Britax Glossary of Terms

Anti-Rebound Bar: The Britax patented anti-rebound bar reduces the forward rotation of the infant seat into the vehicle seat during impact and stabalizes seat movement. Rebound is the "bounce" after initial impact has occurred.

Automatic Locking Retractor (ALR): A safety belt retractor that locks maintaining a fixed seat belt (lap belt) length during use. Good for child seat installation.

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).

Base (of a child seat): The base of a child seat is the lower portion that rests on the vehicle seat. A detachable base that comes with many infant seats is used to permit a fixed installation into the vehicle allowing the child seat to be taken in and out of the vehicle without having to do a new installation each time.

Belt Anchor Points: Fixed locations where the safety belt's latchplate and buckle are anchored to the vehicle structure.

Belt Path/Route: The manufacturer's required place where the safety belt passes around or through the child restraint.

Belt Webbing: A term used to refer to the vehicle seat belt material.

Booster Seat (Belt-Positioning Booster): A type of child seat that does not use a five-point harness but simply boosts the child so that the vehicle seat belt is positioned correctly across the child's hips and shoulder. Booster seats rely on the vehicle seat belts to hold both the child and the booster seat in position. The use of a booster seat depends on a child's age, height, weight and maturity. Never use with a lap belt only across the child.

Buckle: The locking mechanism of the vehicle belt and child safety seat buckle/latchplate system. Buckles are typically mounted/attached to fabric webbing and/or by metal or plastic stalks.

Car Seat: Common term for a specially designed device that secures a child in a motor vehicle, meets federal safety standards, and increases child safety in a crash.

Chest Clip: The chest clip is the device on the harness straps of the child safety seats used to position the straps properly on the child.

Child Safety Seat/Child Restraint: A crash tested device that is specially designed to provide infant/child crash protection. A general term for all sorts of devices including those that are vests or car beds rather than seats.

Click & Safe Snug Harness Indicator: Audible aide to help determine when the harness is secure by clicking when the harness straps are snug.

Combination Child Seat: A type of forward facing child restraint that is used with an internal harness system to secure a child up to 80 pounds and then, with the removal of the internal harness, is used as a high back belt-positioning booster (BPB) seat.

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

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 seat that "converts" from rear-facing for infants and small toddlers to forward-facing for children and can accommodate children weighing up to 65 pounds.

CPS: Child Passenger Safety

Crumple Zone: The zone of a car that absorbs energy upon impact. The purpose of a crumple zone is to increase the amount of time it take the car to come to a complete stop in comparison to the object that the car hits. By increasing the time it takes for the car to come to a stop after hitting an object, the force is spread over a longer period of time.

Emergency Locking Retractor (ELR): Allows the belt to move freely, locks only when the vehicle or occupant slows quickly/abruptly or stops suddenly. Will not secure a child safety seat. An ELR may be switchable, converting from an emergency locking to automatic locking system.

Energy Absorbing Versa-Tether: A staged release tether webbing to slow the forward movement, reducing the crash forces reaching the child, and a two point attachment to minimize forward rotation while anchoring the top of the child seat.

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

Flexible LATCH: The lower anchors of the Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children system that are permanently attached to the child seat shell using movable, flexible webbing.

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 50 pounds.

Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) Foam: Energy-absorbing padding used to line the polypropylene shell of a child seat to protect a child's head, torso and seat area, in case of a motor vehicle crash.

Five-Point Harness: A child seat harness with five attachment points: two at the shoulder, two at the hips, and one between the legs. A core tenet of the Britax child passenger safety philosophy is that children should remain in a properly positioned five-point harness as long as possible.

Forward-Facing Car Seat: A child seat meant to be used in a forward-facing position only, for children at least one year of age and weighing 20 pounds and up. A convertible or forward-facing seat with a five-point harness is the safest option for children who weigh between 20-80 pounds and meet the manufacturer's height requirements.

Harness adjuster: Used to tighten or loosen the harness.

Harness adjustment: The process by which the child seat harness is adjusted up or down to the appropriate height for the child occupant.

Harness Slots: The part of the child seat where the harnesses pass through from the front to the back of the restraint. Seats come with at least one and as many as four sets of slots.

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

HUGSâ„¢: Britax HUGS, Harness Ultra Guard System, are soft pads that gently cushion the child's neck and chest and work to reduce forward head movement in the event of impact.

Infant body pillow: A removable accessory pillow positioned around the lower back and sides of the infant to provide additional support. The sides of the pillow can also be folded inward to add additional padding on the sides for smaller occupants. The infant body pillow is optional and can be removed as soon as the child can sit comfortably without needing extra support.


