Forward Facing Once a child outgrows his rear facing convertible/3-in-1 seat, he should go to a forward facing car seat. Children must be at least 1 year of age AND 22 lbs. AND be able to walk unassisted to go forward facing. Forward Facing seats will generally start at 22 lbs. and will go to at least 40 lbs. Many seats forward face to high weights, some as high as 65 lbs. Best practice is to keep children forward facing as long as they fit within the height and weight ranges of the child restraint.
Front Facing Seats Face the front of the vehicle. Always on front facing vehicle seats. All Must Be Tethered. Usually start at 22 lbs. Upper weight limits commonly 40 lbs., 47 lbs., 50 lbs., or 65 lbs. All will have height limits as well.
UAS Weight Limits UAS weight limits are usually 40 lbs. or 48 lbs. Make sure you consult both manuals. If the child is over the UAS Weight Limits, the seat belt should be used.
Why Tether? To meet head excursion requirement (720 mm).
Tethers Pre-drilled holes mandatory since 1989 for passenger cars. 2000 model year passenger cars require to have factory installed anchorages. 2001 model year vans, light trucks and SUV’s required to have factory installed anchorages.
12 Tether Locations Consult Manual of Vehicle to find tether locations.
SUV Luggage Tie Downs/Tethers In the back of SUV’s there are often 4 luggage tie downs. Sometimes these are also tethers. Often only two are. Important to consult the manual to find if/which ones are tethers.
Head Rests and Tethers Commonly Tethers go underneath head rests. Not always. Check Manuals. If possible, it is sometimes easier to take headrests right off. Underneath or take off Solid Headrest, go overtop Van back seats. Consult Manual.
Forward Facing Installations Vehicle seat position/Seat Fit Method Tether – do up first, tighten last Tight – UAS or seat belt, then tether
Vehicle Position/Fit Must be in a position where there is a tether anchor. Seat must fit in the vehicle seating position.
Choose a Method UAS in vehicles newer then Sept. 1, 2002. Will be in at least 2 positions (often outboard and not in middle. Seat belt in older vehicles, or commonly in the middle in vehicles that have UAS in outboard positions. Or Locking clip or built in lock off if seat belt does not lock (i.e. Emergency Locking Retractor and sliding latch plate)
Tight – Less then 1 Inch Movement at Belt Path Use proper leverage by pulling through the seat. May have to take off the cover to get a better pull angle.
Tighten Tether Do this last. This way, you will have the seat tightened down first by UAS or seat belt. Otherwise the car seat will lift off of the vehicle seat.