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LATCH vs seat belt?
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sarahann1978 posted:
I have always used the LATCH system to install our car seats, and I assumed that most people who have LATCH would use that over the seat belt to attach their car seat.

But, I was watching a friends DS this morning who is about 5 months younger than my DS. Since I needed to work this afternoon she arranged that another friend of hers watch her DS and that I could drop him off at that house on my way to dropping DS at DCP. This morning she comes to my house and we go to move the carseat over. She has hers installed using the seat belts. I asked her if I could use the LATCH and she was like I have no idea what that is. Then when I got to the other house to drop him off he had fallen asleep in my car so the man at that house decided to just remove the car seat with the sleeping boy so as not to wake him up. When he went to unhook the car seat he was said "well it's just attached with the seat belt, right?" and seemed to have no clue about how to undo the LATCH attachment.

So now I am wondering if I the only one who uses LATCH?
Sarah (31), DH(29), DS (Jan. 09) sarahaburger.blogspot.com

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How do you attach your car seat?
  • LATCH
  • My vehicle is equipped with LATCH, but I use the seat belt
  • My vehicle does not have LATCH so I use the seat belt
  • I use both LATCH or a seat belt depending on the vehicle
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roni090909 responded:
I only use latch. If the car doesn't have latch DS doesn't ride in it. I can never get the seat belt tight enough for the seat to feel safe.
Me (30) DH (37) DS 10/20/08 New Baby Girl EDD 11/11
 
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magsnemma responded:
Your story surprises me. I guess I thought most cars had it, it's the safest, why wouldn't you use it? I had a friend whose mom told her it was safer to use the seat belt, and then was REALLY overruled by both the fire department and her pedi.

I will say though, that I'm the opposite. I'd have to whip out the directions to hook up a carseat using the seatbelt.
Me (32), DH (32), DD (born Nov 2008)
 
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sarahann1978 replied to magsnemma's response:
I know right? I assumed the same thing! I am pretty sure the minivan that my friend took the seat out of would be new enough for LATCH and I don't know about the other family other than the man was on his lunch break and was wearing a suit, so I would assume they have a decent job and newer cars, but I really can't say for sure.

The seat belt attachment seems complicated because seat belts can have several different configurations with different locking mechanisms, so any time you install in a different vehicle you would for sure have to look up how you need to secure it with that particular car. With LATCH it's pretty simple and standardized, so while you should look it up in the manual, you could just wing the installation and be ok.
Sarah (31), DH(29), DS (Jan. 09) sarahaburger.blogspot.com
 
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breezy_83255 responded:
DH (who usually hooks up the car seats) uses the latch. I've also caught him using the latch and the seatbelt! If I have to put the seat in, however, I usually use the seat belt. For some reason I cannot get the latch hooks hooked to the bolts in the car. I don't know if it's me or the car, but I just can't seem to get them on, and if I do, they're not tight enough. I can, however, get the seat belt on and tighter than anything! DH "fixes" it when he gets home.

On a side note, MIL and FIL do not have the latch system. Their seat belts also do not child lock. My children don't ride in their car, but they haul BIL's kids everywhere. BIL is an officer and I just don't comprehend how their child seats are secure, but then BIL and carseats is another vent I won't get into!
 
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bgabert responded:
I use the LATCH for DD, but when she is at the babysitters, and if she has to leave for a minute, she puts her in a car seat using the seat belt because her car doesn't have it.

She is only driving in our small town (of 3000 people) and the speed limit isn't any faster than 50km at any given place, so I'm ok with it. Bless her heart, she even deals with putting DD rear facing at my insistence.

As other PP's said.. I'd be totally lost hooking up the seatbelt method, lol. The latch is just so easy and safe!!
Bri (24), DH Jarrod (28), DD Emery (6/15/2009), Baby 2 EDD 2/13/2011
 
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elegi23 responded:
Most all cars DD rides in has LATCH. But our spare car does not. So we don't have a choice. It was made before LATCH was mandatory. Luckily it has the lock, where when you pull it all the way out it retracts back in and locks into place so the carseat doesn't move. I don't think I would want DD car seat in a car that at least doesn't have that feature.
Me (22), DH(30) DD Eleora Marylin 07/23/09 TTC2 (since 05/10)
 
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sarahann1978 replied to bgabert's response:
Bri- I'm not trying to be nosy, so don't answer if you feel that I am, but I remember you saying your DD was in a spica cast for a while and now a brace, and I am curious did you have a special car seat to accommodate that?

I was in a spica cast when I was 11 and broke my femur, so I know that it can be very challenge to adjust even the most basic daily things to accommodate it.
Sarah (31), DH(29), DS (Jan. 09) sarahaburger.blogspot.com
 
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bgabert replied to sarahann1978's response:
Hi Sarah, totally NOT nosy at all. If only you knew the looks I got and still get when I am with DD (people seem to think I broke her legs out of anger, or threw her down stairs..)

