Lower Anchor vs Seat Belt Car Seat Installation
True or false?: Lower anchors are safer than seat belts for car seat installation. FALSE!
Are you surprised? This is a very common misperception. In actuality – the LATCH (Lower Anchor and Tether) system was designed to give parents an option for installing the car seat without the seat belt. LATCH was developed to provide a universal attachment option to limit the misuse seen with car seat installations. Both LATCH or seat belt installation options are safe when used properly though.
Wondering if two is better than one? Not in this case. Just like you wouldn’t wear glasses and contacts at the same time, you will need to choose either the lower anchor or the seat belt for your car seat installation. Generally, you should choose the installation method that gets you the best installation with your car seat in your car. A good installation is one that moves less than 1 inch from side to side or front to back at the belt path (the place on the car seat where you have the seat belt or lower anchors installed).
There are car seat child weight limits associated with lower anchors. The weight of the child plus the car seat cannot exceed 65 pounds when using the lower anchors. Check your car seat labels and instructions for more information. Once your child exceeds the weight limit, you will need to switch to the seat belt.
Don’t Forget the Tether!
If you are installing a forward-facing car seat, the tether should be used whenever possible. The tether helps to limit how much your child’s head may move forward in a crash, so it is an important safety feature for forward-facing car seats. There are generally two options for installing a forward-facing car seat: lower anchor and tether; or seat belt and tether.
Most rear-facing car seats do not have the option for a tether – but some do! Check your product instructions for details.
If you have any further questions about properly installing an Evenflo car seat using the install method that works best for your family, you can schedule a free video support call for one-on-one car seat install support with our ParentLink Consumer Care Team.