Young children need a secure way to ride in your vehicle. Passenger safety has long been hinged on seat belts, but an extra layer is necessary when it comes to kids because of boosters, car seats, and lower anchors.
Not all of these are built the same, and sometimes you may be installing your child’s seat and connecting your seat belt buckle in a counterproductive way. To make sure you are hitting optimal car safety with kids in tow, read on for how to use lower anchors with boosters and seat belts.
Using Lower Anchors
Lower anchors have been designed into your vehicle so that you can connect your child’s car seat securely. You’ll usually find them in the lower back area of your chairs. Connecting your child’s car seat to the anchor allows you to withstand a force of up to 30 mph in the event of a frontal crash.
A working system should give your car seat a secure fit that isn’t loose or shaky.
Should You Use an Anchor with Seat Belts?
Take note that you aren’t actually supposed to use lower anchors with seat belts at the same time. It’s recommended that you just use one or the other. Your car seat should have a manual that outlines how to use either method.
If your lower anchors don’t feel connected enough, avoid the temptation to use both the anchors and a seat belt. This is because using two methods can actually hamper the seat’s functionality and sustain more force than it should. Use the seat belt if that makes you feel safer, but if your seat belt buckle is loose, then go for the lower anchors.
Which Method Works Better With Child Seats?
Remember that there is a difference between boosters and regular kids’ car seats. For a booster seat, you will definitely need to use seat belts to secure your child in place. If your child is over the weight, size, or age that would comfortably fit into a car seat, then you’ll need to have a functional seat belt that works with a booster. Some models do also connect to the anchors for support, but make sure to read the manual before installation.
Many child seats use a 5-point harness for more flexibility. These systems were built to work with lower anchors. For this, it would depend on the space you have in your car and what position you’ll be putting the child in. Make sure to choose the safer option in your vehicle.
Some models can actually accommodate using both, but this is selective, so it’s best to read the manual before going through with it. For the most part, you should still pick one, depending on your seat and positioning.
In the end, it is really dependent on the layout of your car and what your needs are. Make sure you pick the right method for your situation, so you don’t end up overcomplicating things. Remember that these tools are built for better car safety, but it’s not one size fits all. Read up on instructions and test things before you purchase a new seat and right after you get a car seat belt replacement.
For parents that want to ensure their seat belts can safely accommodate their children, check out Seat Belt Restore. We offer different custom seat belt replacements, airbag module resetting, and a seat belt repair service.