Ford Explorer: Installing Child Restraints / Using Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren (LATCH)

Ford Explorer 2020-2021 Owners Manual / Child Safety / Installing Child Restraints / Using Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren (LATCH)

WARNING: Do not attach two child safety restraints to the same anchor. In a crash, one anchor may not be strong enough to hold two child safety restraint attachments and may break, causing serious injury or death.

WARNING: Depending on where you secure a child restraint, and depending on the child restraint design, you may block access to certain seatbelt buckle assemblies and LATCH lower anchors, rendering those features potentially unusable. To avoid risk of injury, make sure occupants only use seating positions where they are able to be properly restrained.

The LATCH system has three vehicle anchor points: two lower anchors where the seat backrest and seat cushion meet (called the seat bight) and one top tether anchor behind that seating position.

LATCH compatible child restraints have two rigid or webbing mounted attachments that connect to the two lower anchors at the LATCH equipped seating positions in your vehicle. This type of attachment method eliminates the need to use seatbelts to attach the child restraint. However, you can still use the seatbelt to attach the child restraint. For forward-facing child restraints, you must also attach the top tether strap to the proper top tether anchor if one came with your child restraint.

Your vehicle has LATCH lower anchors for child restraint installation at the seating positions marked with the child restraint symbol.

Second Row Bucket Seats and Third Row Seats

Second Row Bench Seats and Third Row Seats

The LATCH anchors are at the rear section of the rear seat between the cushion and seat backrest below the symbols as shown. Follow the child restraint manufacturer's instructions to properly install a child restraint with LATCH attachments.

Follow the instructions on attaching child restraints with tether straps. See Using Tether Straps later in this chapter.

Attach LATCH lower attachments of the child restraint only to the anchors shown.

Use of Inboard Lower Anchors from the Outboard Seating Positions (Center Seating Use)

WARNING: The standardized spacing for LATCH lower anchors is 11 in (280 mm) center to center. Do not use LATCH lower anchors for the center seating position unless the child restraint manufacturer's instructions permit and specify using anchors spaced at least as far apart as those in this vehicle.

The lower anchors at the center of the second row bench seat are spaced 20.5 in (52 cm) apart. The standardized spacing for LATCH lower anchors is 11 in (28 cm) center to center. You cannot install a child restraint with rigid LATCH attachments at the center seating position. You can only use LATCH compatible child restraints with attachments on belt webbing at this seating position provided that the child restraint manufacturer’s instructions permit use with the anchor spacing stated. Do not attach a child restraint to any lower anchor if you have an adjacent child restraint attached to that anchor.

Each time you use the child restraint, check that you properly attached the seat to the lower anchors and tether anchor, if applicable. Tug the child restraint from side to side and forward and back where you secured it to your vehicle. The child restraint should move less than 1 in (2.5 cm) if you properly install the seat.

If you do not properly anchor the child restraint, the risk of injury to a child greatly increases in a crash.

Combining Seatbelt and LATCH Lower Anchors for Attaching Child Restraints

When used in combination, you can attach either the seatbelt or the LATCH lower anchors first, provided you achieve a proper installation. Attach the tether strap afterward, if included with the child restraint.

    Using Lap and Shoulder Belts

    WARNING: Do not place a rearward facing child restraint in front of an active airbag. Failure to follow this instruction could result in personal injury or death...

    Using Tether Straps

    Many forward-facing child restraints include a tether strap which extends from the back of the child restraint and hooks to an anchoring point called the top tether anchor...

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