Infant Positioning System: Removable accessory pillows which consists of an infant body pillow for lower back and side support, and an infant head pillow, which comfortably cradles the infant's head. The infant positioning system is optional and can be removed as soon as the child can sit comfortably without needing extra support.

Integrated Steel Bars: Stengthens the connection to the vehicle and reduce forward flexing of the child seat during a crash.

Lap Belt: A safety belt anchored at two points, for use across the occupant's thighs/hips.

Lap/Shoulder Belt: A safety belt that is anchored at three points and restrains the occupant at the hips and across the shoulder; also called a "combination belt".

Latchplate: The part of the buckle mechanism that slides into the buckle; usually the part that affects the length of the belt. Switchable latchplates have a lock button to allow the seatbelt to be locked around the child safety seat.

LATCH bar: A steel bar extending along both sides of select Britax seats where the LATCH connectors are attached. The LATCH bar adds additional reinforcement to the seat while also assisting in seat stability during side impact crashes when installed using LATCH.

Locking Clip: A flat H-shaped metal clip intended to fasten together belt webbing (lap and shoulder portion) at a sliding latch plate, to prevent the webbing from sliding through.

Locking Latchplate: A latch plate that holds the lap belt snug after it has been adjusted. Type of latchplate that contains a metal bar on the underside of the hardware that "locks" the belt in position.

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

Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH): A federally mandated attachment system for child seats. All passenger vehicles and child seats manufactured after Sept. 1, 2002, are required to have special anchors for attaching the child seat directly to the vehicle rather than securing the child seat with the vehicle's seat belt.

Multi-position buckle: A buckle which can be moved into different positions to ensure that the buckle strap is as close to the child as possible, while allowing for maximum comfort as the child grows.

Multi-position headrest height: The headrest adjustment mechanism on select car seats, which allows the caregiver to raise and lower the headrest, along with the harness height, by the turn of a dial on either side of the child seat. This method of adjustment allows for the harness to be positioned as close to the child's shoulders at all times.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA): The federal agency that oversees child passenger safety. NHTSA is dedicated to saving lives, preventing injuries and reducing economic costs due to road traffic crashes, through education, research, safety standards and enforcement activity.

No re-thread harness: A harness which has an adjustment mechanism to easily adjust the height of the five-point harness as your child grows without requiring that the child seat be uninstalled from the vehicle in order to move the harness from one harness slot to the next.

Rear-Facing Infant Seat: A type of car seat specifically designed for use by children from birth up to one year of age and approximately 30 pounds and who range in height up to 30 inches, specifically for use in the rear-facing position only.

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

SafeCell Technology: Technology that compresses in the event of impact further lowering the seat countering forces that typically move a car seat forward in a collision.

Seat Belt: The webbing, anchor and buckle system that restrains the occupant and/or child safety seat in the vehicle.

Seat Bight/Seat Crack: The intersection between the bottom vehicle seat cushion and the back cushion.

Sewn-On Latchplate or Fixed Latchplate: Latch plate is permanently sewn to the lap or lap and shoulder belt.

Shell: The molded plastic structure of the child restraint.

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

Side Impact Cushion Technology: Reduces side impact crash energy by 50%, by diverting crash forces away from the child.

Sliding Latchplate: A latchplate that moves freely on a continuous loop of vehicle belt webbing.

Switchable Retractor (ELR/ALR): Are designed for adults to use the emergency locking retractor (ELR) and children in safety seats to use the automatic locking retractor (ALR). Check the vehicle belt for a label describing the switchable function in addition to the information provided in the vehicle owners manual. Some convert from ELR to ALR by pulling the belt all the way out of the retractor, as it rewinds, it should lock and hold at the appropriate length.

Tether Anchor: Attachment point in vehicle for child safety seat tether strap. Refer to vehicle owner's manual regarding anchor location.

Tether Strap: An additional belt that anchors the child safety seat top to the vehicle frame; keeps the restraint from tipping forward on impact; can provide an extra margin of protection. Can be optional or factory installed. A tether strap is typically available on most child safety seats manufactured after September 1, 1999.

Toddler pillow: A removable accessory pillow which offers additional comfort to the back of the child's head after they have outgrown the infant positioning system.

True Side Impact Protection®: A term for Britax car seats designed to reduce the injury potential of a side-impact crash by transferring and distributing the force of the impact. Product features include deep side walls and adjustable head support to distribute crash forces, shield from vehicle intrusion, contain the head and body, and minimize side-to-side head movement.

Versa-Tether®: A patented term for the Britax car seats; a system that utilizes two attachment points on the child seat to distribute crash forces while anchoring the top of the seat to the vehicle to reduce movement of the seat during impact. The Versa-Tether is on all Britax convertibles and forward-facing child seats.