Table of Contents

3-in-1 Car Seat

A car seat that can be converted into one of three options: rear-facing , forward-facing, and a booster seat. 3-in-1 car seat means having one car seat that you can change as your child grows. It could be used for as long as 10 years.

3-point harness

Webbing on a rear-facing- only safety restraint system with three attachment points: two at the shoulder and one between the legs

5-point harness

Webbing on a rear-facing- only safety restraint system with three attachment points: two at the shoulder and one between the legs

5 step test

A set of five assessment criteria designed to determine whether a child is big enough to get optimal fit in an adult seat belt without use of a booster seat, by assessing (1) whether a child can sit with their back against the seat back, (2) with their knees bent comfortable over the front edge of the seat cushion, (3) with the shoulder belt across the mid-shoulder, (4) the lap belt low across the top of the thighs, and (5) can stay in this position for the duration of a trip.

A

Active Protection

Protection features that require action by the occupant. These features include lap belts, lap and shoulder belts, and child restraint systems.

Additional seats

Aftermarket extra seats installed in a non-passenger part of a vehicle, usually the cargo area of a station wagon or other vehicle. Also known as ‘Dickie’ seats.

Adjustable Foot

A Part of detachable base that can be lowered or raised  to be able to adjust proper recline angle of rear-facing child seat.

Adjuster

Hardware that can be manually changed to tighten the “fit” (attachment) of the CRS to the vehicle. Some of the types of adjusters that are commonly used are: tilt-lock, double-back, and squeeze release or push button.

Advanced Air Bags

Supplemental restraint systems with deployment adjustments to better protect children and improperly positioned adults.

Anchor

A common short alternative for anchorage; often used to refer specifically to the hardware installed at the anchorage, either factory-installed or in a retrofit shoulder-belt or tether kit.

Anti-Rebound Bar

A hard bar on some rear-facing car seats that help reduce the movement of the car seat towards the rear of the vehicle (rebound) in the event of a crash.

Appropriate restraint use

The use of a restraint that is optimal for the child’s size. The appropriate restraint is one that is best matched to the child’s anthropometry and development, and varies with age.

Armrest

A U-shaped bar encircling the child on older models of child restraints; not connected to the shoulder straps and not part of the system intended to restrain the child. Not a shield. No longerallowed on child restraints meeting FMVSS No. 213 (Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard).

Attachment

The assembly (connector, adjuster, and often webbing) on a CRS that connects it to either the upper tether anchor or the lower attachment anchor. An attachment can be flexible or rigid. (See also upper tether and lower attachment.)

Automatic locking retractor (ALR)

A seat belt retractor that locks maintaining a fixed length of seat belt webbing during installation of a car seat.

Automatic Restraint

Passive restraint that requires no action by the user; (e.g., shoulder or lap/shoulder belts that automatically wrap around the occupant; air bags).

B

Belt anchor points

Fixed location where the seat belt is attached to the vehicle structure.

Belt guide

A component of a booster seat designed to assist in positioning the seatbelt.

Belt path or route

The manufacturer’s required place where the vehicle seatbelt passes around or through the child restraint.

Belt tensioners

Aftermarket devices designed to increase or maintain tension in a seatbelt. Typically used to maximise the firmness of a child restraint installation.

Booster Seat OR Belt-positioning booster SEAT(BPB)

A crash-tested device that raises the child so that the required lap and shoulder belts fit correctly. All BPBs act as pre-crash positioning devices and must be used with lap and shoulder belts. BPB models may have high backs, or be backless.

Belt-sensitive retractor

Refers to a type of emergency locking retractor, which locks when the belt is pulled quickly.

Belt-shortening clip

A heavy duty locking clip (flat metal H-shaped) intended for use to shorten lap belts around a child restraint. Not to be confused with the standard locking clip that comes with a child safety seat. Must be purchased or ordered from vehicle manufacturer.

Belt Webbing

A term used to refer to the vehicle seat belt material.

