Installing child safety seats

Using Lap and Shoulder Belts

WARNING: Airbags can kill or injure a child in a child seat.
NEVER place a rear-facing child seat in front of an active airbag.

If you must use a forward-facing child seat in the front seat, move the seat all the way back.

WARNING: Airbags can kill or injure a child in a child seat.

Children 12 and under should be properly restrained in the rear seat whenever possible.

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

When installing a child safety seat with combination lap and shoulder belts:

• Use the correct safety belt buckle for that seating position.
• Insert the belt tongue into the proper buckle until you hear a snap and feel it latch. Make sure the tongue is securely fastened in the buckle.
• Keep the buckle release button pointing up and away from the safety seat, with the tongue between the child seat and the release button, to prevent accidental unbuckling.
• Place the vehicle seat upon which the child seat will be installed in the upright position.
• Put the safety belt in the automatic locking mode. See Step 5. This vehicle does not require the use of a locking clip.

Perform the following steps when installing the child seat with combination lap and shoulder belts:

Note: Although the child seat illustrated is a forward-facing child seat, the steps are the same for installing a rear-facing child seat.

1. Position the child safety seat in a seat with a combination lap and shoulder

1. Position the child safety seat in a seat with a combination lap and shoulder belt.

2. Pull down on the shoulder belt and then grasp the shoulder belt and lap belt

2. Pull down on the shoulder belt and then grasp the shoulder belt and lap belt together.

3. While holding the shoulder and lap belt portions together, route the tongue

3. While holding the shoulder and lap belt portions together, route the tongue through the child seat according to the child seat manufacturer’s instructions. Be sure the belt webbing is not twisted.

4. Insert the belt tongue into the proper buckle (the buckle closest to the direction

4. Insert the belt tongue into the proper buckle (the buckle closest to the direction the tongue is coming from) for that seating position until you hear a snap and feel the latch engage. Make sure the tongue is latched securely by pulling on it.

5. To put the retractor in the automatic locking mode, grasp the shoulder portion

5. To put the retractor in the automatic locking mode, grasp the shoulder portion of the belt and pull downward until all of the belt is pulled out.

Note: The automatic locking mode is available on the front passenger and rear seats. This vehicle does not require the use of a locking clip.

6. Allow the belt to retract to remove slack. The belt will click as it retracts to indicate it is in the automatic locking mode.
7. Try to pull the belt out of the retractor to make sure the retractor is in the automatic locking mode. You should not be able to pull more belt out. If the retractor is not locked, unbuckle the belt and repeat Steps 5 and 6.

8. Remove remaining slack from the belt. Force the seat down with extra weight,

8. Remove remaining slack from the belt. Force the seat down with extra weight, for example, by pressing down or kneeling on the child restraint while pulling up on the shoulder belt in order to force slack from the belt.

This is necessary to remove the remaining slack that will exist once the extra weight of the child is added to the child restraint. It also helps to achieve the proper snugness of the child seat to your vehicle.

Sometimes, a slight lean toward the buckle will additionally help to remove remaining slack from the belt.

9. Attach the tether strap (if the child seat is equipped). See Using Tether Straps later in this chapter.

10. Before placing the child in the seat, forcibly move the seat forward and

10. Before placing the child in the seat, forcibly move the seat forward and back to make sure the seat is securely held in place.

To check this, grab the seat at the belt path and attempt to move it side to side and forward and back. There should be no more than 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) of movement for proper installation.

Ford recommends checking with a NHTSA Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician (CPST) to make certain the child restraint is properly installed. In Canada, check with your local St. John Ambulance office for referral to a CPST.

Using Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren (LATCH)

WARNING: Never attach two child safety seats to the same anchor. In a crash, one anchor may not be strong enough to hold two child safety seat 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 safety belt buckle assemblies or LATCH lower anchors, rendering those features potentially unusable. To avoid risk of injury, occupants should only use seating positions where they are able to be properly restrained.

The LATCH system is composed of three vehicle anchor points: two lower anchors located where your vehicle seat back and seat cushion meet (called the seat bight) and one top tether anchor located behind that seating position.

LATCH compatible child safety seats 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 safety belts to attach the child seat, however the safety belt can still be used to attach the child seat. For forward-facing child seats, the top tether strap must also be attached to the proper top tether anchor, if a top tether strap has been provided with your child seat.

Your vehicle has LATCH lower anchors for child seat installation at the seating

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

The LATCH anchors are located at the rear section of the rear seat between the

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

Follow the instructions on attaching child safety seats with tether straps.

See Using Tether Straps in this chapter.

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

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

Note: The standardized spacing for LATCH lower anchors is 11 inches.

(28 centimeters) center to center. Do not use LATCH lower anchors for the center seating position unless the child seat 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 rear seat are spaced 18 inches (46 centimeters) apart. A child seat with rigid LATCH attachments cannot be installed at the center seating position. LATCH compatible child seats (with attachments on belt webbing) can only be used at this seating position provided that the child seat manufacturer’s instructions permit use with the anchor spacing stated. Do not attach a child seat to any lower anchor if an adjacent child seat is attached to that anchor.

Each time you use the safety seat, check that the seat is properly attached to the lower anchors and tether anchor, if applicable. Tug the child seat from side to side and forward and back where it is secured to your vehicle. The seat should move less than one inch when you do this for a proper installation.

If the safety seat is not anchored properly, the risk of a child being injured in a crash greatly increases.

Combining Safety Belt and LATCH Lower Anchors for Attaching Child Safety Seats

When used in combination, either the safety belt or the LATCH lower anchors may be attached first, provided a proper installation is achieved.

Attach the tether strap afterward, if included with the child seat.

Using Tether Straps

Many forward-facing child safety seats include a tether strap which extends from

Many forward-facing child safety seats include a tether strap which extends from the back of the child safety seat and hooks to an anchoring point called the top tether anchor. Tether straps are available as an accessory for many older safety seats.

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

Once the child safety seat has been installed using either the safety belt, 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):

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

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

Note: If you install a child seat with rigid LATCH attachments, do not tighten the tether strap enough to lift the child seat 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 seat. Keeping the child seat just touching your vehicle seat gives the best protection in a severe crash.

1. Route the child safety seat tether strap over the back of the seat.

For outboard seating positions, route the tether strap under the head restraint and between the head restraint posts. For the center seating positions, route the tether strap over the top of the head restraint. If needed, the head restraints can also be removed.

2. Locate the correct anchor behind the gap cover for the selected seating position.

2. Locate the correct anchor behind the gap cover for the selected seating position.

3. Pull the gap cover reward to expose the anchors. Clip the tether strap to

3. Pull the gap cover reward to expose the anchors. Clip the tether strap to the anchor as shown.
4. Tighten the child safety seat tether strap according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

If your child restraint system is equipped with a tether strap, and the child restraint manufacturer recommends its use, Ford also recommends its use.

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