Guide To Car Seat Tether Rear Facing: Learn Basics About It!

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When it comes to the safety of your children, you want to be sure about doing everything and knowing everything that will protect them, especially when you are driving in a car with them.

There are multiple ways to protect your child by correctly installing the car seats and for extra protection using the LATCH system so your child does not get affected during a crash.

If you are wondering what are car seat tether rear facing used for?

Well, tether straps are used to keep your child restraint secured in place for extra protection. In the rear facing, tethers can be installed in Australian and Swedish style in the vehicle.

You can secure it in place with a top tether anchor and bottom anchors that you can find on the floor of your vehicle but always make sure to install the strap with a non-moving object in the vehicle.

In this article, the purpose is to provide you with the basic information that you should know for your child’s safety.

These are just the basics that you should be familiar with when installing a rear-facing car seat tether to protect your child from any kind of danger.

Everything You Need To Know About Rear Facing Car Seat Tether

Should I tether a rear-facing car seat?

There are many ways to secure and protect your child in the car seat, as it will prevent any serious injuries from happening during a crash.

Many parents worldwide use car seats for their children as it is the safest way for them to ride in the back of the vehicle seat.

One way is by using the tether strap with your child’s car seat for extra protection.

What Is Tether?

The main purpose of tethers is to provide your child with extra protection when riding in the vehicle on a car seat.

Tether is a strap attached to the top back of most convertible car seats or on combination car seats.

The strap can be used to attach to the tether anchor that you can easily find in most vehicles now. Since 2002, tether anchors have been installed in almost all car seats until now.

Tethers Are Highly Used In Cars In Europe

You need to note that tethers are highly used in almost all cars in Europe.

However, it is less likely to be used in the US, often less than 50 percent, and in vehicles, it is not installed by 17.2 percent.

This is because, in the US, all the cars have passed the safety test with the use of tethers in it, so it is not required for protection at all.

Nonetheless, if you are someone who is safety conscious and prefers using a tether, then as per your decision as a parent, it is best to install tether anchors and a convertible car seat installed with tether straps.

2 Types Of Tether Rear Facing Car Seat

In addition to that, there are two kinds to use tether rear facing car seat; one is the Swedish style which will use the tether strap and attached it to the floor of your vehicle with a bottom anchor.

Whereas the other type is called the Australian style in which you will type the top tether and attached it with the top tether anchor of your vehicle.

They both work great in providing additional protection to the seat and your child.

Why Is Tether Important?

Parents need to note that in many countries like the US and Canada, tether straps are not permitted in a rear-facing car seat.

However, if you are using a forward-facing car seat, then it is good as it is supported by many countries and will provide special protection to the car seat and your child.

Keep Your Child’s Car Seat Back

When it comes to the importance of tethers, it is best used to keep your child’s car seat back additionally by 4 to 6 inches.

This indicates that there will be fewer chances of head, leg, and arms injuries on your child’s body as it will keep the seat securely in place, so it is less likely for your child to be ejected during a crash or a rollover and hit anything inside the car.

Locating The Tethers In Your Car

The parents should install the car seat where the tethers are placed in the vehicle.

It is not that hard to find tethers as they are designed differently and placed in different places in the vehicle, such as located on the vehicle’s ceiling, back hatch, back of the back seat, and many more other places.

They can be found in unique shapes depending on the model of your car.

They might appear like an O shape or be found in the holes of metal though, it is not difficult to find them, and if you do face any difficulty, then it is best to read your vehicle manual to know the best about your car as there might also be information about how you should install or what car seat is suitable for your vehicle.

Why Choose Tethering Rear Facing Car Seat?

It is important for you to know that tethering a rear facing car seat is optional, and you can just think of it as an added feature to the protection of your child.

When your child is seated rear facing with the tethers, it is likely that during a crash, there will be a rebound.

Frontal Collision And Rebounding

This quite often happens when there is a frontal collision that will cause a rebound, a movement that your rear facing car seat might make.

It does not necessarily mean that this movement will cause injuries or is life-threatening to your child.

