Thursday, 2 August 2012

To Tether or not Tether? That's the question!

Tether straps, who needs 'em?  Not every standard and not every car seat is the answer!

Many people in Australasia are under the impression that a tether strap is an essential safety feature on a car seat. This is a misconception. In Australia, by law, every car seat must have a tether strap, which means only car seats built to the Australian standard may be used; whereas in New Zealand we accept car seats built to the Australian, European and American standard!

This is where it gets confusing. Australian car seats must have an upper tether strap for forward and rear facing; whilst American car seats only require a single forward-facing tether strap; and to really confuse everyone, European car seats require no tether strap!

No standard is necessarily safer than another. If your car seat requires a tether strap it must be tethered and that is the law! If you car seat requires no tether strap, don't fret - it's designed and safety-tested not to need one!

                                                 Forward facing and Rear Facing example.

A tether strap is an adjustable webbing strap found secured to the top back of your child's car seat shell with a metal hook attached. Some cars will require an extent ion strap so the tether can reach the bolt (these come in 300mm and 600mm lengths). The purpose of the top tether strap is to reduce head excursion, that is, "the distance the child's head moves during an impact".

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