Best practice

Suggested options that represent most acceptable ways to travel for a child of certain age, size, physical development, and behavioral needs. Best practice may vary given real world circumstances.

Bight

See Seat bight.

Booster cushion

A child restraint that raises the child and adapts the vehicle’s seatbelt to better fit the child and does not have a backrest. Also known as a ‘low back booster seat’.

Buckle

The locking mechanism of the vehicle belt or child safety seat. The latchplate fits (clicks) into the buckle.

Buckle covers

Aftermarket devices designed to obstruct access to a seatbelt or harness buckle to discourage a child from unbuckling their restraint while travelling.

C

Car Bed

A restraint, usually for small, premature, or medically fragile infants who should ride prone or supine. In most cases, the infant lies flat on the car bed.

Caregiver

A person responsible for a child’s well-being and safety.

Car Seat

A crash-tested seat that is specially designed to provide infant/child crash protection.

Chest clips

Aftermarket devices designed to keep the shoulder straps of a child restraint’s inbuilt harness together to minimise the chance of these coming off the shoulder. Also known as ‘cross chest clips’.

Children with Special Transportation Needs

Children whose physical or behavioral conditions makes the use of particular, often specially designed, restraint systems necessary.

Child restraint system (CRS or CR)

A crash-tested device or system that is specially designed to provide infant/child crash protection. General term for systems including child safety seats, safety vests or car beds that meet FMVSS 213

Child restraint accessory

An add-on device to be used with a child restraint or seatbelt occupied by a child.

Child safety harness

An add-on harness that designed to be used together with a seatbelt to provide upper torso restraint. Also known as an “H-harness”.

Child safety seat (CSS)

A crash-tested device that is specially designed to provide child crash protection. General term for rear facing-only convertible, combination, 3 in 1 and all in one .

Cinching Latchplate

(also known as lightweight locking latchplate) Found on some continuous loop lap and shoulder belts. A latchplate which has a sliding lock/cinch feature intended to keep the vehicle beltat a fixed length for child seat installation.

Combination Car Seat

A type of forward-facing child restraint that is used with an internal harness system to secure a child. With removal of the internal harness, it is used as a belt-positioning booster (BPB) seat.

Combination (Switchable) ELR/ALR Retractor

A safety belt retractor that can be operated in the emergency locking mode for adults and switched to the automatic locking mode for use with a child safety seat.

Compartmentalization

Refers to the type of passive occupant protection seen in school buses.

Compliance Tests

Rigorous crash and static testing done to assure that child safety seat manufacturers meet required federal motor vehicle safety standards (in this case, FMVSS 213). Performance requirements established by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Connector

Hardware at the end of an upper tether or lower attachments that enables the CRS to be securely fastened to an upper tether anchor or the lower attachment anchors.

Converter

A device, other than a booster seat, for adapting an adult

Continuous-Loop Lap/Shoulder Belt

A three-point belt that uses one continuous piece of webbing, that slides through a latch plate. It is connected at one end to the vehicle at the anchor point and the other to a retractor system.

Convertible Car Seat

A child restraint that “converts” from rear-facing for infants and smaller children to forward-facing for children.

Convertible child restraint

A child restraint that can be used in more than one restraint mode. E.g. a restraint that can be used as either a rearward facing child restraint or a forward facing child restraint; or a restraint that can be used as either a forward facing child restraint or a booster seat.

CPS:

Child passenger safety.

D

Detachable Base

A restraint, usually for small, premature, or medically fragile infants who should ride prone or supine. In most cases, the infant lies flat on the car bed.

Dead Zone

A person responsible for a child’s well-being and safety.

Deceleration

A crash-tested seat that is specially designed to provide infant/child crash protection.

Diagonal belt

Aftermarket devices designed to keep the shoulder straps of a child restraint’s inbuilt harness together to minimise the chance of these coming off the shoulder. Also known as ‘cross chest clips’.

