba...er...horns, as it were, and coming up with solutions. From SK we've got LATCH that goes to the limit of the seat, regardless of vehicle LATCH limit. From Ford we've got, "Keep using LATCH, just throw the seatbelt in there too after 40 lbs".

Who will reign supreme? *cues music from Iron Chef: America"
 

carseatcoach

Carseat Crankypants
and 3B, ford is actually onto something, because they have some internal research on the matter that most people don't know about :whistle:. still, that doesn't make it an approved practice.

Just out of curiosity, when vehicle manual recommending dual installation and carseat manual disallowing dual installation clash, who wins? I personally would go with the most conservative option and install with seatbelt and top tether, since we're pretty darn sure that's okay. I guess I'd be willing to sacrifice a little "extra" safety for the security of knowing the installation was approved by all.
 

Maedze

New member
Just out of curiosity, when vehicle manual recommending dual installation and carseat manual disallowing dual installation clash, who wins? I personally would go with the most conservative option and install with seatbelt and top tether, since we're pretty darn sure that's okay. I guess I'd be willing to sacrifice a little "extra" safety for the security of knowing the installation was approved by all.

In a perfect world, the parent wins. You present the information, let them make the decision.

In the real world, especially in busy community events, there are language and educational barriers that are just going to create stress for the parents. At that point, I would skip the academic debate and just teach how to install with the belt and top tether.
 

carseatcoach

Carseat Crankypants
In a perfect world, the parent wins. You present the information, let them make the decision.

I know. But I'm a parent too (although done with harnesses 99% of the time) -- I'm asking as much out of personal curiosity as updating my tech info database.
 

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