Post # 1
We recently had our infant car seat installed by a trained technician at the fire department. He installed the seat on the driver’s side of the car. I always thought car seats were supposed to be installed in the middle. The technician said it did not matter and that our car’s LATCH system did not allow for a middle installation. We could move the saet to the middle, but then would need to use the seat belt instead of LATCH.
The tech said he and his wife both have the carseat installed on the side, not middle. I know he is trained and he assured us it was fine, but I still wonder if middle would be best…
Post # 3
- Wedding: June 2007 - Bride's family summer home in the Adirondacks
We had to do that as well for the exact same reason. I was initially hesitant but in the end we decided the benefits of Latch over seatbelt were more important. Good luck!
Post # 4
I’m a certified CPS (Child Passenger Safety) technician and install seats for people all the time.
It is not true that installing with LATCH is “safer” than installing with belt.
However, getting a secure installation with LATCH is often times EASIER than getting a secure installation with the vehicle seatbelt. IF you can get a secure install with the seatbelt in the rear CENTER position of your vehicle – then it IS the safest place for babies to be. It is safest because it is the furthest away from any potential impact.
Did the person installing yourseat try it in the center first with the vehicle seatbelt and determine that it was not secure? If so, then I would agree that the outboard position is the best place for the seat to be. However, I would definitely make sure that it was not possible to get a secure install with the seatbelt before moving to an outboard position.
Post # 5
I’ve never heard of or seen a car seat installed in the centre before. I’ve always seen it directly behind the passenger or driver side.
Post # 6
I am kinda concerned about this too. My car is has a very very small back seat and the way the seats bucket it may only work behind the passenger seat and the passenger seat will need to be pulled all the way up in order to make it fit.
I always thought they had to go in the middle. I guess when the time comes and if I still have my car I will get it checked out.
Post # 7
We have always installed our car seat in the middle . Thats what I was told and what is says in the manual.
Post # 8
They are installed in the center all the time, and it is definitely the safest place for the child to be IF the child seat can be securely installed in that position. There are definitely times when installing in the center is not secure and moving to the outboard position is necessary, but I would not move to the outboard position before trying the center position.
Post # 9
@msshell: Interesting! You learn something new every day 🙂
Post # 10
I always thought they should go in the middle, as long as they could be properly secured. However, in my car I have a seat for my little sister and nephew (both are still in 5-point harness seats though they’re 5) so I have each one on the sides. This is obviously only because I have two seats installed. When I only had one seat, it was in the middle because my car has the latch for the middle and it is nice and flat. Depends on the car I think!
Post # 11
I’m kind of concerned about this as well. We bought the Britax and my ’08 escape doesn’t have LATCH but my new car will…I wonder if it is only avaliable on the sides? Has anyone seen LATCH in the middle seat?
Post # 12
@Sulli301: as i understand it the law requires it on the two outbound seats and it is up to the car maker if they put it elsewhere. you can check the manuel, but some cars allow you to use the latch closest to the center on each of the outbound latch sets (does that make sense??) to install the car seat with. people assume car seats put in with latch are always more secure, but that’s not always the case. even in crash tests, there are seats that have not done well when installed with latch but have done well installed with a seatbelt. i would be more concerned with having the infant in the center in a secure seat, rather than in an outbound seat simply so the latch sound be used. i have captains chairs now, so there is no center seat, but if i had one, that’s def where the youngest would go!
Post # 13
I have only ever seen the seat placed in the outer seats. I think that if you can secure the seat in the middle and you are more comfortable with that then do it!
Post # 14
@msshell im a CPS too! and the center IS safest (as loong as the seat can be installed securely of course)
Remember that sometimes even professionals may err in judgement. Its so importatn to READ the manuals to know for sure
Post # 15
The center may be the safest technically but that idea is pretty impractical when you get to having multiple car seats/booster seats. My daughter is still in a booster seat and I won’t think she or the new baby will be any less safe just because they have to be placed in the outer seats to fit them in the car. I’m sure car and carseat manufacturers take this into consideration.
Post # 16
So its completely up to the car maker if they put the LATCH in the middle seat?