‘Dickie seats’

Children whose physical or behavioral conditions makes the use of particular, often specially designed, restraint systems necessary.

Double-Back or Slide

A crash-tested device or system that is specially designed to provide infant/child crash protection. General term for systems including child safety seats, safety vests or car beds that meet FMVSS 213

E

Ease-of-Use ratings

A set of ratings developed by NHTSA to rate CRSs based on their ease of use. Ratings are given at the A, B, or C level.

Emergency-locking retractor (ELR)

A retractor on a seat belt system that locks in response to rapid deceleration of the vehicle. ELRs respond to rapid movement of the belt or the sudden deceleration of the vehicle or both.

Excursion

The distance traveled by an occupant in the direction of impact during a crash.

F

FAA approval

Certification that the child restraint meets the compliance test (within FMVSS 213) that is required for use on aircraft.

Fixed Latchplate

Latchplate is permanently sewn/attached to the lap belt to or the combination lap and shoulder belt.

Flexible Attachments

Attachments using webbing and a manual adjuster.

FMVSS 213

Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard that pertains to all restraint systems intended for use as crash protection in vehicles for children up to 80 pounds.

FMVSS 225

Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard that pertains to a method of car seat installation that is independent of the vehicle seat belts. Referred to as lower anchors and tether for children (LATCH). Used for CRS installation instead of the seat belt.

Foam Noodle

This is a foam rod or tube about 4-5 inches in diameter and five feet long; these are found in pool and toy stores. Cut off a piece the width of the child seat base and use to raise the base of the seat to obtain a 45 degree angle (placed under base where car seat cushion and base meet). A rolled up towel or newspapers, etc., serve the same purpose.

Forward-Facing-Only Car Seat

A child restraint system that is intended for use only in the forward-facing position for a child that has outgrown his/her rear facing seat.

Free-sliding latchplate

A latch plate that doesn’t lock. Safety belt webbing freely slides through it.

Frontal collision/impact/crash

An impact at the front end of the vehicle, the most frequent type of collision.

Full harness belt

A seat-belt assembly comprising lap, thigh and shoulder straps with a central locking device.

H

Harness

A system of straps that keep the child within the shell, distributes crash forces, and helps the child “ride down” the crash.

Harness Adjuster

Used to tighten or loosen the harness the internal harness of a child restraint system.

Harness Chest Clip or Retainer Clip

A clasp that holds the shoulder straps together over the child’s chest at armpit level. Also known as a harness retainer clip.

Harness Slots

Slots in the child restraint through which shoulder straps are routed. See Shoulder Harness Slots.

Harness Straps (Webbing)

This refers to the child seat straps used to secure the child into the safety seat.

Harness Threading

Harness straps should be in lowest slots for rear facing infants (at or below shoulder level); in top slots for forward facing use (at or above shoulder level). Always refer to the child seat manufacturers instructions for proper location.

Head excursion

The distance from a reference point that the occupant’s head travels forward during a frontal impact. A performance measure regulated by FMVSS 213.

Head Restraint

The part of a vehicle seat that provides protection to the head and neck of an adult passenger in a rear impact. Some may be adjusted or removed to improve the fit of a CR.

Heavy-duty locking clip

A flat, H-shaped metal clip, intended for shortening a lap belt with an emergency locking retractor so it will secure a child restraint. Can also be used to prevent webbing from sliding through a sliding latch plate. Heavy Duty Locking Clips can only be obtained from a vehicle manufacturer.

High back booster seat

A booster seat that raises the child and adapts the vehicle’s seatbelt to better fit the child and has a backrest.

Hook-On Connector

A tether-type hook that is used to fasten the upper tether or lower attachments to the upper tether anchor or the lower anchors.

I

Inappropriate restraint use

The use of a restraint that is NOT optimal for the child’s size and development. E.g. use of a booster seat by a 2 year old would be inappropriate restraint use.

Inbuilt harness

A set of webbing straps built into the child restraint that are used to restrain a child. Also called “built-in” harness. This does not include accessory ‘child safety harnesses’.

