Ford Escape: Installing Child Restraints / Using Seatbelts

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

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

Perform the following steps when installing the child restraint with seatbelts:

  1. Position the child restraint in a seat with a seatbelt.

    Ford Escape. Using Seatbelts

  2. After positioning the child restraint in the proper seating position, pull down on the shoulder belt and then grasp the shoulder belt and lap belt together behind the belt tongue.

    Ford Escape. Using Seatbelts

  3. While holding the shoulder and lap belt portions together, route the tongue through the child restraint according to the child restraint manufacturer's instructions. Make sure that you did not twist the belt webbing.

    Ford Escape. Using Seatbelts

  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.

    Ford Escape. Using Seatbelts

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

    Note: The automatic locking mode is available on the front passenger and rear seats.

  6. Allow the belt to retract to remove slack. The belt clicks 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 did not lock, unbuckle the belt and repeat Steps 5 and 6.

    Ford Escape. Using Seatbelts

  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 exists once you add the extra weight of the child to the child restraint. It also helps to achieve the proper snugness of the child restraint to your vehicle. Sometimes, a slight lean toward the buckle will provide extra help to remove remaining slack from the belt.
  9. If the child restraint has a tether strap, attach it.

    Ford Escape. Using Seatbelts

  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 in (2.5 cm) of movement.

We recommend checking with a NHTSA Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician to make certain the child restraint is properly installed. In Canada, check with Transport Canada for referral to a Child Car Seat Clinic.

Installing Child Restraints

Using Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children
WARNING: Do not attach two child safety restraints to the same anchor. In a crash, one anchor may not be strong enough to hold two child safety restraint attachments and may break, causing seriou ...

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