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Is my 15 month old safer rear-facing with no LATCH, or forward-facing with the LATCH?

My car died a few days ago (for good this time), and it didn't have the LATCH system. My 15 month old had been rear-facing, and I was planning on leaving him that way as long as possible. I am now driving my parents' car (they bought another one) because I cannot take on a car payment until I finish Nursing School. The new car has the LATCH. Now we have to decide what is the safest way to position our son.

What do you all think? I know we have a mom who works in car seat safety, and I'd love to get her input. Thanks!


Asked by Iamgr8teful at 9:15 PM on Nov. 28, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

Level 25 (23,279 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (8)
  • I am a certified car seat technician and I would definitely encourage you to keep your son rear facing. That being said LATCH and the seat belt are equally safe choices.It is best to choose the one that is easy for you to use and that allows a tight solid install.

    Answer by justluvinmyson at 10:10 PM on Nov. 28, 2009

  • Rear-facing is always safer, as long as the seat is installed properly, which can be done without LATCH -- car seat manuals still tell you how to install with seat belts, and some moms (myself included) choose to use a seat belt instead of LATCH because they can get a better fit that way with their seat and their car.

    Besides which...I'm assuming you have a convertible seat because of your son's age. So why can you forward-face with LATCH, but not rear-face? If the seat is compatible with LATCH, it should be compatible both forward- and rear-facing; check the manual for installation instructions.

    Answer by DragonRiderMD at 9:27 PM on Nov. 28, 2009

  • LATCH is just a different way to install the seat. It's neither safer, nor less safe, than installing a carseat with a seatbelt.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:01 PM on Nov. 28, 2009

  • my dd is 32 mts and she rides rear facing with the latch. she is almostat her limit so she will be turn around by the end of december

    Answer by piwife at 10:27 PM on Nov. 28, 2009

  • Rear facing is always safer than forward facing
    It doesn't matter if a car as the LATCH system or not... it's not any safer than a belt. But either way, why wouldn't you be able to use the LATCH for rear facing??

    Answer by AmiJanell at 11:16 PM on Nov. 28, 2009

  • Just wondering why you cannot use the LATCH system both RF and FF? In any case, it's safest to install the seat with which ever device gets the best install. And at your son's age and stats I would absolutely suggest he remain facing the rear.

    Answer by Krysta622 at 11:25 AM on Nov. 29, 2009

  • Thank you all for your input. I will leave my son rear-facing, even if I can't figure out how to still use the LATCH. I'll have to find my owner's manual, because I can't quite picture how that would work.

    Answer by Iamgr8teful at 1:30 PM on Nov. 29, 2009

  • When rear facing, use only the lower anchor points in the LATCH system. The top tether is mainly used when forward facing, though one or two seats allow for use while rear facing.

    Answer by Krysta622 at 8:07 PM on Nov. 29, 2009