Incorrect restraint use

Use of a restraint in a manner other than as instructed by the manufacturer. Also known as “restraint misuse”, and includes errors in installation of a restraint in a vehicle and in how a child is secured in the restraint. E.g. a child having the arms out of a harness, or failure to use a top tether strap.

Infant-Only Safety Seat

A child restraint designed for use only by a young child in a semi-reclined rear-facing position. Also referred to as rear-facing only car seat.

Integrated CR

A child-sized, forward facing restraint or belt-positioning booster built into a vehicle seat. Some have a full harness and hold children over 20 pounds; others are belt-positioning boosters for use with the adult lap and shoulder belts.

ISOFIX

An international standard attachment that child restraints can be connected to, with the objective of reducing the likelihood of incorrect fitting and making restraint removal and fitting easy for the vehicle user.

ISOFIX lower anchorages

A pair of horizontal bar fittings installed in a vehicle at the join between the seat cushion and the seat back, specifically designed for attachment of compatible child restraints that have special anchorage fittings, as an alternative to using a seatbelt when installing the restraint. Also known as ‘ISOFIX low anchorages’, or ‘LATCH lower anchorages’.

L

LABELS

These are located on the seat, and indicate the following:

  • NHTSA certification of conformation to all applicable FMVSS
  • Weight and height guidelines for the specific seat
  • Basic outline of the installation procedures
  • Manufacturing data, including data of manufacture, the manufacturers name and address, and a model number
  • Air bag warning and
  • FAA certification for use in an aircraft.

LATCH

Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children.

LATCH attachment

See Lower Anchorage Attachments

Latchplate

The part of the buckle mechanism that locks or connects into the buckle. May be the part that adjusts the length of the lap portion of the belt webbing.

Lap-sash seatbelt

A seatbelt with three points of attachment to the vehicle. The lap portion sits over the pelvis of the occupant and the sash belt restrains the upper torso. Also known as ‘lap-shoulder belt’ or ‘three point belt’.

Lap-shoulder belt

A seat belt that is anchored at three points and restrains the vehicle occupant at the hips and across the chest and shoulder. Also referred to as a combination lap and shoulder belt.

Learn, Practice, Explain

The guiding philosophy behind the CPS training and certification program. It promotes learning the latest information in CPS, practicing what is taught and explaining it in user-friendly terms to others. This can be applied to technicians, parents and caregivers.

Level Indicator

Helps to identify the manufacturer’s recommended correct angle for rear-facing restraints.

Locking latchplate

A latch plate that holds the lap belt snug after it has been adjusted.

Lock-Off

A built-in belt-locking feature on the child restraint system that works with certain types of seat belts in a similar fashion as locking clips.

Locking Clip

A flat H-shaped metal item intended to clip lap and shoulder belt webbing together at a free-sliding latch plate in order to prevent the webbing from sliding through. A locking clip is a pre-crash positioning device only. It is not to be used as a belt shortening clip.

Long distance coaches

Buses designed for long trips and/or highway routes. These typically have individual seats, seatbelts (in newer buses) and nominated locations for the installation of child restraints.

Lower Anchorage Attachments

A piece of belt webbing that anchors to the lower anchorage on the vehicle structure. It secures the CSRS to the vehicle. These attachments are used in place of the vehicle seat belt.

M

Manual Seat Belt

A seat belt that must be fastened and adjusted by the occupant, often found in the rear center seating position.

Model Year (MY)

Date of manufacture of either a vehicle or a child restraint system.

N

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)

The federal agency that sets performance, design, and labeling standards and requirements for motor vehicles and items of motor vehicle equipment such as child restraints. It also promotes highway and transportation safety.

National Road Rules

Model rules developed by the National Transport Council upon which each State’s traffic laws are based.

O

Overhead Shield

See “Tray Shield”.

