We know it can be quite challenging and frustrating for many parents to properly install a child restraint, and one of the most common installation mistakes is improperly attaching and tightening the Top Tether Strap.
In some instances, the Top Tether Strap hasn’t been used at all, simply because parents aren’t aware of it, don’t understand how to use it, or don’t understand where it’s supposed to be attached.
While in some countries around the world Top Tether Straps aren’t a legal requirement, they have been a mandatory part of the Australian Standard on all child restraints (unless they weigh less than 2kgs like our Folding Booster) since the 1970s.
What is the Top Tether Strap?
The Top Tether Strap, also sometimes called an ‘anchor strap’, is the webbing strap attached to the top back of a child restraint. The strap has a metal hook on the end, which should be used to secure the upper part of your child restraint to the approved vehicle anchor point.
Top Tether Strap attached to Extension Strap
Why is it so important?
Using the Top Tether Strap correctly when installing your child restraint is one of the easiest things you can do as a parent to help protect your child.
The Top Tether Strap significantly reduces the forward movement of a child (and their restraint) in the event of an accident, and as a result reduces a child’s risk for injury, especially to the head. Correct use of the Top Tether Strap can also help mitigate the effects of other installation mistakes, such as a loose harness or a loose seat installation.
Tips to check your Top Tether is attached & tightened correctly:
- Ensure the Top Tether Strap is taut, but not over-tight (over-tightening could cause the restraint to lift off the vehicle seat)
- Make sure there are minimal twists in the Top Tether Strap (up to one full twist is allowed)
- Securely attach the Top Tether Strap hook to the approved vehicle anchorage point (refer to your child restraint manual for correct anchor point installation and vehicle manual for approved anchorage point)
- Ensure Top Tether Strap adjuster is located in the ‘Safe Area‘ (located on the side wings of our child restraints)
- Roll up & place any excess Top Tether Strap in the provided storage pocket (or roll together and fasten with velcro provided )
You must always have your Top Tether Strap attached to your vehicles approved anchorage point. It could be located on the parcel shelf, behind the seats, on the ceiling of the vehicle or in the boot. If you’re not sure where your anchorage points are, you should check your vehicle owner’s manual, or contact the manufacturer. Our Facebook Group can also be very helpful!