When we first headed to BC Children's hospital Emery was in her infant seat still (she was almost 8 months old and still fit). We went down unknowing what would happen. Low and behold, she needed the closed surgery and cast. We weren't allowed to leave the hospital the next day without a proper car seat. DH drove all around the city buying car seats that might work. Of course, they didn't. So, we had to rent a car seat from a company that specializes in equipment for disabled persons. That cost us $120 for ONE month. It was atrocious.
Well, I did a ton of research, took DD all around trying her in different car seats until I found one she fit in properly (we still had to make a wedge out of a certain type of foam, but that's another story)
So, I ended up with a Sunshine Kids Radian XT carseat that goes up to 65lbs FF. DD is still RF, as I'm kind of a stickler about that, but she's happy. Now that she is OUT of the damn cast and into the brace, she doesn't need the wedge, but she still wouldn't fit in an ordinary car seat. If you google the Radian car seat you'll see how low the sides are. Needless to say, it was the best $360 car seat I have ever purchased.

If we would have stuck with the Britax Hippo (specialized seat) we would have ended up paying $480 already just for renting. Plus, Emery was clearly NOT comfortable in the thing. It was ginormous and was just a very basic seat. (nothing for her to rest her head on if she fell asleep, no strap covers, so those would scratch her bare skin, etc etc.

Sorry, this got a bit lengthy, LOL! :sillygrin:
Bri (24), DH Jarrod (28), DD Emery (6/15/2009), Baby 2 EDD 2/13/2011
 
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elegi23 replied to bgabert's response:
I have a friend who's DD is about 6 months older than my DD, and her DD actually fell down the stairs at the sitters and broke both of her legs when she was 8 months old. She said that CPS actually was notified by the hospital and she had to prove that her DD got hurt at the sitter because I guess the sitter called her and had her leave work and pick up DD and take her to the hospital herself (what a great sitter.)

Anyway, we live in a really small town where everyone at least knows of everyone and there were some horrible things being said about her. It wasn't even her fault at all. I know she couldn't afford a special car seat, so I think she went on FMLA for a few weeks and just stayed at home and made her DH run errands for her.
Me (22), DH(30) DD Eleora Marylin 07/23/09 TTC2 (since 05/10)
 
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earleyml1012 replied to elegi23's response:
I voted LATCH but the car I had when DD was first born didn't have the LATCH system. DH hated installing the carseat with the seatbelt and I just never felt that her seat in my car was as secure as her seat in DH's car.
 
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cheeezie25 responded:
I voted Latch, because that is all we use in our cars, but my mom doesn't have Latch in her car (it is a little older). It was so hard to install. I couldn't get it the first time, so she went to a place that have techs install carseats. Well, I checked it, and it still wasn't tight enough, and I think they screwed it up, so on my second attempt, I was able to get it tight enough. Latch is thousand times easier.
 
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DDK2005 responded:
I use the latch system all the time & I think most cars after 2000 have latch capability. it might be that your friend didn't really use the manual & had someone who she thouht knew how to install carseats do it for her. My SIL's son is only 10 & she had no idea how to use it because it wasn't around when her kids were little. Maybe now that your friend sees how much easier it is & safer she'll start using it.
Me: Dee (36), DH: Ken (36), DD: Ava 3/26/09 5lbs 15oz, 19.5 in - at 13mo chk up weighed 18.2lbs
 
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bgabert replied to elegi23's response:
You wouldn't believe the looks I would get while walking in the mall. People would stare at me, and I could see their disgust in their eyes. Some would actually come up and say "What is wrong with her?" As if it's some disease she has. it's unreal how rude some people are.

I wish I could have just stayed home (and bless my coworkers, they covered for like 8 business days just so I could help Emery adjust with her cast) rather than drive anywhere. Unfortunately, we had NO choice but to get that car seat and rent it for the whole month as we had a 7 hour drive home from Children's Hospital.
Bri (24), DH Jarrod (28), DD Emery (6/15/2009), Baby 2 EDD 2/13/2011
 
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sarahann1978 replied to bgabert's response:
I would definitely believe it since as I mentioned before I was in a spica cast when I was 11 from a car accident. I had to have a special wheel chair that fully reclined since my cast went from above my sternum to my left knee and my right toes. I got a bunch of looks too, I think it's just human curiosity when someone is different looking, so maybe some of the stares weren't thinking you were a bad Mom.

In fact I remember one specific instance we were in a Kmart and a young kid, maybe 8-9, asked his Mom "what is wrong with that girl." I would have been happy to tell him that I was in an accident and broke my leg, but the Mom real quick whisked him away and said "don't even look at her" as if I was a monster. I felt like a "circus freak" from the way the Mom reacted. I think a lot of times people don't know how to approach those who look different. I of course learned how it felt to be shunned so I try really hard to treat everyone that I see in public in the same manner and not stare, make a face, over acknowledge, or shun, but honestly it's not always easy.

And by the way I love the new picture of Emery, what a sweetheart!
Sarah (31), DH(29), DS (Jan. 09) sarahaburger.blogspot.com


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