P

Passenger air bag

An air bag that is in the right front part of the passenger compartment. It is larger than the driver bag and may restrain either center or right front occupants or both.

Passive occupant protection

Features of the vehicle that lessens the injury to the occupant without any action taken by the occupant.

Pretensioners

Integrated in some lap and shoulder belt systems to remove excess slack from the belt instantaneously with the crash.

Push-On Connector

A spring-loaded latch that automatically locks around the LATCH anchor bar when the connector is pushed directly onto the bar. This type of connector may be on a rigid or flexible attachment.

R

Rear-Facing-Only Car Seat

A child restraint designed for use only by a young child (baby & toddler) in a semireclined rear-facing position. Also referred to as infant only car seat.

Rebound

Motion in the opposite direction after initial impact has occurred.

Recalls

Voluntary or required actions taken to correct problems or deficiencies once products have been distributed or sold. Manufacturers must offer free repairs or replacement for products recalled for violations of safety standards.

Recline Adjustor

Allows convertible restraints to be reclined for rear-facing and semi-reclined or upright for forward-facing use.

Registration Card

A postage-paid return card that comes with every child restraint; should be returned to the manufacturer so owners can be notified of any recalls.

Release Mechanism

A red-coloured push button device that, when pressed, releases the tongue from the buckle of the seat-belt.

Restraint fitting station

A service that provides professional installation of child restraints and advice on correct use of child restraints.

Retractor

A mechanism that rolls up the webbing of the seat belt when it is not in use and takes up slack around the user.

Retrofitted

Installing, fitting, or adapting a device or system. An example of this would be to retrofit seat belts on a school bus.

Ride Down

The length of time when the forces are felt by the occupant during a crash.

Rigid Attachments

Attachments built into the CRS base, fixed at 280 mm (11 in) apart, and equipped with a telescoping adjustment that attaches with the anchor.

S

Safety Vest

A combination pelvic and upper torso child restraint system that consists primarily of flexible material, such as straps, webbing or similar material, and that does not include a rigid seating structure for the child. A cam wrap must be used for installation on a school bus seat.

Seat Belt

The buckle, retractor, anchor, webbing and latch plate system that restrains the occupant in the vehicle. Also known as a seat belt.

Seat Belt Anchorage

A point in the vehicle to which a seat-belt is attached.

Seat Belt Reminder System

Intelligent visual or audible device that detects whether or not seat-belts are in use in different seating positions and gives out increasingly aggressive warning signals until the seat-belts are used. The signal may be a buzzer, chime or voice reminder.

Seat Belt Cutter

A device used to cut webbing.

Seat Belt Extenders

Aftermarket devices that provide additional length for a seatbelt. Typically used for large occupants, but can also be used to length a seatbelt to facilitate installation of larger child restraints.

Seat belt Positioners

Aftermarket devices, other than booster seats, designed to position an adult seatbelt to better fit a child (also known as Converters).

Seat Belt Tensioners

Aftermarket devices designed to tighten the seatbelt when used with a child restraint.

Seat Bight

The intersection between the bottom vehicle seat cushion and the back cushion. The seat crack.

Sewn Latch Plate

A latch plate on a lap belt or a lap and shoulder belt that is permanently stitched in place on the belt webbing.

Shell

The molded plastic structure of the CSRS. In some models, the shell is attached to or reinforced by a metal frame.

Shield Booster Seat

A platform that raises the child and positions a small convex shield across the lap and lower abdomen to restrain the child. A vehicle lap belt restrains the booster seat with shield for children between 30 pounds and 40 pounds. Some models have removable shields and covert to a belt-positionbooster seat (BPB).

Shoulder Belt Guide

Devices (some built in and some add-ons) that can be used to reposition shoulder belts so they fit across the shoulder rather than across the neck .

Shoulder Harness Slots

Slots in the back of the child restraint through which shoulder straps are routed. See Harness Slots.

