Traditionally, the infant and child seats have been attached to the seat using only the three-point seat belt. And even in that way of anchoring the seat, we find a certain diversity when we walk the path that makes the belt, and thus we discover the child restraint systems with a simple belt pin while the others grab the belt preventing it from sliding and that both the chair move in case of the collision. That is the first of the points that we want to take into account when we are looking for the ideal child car seat.
However, an anchoring of the child restraint systems only with the adult safety belt can give us a problem since, depending on the speed at which it is being driven, in the event of a collision, it can happen that the baby seat is moved to be retained by the belt. And in this back and forth state of the baby seat, the child will be subjected to the efforts that can cause injuries, for example, in the area of the neck.
To minimize this mobility of the baby seat, it has been created the system LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children), which anchors the child restraint system to the car seat with a pair of hooks. In this way, the baby seat is fully attached to the vehicle and the swings in a collision are minimized. That is why every day more vehicles are fitted with LATCH anchorages in their seats, so that the children’s chairs can be used to have this type of fixing.
However, the LATCH had a limitation, as in certain collisions the chair was turned forward. That is why the top tether appeared as a complement to the LATCH. It is nothing more than a strap that secures the child seat by its top keeping it anchored to a specific vehicle carrier. And, on the other hand, the support leg is a support that is anchored to the baby seat and is stopped against the floor of the vehicle, avoiding the overturning of the chair. To find out more, check the child seat manual before installing it in the car, because each manufacturer has its own fixing system within the LATCH standard.
In addition, there are child restraint systems that are articulated to allow the greater accessibility when placing the child in the seat, which allows the top of the chair to rotate to the position of the child and fix the harnesses facing the outside of the car. When this is done, simply turn the chair back to the direction of travel.