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Top Tether: an essential part of the ISOFIX system for car seat safety

Top Tether: an essential part of the ISOFIX system for car seat safety
Tristan Honeywill

A Top Tether is the third anchorage point in an ISOFIX (or LATCH) connection system for a child’s car seat. This belt is secured to an anchorage point in the vehicle, usually found behind the rear seat and it is designed to limit the rotational movement of the car seat in the event of a crash.

Generally, it’s only forward-facing Group I seats with a backrest for children between 9kg and 18kg that can be used with a Top Tether. The system works well if everything is secured properly but its main weakness is how difficult it is to do properly.

More than half of parents end up getting it wrong somehow. That’s not good for the safety of their children. Accidents involving vehicles are the number cause of death for the under 10s in the UK and the US.

So what can parents do? It’s worth considering a rear-facing car seat for children of this age group. Although they can be just as complicated to fit, the result is better. Read our Swedes save more lives with policy of keeping kids in rear-facing car seats for longer. Alternatively, look for a seat that uses a support leg instead to stop the seat rotating are in general much easier to install correctly.

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