Every community could do more to promote the use of tethers. The following observations are offered as suggestions to help CPSTs get the brainstorming started.
Consistently include tethering when describing the transition from rear to forward facing. I appreciated the National Transportation Safety Board’s CPS Week blog post, which said “When children outgrow a rear-facing car seat, they should use a forward-facing car seat with an internal harness and tether.” This promotes the tether as part of the transition process and keeps it from being linked only to the LATCH system. On the word “tether,” the NTSB even provided a hot link to the SKBU tether report.
At Safe Ride News Publications, our team has been busy researching, editing, and compiling the 2013 LATCH Manual. We are eager for its January publication, which will include many updates and new information.
As part of this process, I’ve spent much of the last few weeks reading CR owner’s manuals (a process that has been aided immeasurably by the SBS USA Child Restraint Manufacturer’s Instructions DVD). As always, this is fascinating reading and never ceases to turn up new insights about specific models.
SafetyBeltSafe U.S.A (SBS USA) collaborates with Toyota/Lexus on a program to provide tether anchor kits and installation for families with pre-2001 Toyota and Lexus models. Dealers throughout the continental U.S. and Alaska (not Hawaii) honor certificates from SBS USA for the tether kit and installation. The certificates can be obtained through SBS USA by sending in an application that includes the VIN and information about the children to be transported, along with a voluntary donation of $5 or more per anchor. Highway safety or child safety organizations can have a supply of certificates to fill out with families in need at checkup events. The donations help defray administrative costs of SBS USA. Information about the program and applications are available on the SBS USA website in English and Spanish.