Shoulder Height Markers

A set of labels on a child restraint that indicate the maximum or minimum shoulder height for a child using that restraint, or the height at which a child should transition from one restraint’s mode to another,

Side Curtain Airbag

An airbag installed in the side of a vehicle that deploys over the window region during a side crash. These typically cover both front and 2nd row windows.

Side Impact

An impact into the side of a vehicle, usually the most severe/deadly collision.

Side Impact Air Bags

Air bags that provide additional chest protection to adults in many side crashes. Children who are seated in close proximity to a side air bag may be at risk of serious or fatal injury if the air bag deploys. Check with the vehicle dealer or vehicle owner’s manual for information about danger to children.

Slack

Looseness in a child restraint’s inbuilt harness, top tether, or in a seatbelt that can reduce the performance of the restraint.

Sliding Latch Plate

A latch plate that doesn’t lock. Safety belt webbing freely slides through it. 

Squeeze Release Or Push Button

The strap is released when the mechanism is squeezed or a button is pushed.

Stroller System

A combination of child safety seat and stroller frame/wheels allowing the child safety seat to be removed from the vehicle and attached to the stroller frame for stroller usage.

Submarining

When the hips and legs slide forward out of the harness and the upper body remains restrained.

Switchable Retractor

A retractor that usually functions as an ELR and can be transformed into an ALR to secure a child restraint. 

T

T-Shield

Part of a restraint system in a child safety seat; a roughly triangular or “T” shaped pad that is attached to the shoulder harness straps, fits over the child’s abdomen and hips and buckles between the legs.

Tether

See Top tether strap

Tilt-Back

The strap is released when the mechanism is tilted.

Tilt-lock tether strap adjuster

Tether can be tightened or loosened after installation in the vehicle without unhooking or re-threading the strap.

Torso airbag

A side airbag installed in either the seat or door of a vehicle that deploys to protect the chest in side crashes. Also known as a thorax airbag.

Top Tether

A flexible strap attached to the upper back of a child restraint, which connects to an anchorage point in a vehicle, and limits rotation of the restraint in a crash. Also known as an ‘upper anchorage strap’

Top Tether Anchor

The kit or installed hardware bracket used to secure the tether hook and strap at the designated anchor point in the vehicle. The tether strap and hook attach directly to the anchor bracket.

Top tether strap

A piece of belt webbing that anchors the top of the CSRS to the vehicle structure.It keeps the restraint from tipping forward on impact and can provide an extra margin of protection. Can be optional or factory installed.

Tray Shield

Part of a restraint system in a child safety seat; a wide, padded surface that swings down in front of the child’s body, attached to shoulder straps and crotch buckle. Looks like a padded armrest, but is an integral part of the harness system.

Type B restraint

Forward facing child restraint, with an inbuilt 6 point harness that restrains older babies and young children facing the front of the vehicle.

Type C restraint

An add-on child safety harness that can be used to provide upper body restraint with lap-only seatbelts (with or without a booster seat). Also known as an “H-harness”.

Type E restraint

A booster seat that raises the child and adapts the vehicle’s seatbelt to better fit the child.

Type F restraint

A booster seat that raises the child and adapts the vehicle’s seatbelt to better fit the child. Accommodates larger children that Type E booster seats.

Type G restraint

A larger forward facing child restraint with an inbuilt 6 point harness included in AS/NZS 1754 (2013), for use up to older ages (approximately 8 years) than a Type B forward facing restraint.

U

Upper anchorage

Specially designed fitting manufactured or installed into a vehicle to which the top tether strap of child restraints is connected. Also known as ‘Top tether anchorages’, ‘upper anchorage fittings’ or ‘top tether anchor fittings’.

V

Vest

A child restraint system that has shoulder straps, hip straps, (and sometimes) a crotch strap. Used in conjunction with the vehicle seat belt system.

W

Webbing

The fabric of the seat belt that holds the occupant or a CSRS in place.

Whiplash injury

An injury to the neck usually caused by sudden whipping of the head backward during a rear impact collision.