It is stated that the rebound should not be considered bad or harmful as it is studied to be a low-energy event.

Moreover, there might be some minor injuries that your child will face, but that will not be due to the rebound.

It is important to note that the car seat will absorb any impact of the forces of the crash instead of passing it through the body of your child.

Moreover, your child could get minor injuries if only there is anything heavy or big placed on the back seat or front of his face.

The Car Seat Is More Secured In Tethering

Another great thing about tethering is that your car seat will be secured in place not just on the seat but also with the tether anchors, so this indicates that during a rollover or a side impact accident, your child’s car will not move or your child falls out of the seat.

For safety purposes, make sure to always check and install the car seat accurately.

Tether Vs. No Tether

Although there is not that big of a difference when it comes to tethering your child’s car seat, it is still helpful in some cases.

It is stated that there hasn’t been any incident that proofs if tethers are dangerous or not and any failed experiences.

This is a great thing for parents as they can think about installing as well because it will provide some extra protection just in case.

There have been experiments/tests done with dummy bodies that were sitting on a forward facing car seat in a vehicle that has been in a frontal accident, and this showed if a child is sitting on a forward facing car seat with the tether straps on, had helped limit the head excursion as it can keep the seat stay back at least 4 to 6 inches; which eventually means that your child can be protected from the severe head or neck injuries.

Moreover, when they tested the dummy without the tether strap on, which indicates that if a child is wearing in a car seat, he/she is likely to rapidly move forward and hit the seat in front of them, which can give your child brain injury as well as severe legs and arms injuries.

This research is great for parents to understand the difference and the importance of installing a top tether in order to prevent serious injuries.

Do keep in mind that even though the research was done on the forward-facing, it does not mean that it is less important for rear-facing.

You should consider using a top tether for stability and protection on your rear-facing car seat as well.

How To Install A Tether On The Rear Facing Car Seat

It is important that you learn how to install a tether on the rear-facing car seat, as it is stated that many manufacturers in the US have stopped making tethers due to parents facing problems installing it with their vehicle.

If you are unsure, then you must know that tethers are placed at the back of the car seat.

This is something you will have to look at before you purchase the seat, as some are designed without it.

  1. Make sure to unclip the tether from the back of your car seat before placing it inside the vehicle.
  2. Place the tether strap over the car seat.
  3. In order to have a better understand, it is important that you read the manufacturers and your vehicle manual before installing.
  4. Install your car seat rear-facing by placing and adjusting the seat on the vehicle seat carefully.
  5. Thread the vehicle seat belt through the accurate belt path in the car seat.
  6. Buckle and lock the seat belt.
  7. You can find use the connector strap and wrap it around to a non-moving part of the vehicle. Usually, they will be placed on the floor of the vehicle, which will look like an O-shaped loop or holes.
  8. You will now have to pass the D-ring through the loop of webbing.
  9. Finally, connect the tether with it and start to adjust the strap until there is no more slack hanging loose.

Pros And Cons Of Tether On The Rear Facing Car Seat

As I have mentioned that there are two types of ways you can use a tether rear-facing car seat.

Here I will be discussing the pros and cons related to both of these types.


  • The Swedish style will be able to reduce rebound, which basically means the way your car moves during a frontal collision.
  • You can easily put and take your child out from the car seat in the Swedish style.
  • Your child will be protected from a head excursion in Swedish style.
  • The Australian style might prevent your car seat from moving downward forward rotation during a frontal crash.
  • During side impacts, you will have rotational stability on an Australian style.


  • The Swedish style does not prevent downward forward rotation in a crash.
  • It will be annoying putting and taking your child out in the Australian style due to the tether strap.
  • Australian style does not prevent your child from getting head excursion.


At last, we have now come to the conclusion of this article, and as you know, there is nothing more important than the safety of your child, and if you think that you should take these extra measures to install car seat tether rear facing for extra protection, then you should definitely go for it.

Nonetheless, it is always important to look at your vehicle and car seat manual beforehand in order to have a better understanding.

I hope this article was helpful and informational as much as possible. I hope you make the right choice for your child.