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RF Tether

509 Views 4 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  ThankfulMama
I just had my Britax checked by the tech and asked about the RF tether. I watched the videos online about connecting the tether around the front seat bar (on the ground--sorry for improper terminology). The tech told me that in order to use the tether I would need a proper connector on the vehicle. Can someone please explain this to me?

Also, I'm assuming that I should install the tether; is this correct?
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I am a Canadian Technician who has never updated her sig

The RFing tether isn't mandatory to use with your seat and there is some controversy over whether it is better to tether or not.

Rear tethering ensures that the seat does not over rotate in a side or rear impact crash (IE swing side to side) or bounce up and down. A rear facing seat does do some bouncing in a front end collision (the most common and dangerous kind) - sometimes coming up to meet the seat (called cocooning). When the seat bounces like this, the rebound force is mostly taken by the seat, not the child. When tethered, the seat stays put, but on the rebound it is your child that could be taking this rebound force.

taken from

Tests conducted by a competitor a few years ago showed that dummy neck loads increased significantly when the restraint was tethered to the floor in both frontal and rear impacts. This would be more of a concern with the youngest infants than with children over 9 months to a year, but the competitor decided not to offer rear-facing tethers.

The restraint models on which the rear-facing tether is offered, however, can accommodate a child up to 33 lb rear facing, and for this usage the limit on rebound or rear-impact motion may be beneficial. Although crash experience indicates that rebound of infant-only restraints in frontal impacts does not cause serious injury, similar movement of a rear-facing restraint can also occur during a severe rear impact or offset rear impact, which can result in serious injury or death if the infant's head hits the rear door pillar of a sedan, the rear window of a pickup, or some other hard surface. As larger and heavier infants are carried rear-facing, the chance of an infant's head hitting a hard part of the vehicle is greater. Tethering a rear-facing convertible CR to the floor can reduce the risk of head and facial injuries in rear and side crashes by reducing head excursion.

Based on this information, I personally would tether an older rear facing child but not an infant.

It is your choice. How old is you child?

The thing that you need to attach your tether is called a d-ring and is pictured here:

and modeled here:

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Your seat came with a d-ring strap. It's a strap with a metal part on it. You loop that around a non-moving part of the vehicle frame (like around a leg of the seat in front of it) and then attach the tether to the metal part and tighten.

You don't need anything special, just what the seat came with. Some cars don't have any good tether points, but most will have something sufficient. And you don't have to use the tether, it is optional. So if you can't find a good place to tether it, that's ok.
I suspect your tech was just unfamiliar with the rear facing tethers. Only two companies use them, and I've known techs that have gone years without seeing one, depending on where you are in the country and the kind of seats they tend to see.

You can also tether up to your vehicle's existing tether point, rather than down. This is called the Australian method of tethering and does not require a D-ring, assuming you are using an existing tether point in a vehicle that already has tethers. This changes the crash forces, and is now not preventing rebound but preventing downward rotation. A study at UMTRI (a crash test facility) showed that there was no difference in chest load between non-tethered and tethered-Swedish (that's down using the D-ring) but that tethering Australian reduces the chest load. However, it also creates two big straps you have to work around to get your child in the seat! Here is a link to Britax and illustrations and directions for both methods should be in your manual.

Good luck!
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Wow, I guess I need to go do some reading. . .
If anyone has any further input it is welcomed. Thanks for the replies!
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