FF Marathon with seat belt installation, kids over 40 pounds, still use tether? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 08-17-2011, 08:16 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My Marathons are in the 2nd row in my 2006 Odyssey. My girls hit the 40 pound mark earlier this year and I switched to the seat belt installation, but left the tether attached. For some reason it occurred to me today that this might not be correct, but I am having trouble finding a straight answer. I bet someone here has one, though, right?!


Betsy, mama to beautiful, strong MZ twins Lillian and Kate, born 11 weeks early on January 10, 2006.
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#2 of 9 Old 08-17-2011, 09:53 AM
 
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You are correct in leaving the top tether attached. The rule is that you always use the top tether when FF, and you use either the lower anchors OR the seat belt.

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#3 of 9 Old 08-17-2011, 09:58 AM
 
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The easiest and probably safest answer is: yes, leave the tether attached.   The official answer is to discontinue tether use.   However, there is no reason to believe the official answer is the correct one.

 

Car manufacturers have long put the same top tether limit as the lower anchor limit into their policies, despite a complete absence of any evidence to prove it is dangerous to use the tether after a certain weight.   In fact...quite the contrary.  Unlike the lower anchors, which bear the weight of the seat and child and are placed under extreme stress in an impact, the top tether's job is merely to reduce head excursion.  Even if the anchor somehow failed (again, no evidence of this ever occurring), the important job of the tether would have all ready been done by the time it failed (reducing the number of inches the head and neck travel forward.)  

 

In other words, even if the car manufacturers are correct that the tether would fail (and there is zero evidence to think that it would), the seat will STILL perform better in an impact than it would without the tether attached.


This is a point of some irritation in the CPS world and technicians have long been campaigning for auto manufacturers and the government to get their collective acts together and address this point. 

 

In the meantime, while I must officially advise you to read your vehicle and restraint manual, I can tell you that while I religiously discontinue lower anchor use for my own children at the stated limits of the vehicle and the seat, I continue to use the top tether for as long as they are in the five point harness, regardless of weight.  


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#4 of 9 Old 08-19-2011, 07:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maedze View Post

The easiest and probably safest answer is: yes, leave the tether attached.   The official answer is to discontinue tether use.   However, there is no reason to believe the official answer is the correct one.

 

Car manufacturers have long put the same top tether limit as the lower anchor limit into their policies, despite a complete absence of any evidence to prove it is dangerous to use the tether after a certain weight.   In fact...quite the contrary.  Unlike the lower anchors, which bear the weight of the seat and child and are placed under extreme stress in an impact, the top tether's job is merely to reduce head excursion.  Even if the anchor somehow failed (again, no evidence of this ever occurring), the important job of the tether would have all ready been done by the time it failed (reducing the number of inches the head and neck travel forward.)  

 

In other words, even if the car manufacturers are correct that the tether would fail (and there is zero evidence to think that it would), the seat will STILL perform better in an impact than it would without the tether attached.


This is a point of some irritation in the CPS world and technicians have long been campaigning for auto manufacturers and the government to get their collective acts together and address this point. 

 

In the meantime, while I must officially advise you to read your vehicle and restraint manual, I can tell you that while I religiously discontinue lower anchor use for my own children at the stated limits of the vehicle and the seat, I continue to use the top tether for as long as they are in the five point harness, regardless of weight.  

 


Thank you for your thoughtful reply!  It makes perfect sense and I will keep the tether attached. 

 


Betsy, mama to beautiful, strong MZ twins Lillian and Kate, born 11 weeks early on January 10, 2006.
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#5 of 9 Old 08-19-2011, 07:34 PM
 
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Here's a spin-off question...despite reading my vehicle owner's manual, I have never noticed any stated weight limit for the car seat anchors, and have never noticed this in my car seat manual (I also have a Marathon).  So how would I know that?  Is 40 lbs a standard weight to switch to seatbelt vs. LATCH?  I must admit this is entirely new information to me. 


Laura mummy to my two sweet little girls (April 08) and (Nov 10)
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#6 of 9 Old 08-20-2011, 07:04 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stitches View Post

Here's a spin-off question...despite reading my vehicle owner's manual, I have never noticed any stated weight limit for the car seat anchors, and have never noticed this in my car seat manual (I also have a Marathon).  So how would I know that?  Is 40 lbs a standard weight to switch to seatbelt vs. LATCH?  I must admit this is entirely new information to me. 


Another point of irritation! If the vehicle manufacturers believe these limits are important, the info should be emblazoned in red bold letters, everywhere, wouldn't you think?

The weight limits vary widely, from 39, to 40, to 48, to 60, to 'defer to restraint limits'' to completely unstated.]

If you tell me what vehicle you have I can let you know your specific limits :-)

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#7 of 9 Old 08-20-2011, 10:07 AM
 
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Thanks, that would be great!  I've got a 2002 Toyota Corolla and a 2011 Dodge Caravan. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maedze View Post



Another point of irritation! If the vehicle manufacturers believe these limits are important, the info should be emblazoned in red bold letters, everywhere, wouldn't you think?

The weight limits vary widely, from 39, to 40, to 48, to 60, to 'defer to restraint limits'' to completely unstated.]

If you tell me what vehicle you have I can let you know your specific limits :-)


 


Laura mummy to my two sweet little girls (April 08) and (Nov 10)
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#8 of 9 Old 08-20-2011, 12:32 PM
 
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Dodge has a 48 lb limit.   Old style Britax Marathons had a 48 lb limit on the LATCH, so you're good there.  If you have a new style Britax, the late models now indicate that you should switch to seatbelt install at 40 lbs, unless the vehicle manufacturer states otherwise, so you can use both old and new Britax seats to 48 lbs in your minivan.

 

Toyota defers to the restraint manufacturer.  This means if you have an old style Britax, you can use lower anchors to 48 lbs.  If you have a new style Britax, you must discontinue at 40 lbs and switch to seatbelt.

 

Clear as mud, eh?  ;-) 


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#9 of 9 Old 08-20-2011, 05:15 PM
 
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Thanks Maedze!  Clear as mud for sure...I feel like i need to make a flow chart to keep track of each of my car seat's vital stats, which now I'm thinking is not a bad idea!  wink1.gif


Laura mummy to my two sweet little girls (April 08) and (Nov 10)
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