Ford Explorer: Installing Child Restraints / Using Tether Straps

Ford Explorer 2020-2021 Owners Manual / Child Safety / Installing Child Restraints / 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. Tether straps are available as an accessory for many older child restraints.

Contact the manufacturer of your child restraint for information about ordering a tether strap, or to obtain a longer tether strap if the tether strap on your child restraint does not reach the appropriate top tether anchor in your vehicle.

Once you install the child restraint using either the seatbelt, the lower anchors of the LATCH system, or both, you can attach the top tether strap.

The tether strap anchors in your vehicle are in the following positions (shown from top view):

Second Row Bucket Seats and Third Row Seats

Second Row Bench Seats and Third Row Seats

Perform the following steps to install a child restraint with tether anchors:

Note: If you install a child restraint with rigid LATCH attachments, do not tighten the tether strap enough to lift the child restraint off your vehicle seat cushion when the child is seated in it. Keep the tether strap just snug without lifting the front of the child restraint. Keeping the child restraint just touching your vehicle seat gives the best protection in a severe crash.

For second row outermost seating positions, route the child restraint tether strap over the seat backrest, under the head restraint and between the head restraint posts. If needed, remove the head restraint to improve the fit of the child restraint or tether strap.

For the second row center seating position, route the child restraint tether strap over the top of the head restraint. If needed, remove the head restraint to improve the fit of the child restraint or tether strap. See Head Restraints.

For third row seating positions, route the child restraint tether strap over the seat backrest, under the head restraint and between the head restraint posts. If needed, fold the head restraint down to improve the fit of the child restraint or tether strap. See Head Restraints.

  1. Route the tether strap.
  2. Locate the correct anchor for the selected seating position.
  3. Clip the tether strap to the anchor as shown. The tether hook may be twisted ½ turn to improve installation. If you clip the tether strap incorrectly, the child restraint may not be retained properly in the event of a crash.

  4. Tighten the child restraint tether strap according to the manufacturer's instructions.

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

If your child restraint system has a tether strap, and the child restraint manufacturer recommends its use, we also recommend its use.

Second Row Bucket Seats

Second Row Bench Seats

Third Row Seats

Note: The cargo tie downs at the rear edge of the floor are not tether anchors.

 

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