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The U.S. government recently implemented regulations for installing a child seat in your vehicle. The system, called “LATCH,” which stands for “Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren,” makes it easier to properly install a child seat. Subaru has been incorporating these standards over the past three model years. If you have a 2001 or newer Subaru, your Owner’s Manual provides installation instructions for the system. If you have a 2001 or later Legacy/Outback; a 2002 or later Impreza; or a 2003 Forester, or Baja or Tribeca, consult your Owner’s Manual for important information on the LATCH system.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is developing LATCH educational materials and the Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety (ACTS) have LATCH information on their websites: www.nhtsa.dot.gov and www.actsinc.org.

Some child restraint manufacuters sell LATCH retrofit kits. They allow owners of LATCH-equipped vehicles to equip certain older-model child restraints with LATCH attachments. Please contact the child restraint manufacturer for information and guidance.

Although the LATCH system helps resolve incorrect child seat installation, the NHTSA and Subaru remind parents and drivers to be sure to:
  • Place children in an appropriate safety seat (by height, weight and age).
  • Place children in the vehicle’s back seat. (Subaru LATCH attachments are in the left- and right-side rear seat positions.)
  • Never place a rear-facing child restraint in the front seat with an airbag.
  • Follow all the installation instructions from the child seat
    manufacturer and Subaru.
  • Make sure that the child seat harness straps are tight and use the tether strap (if provided) on the child seat.
  • Place children in a booster seat once they reach 40 pounds and until they’re 4 feet, 9 inches tall, when they can properly use the adult safety belts.
  • Stay informed on any possible recall on your child seat.
Which child seat should I use? The chart below, provided by the The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), will help you determine which type of car seat best matches your child’s age, height and weight. Once you have determined which type of seat is best for your child, make sure to check your vehicle’s Owner’s Manual for any specific recommendations before you go seat shopping. Finally, because weight limits vary from seat to seat, always check the car seat’s instruction manual.

View printable version of the following chart.


Seats to Grow On
Use the chart below to help determine which type of car seat best matches your child’s age, height and weight. Once you determine which type of seat is right for your child, be sure to check your car’s Owner’s Manual for any specific recommendations before you go car seat shopping. Finally, because weight limits vary somewhat from seat to seat, always check the car seat’s instruction manual.
General Child Seat Use Information
Buckle Everyone. Children Age 12 and Under in Back!
  AGE / WEIGHT SEAT TYPE / SEAT POSITION USAGE TIPS
INFANTS Birth to at least 1 year and at least 20 pounds. Infant-Only Seat/rear-facing or Convertible Seat/used rear-facing.

Seats should be secured to the vehicle by the safety belts or by the LATCH system.
  • Never use in a front seat where an air bag is present.
  • Tightly install child seat in rear seat, facing the rear.
  • Child seat should recline at approximately a 45 degree angle.
  • Harness straps/slots at or below shoulder level (lower set of slots for most convertible child safety seats).
  • Harness straps snug on child; harness clip at armpit level.
Less than 1 year/ 20-35 lbs. Convertible Seat/used rear-facing (select one recommended for heavier infants).

Seats should be secured to the vehicle by the safety belts or by the LATCH system.
  • Never use in a front seat where an air bag is present.
  • Tightly install child seat in rear seat, facing the rear.
  • Child seat should recline at approximately a 45 degree angle.
  • Harness straps/slots at or below shoulder level (lower set of slots for most convertible child safety seats).
  • Harness straps snug on child; harness clip at armpit level.
PRESCHOOLERS /
TODDLER
1 to 4 years/ at least 20 lbs. to approximately 40 lbs. Convertible Seat/forward-facing or Forward-Facing Only or High Back Booster/Harness.

Seats should be secured to the vehicle by the safety belts or by the LATCH system.
  • Tightly install child seat in rear seat, facing forward.
  • Harness straps/slots at or above child’s shoulders (usually top set of slots for convertible child safety seats).
  • Harness straps snug on child; harness clip at armpit level.
YOUNG
CHILDREN
4 to at least 8 years/unless they are 4’9" (57") tall. Belt-Positioning Booster (no back, only) or High Back Belt-Positioning Booster.

NEVER use with lap-only belts—belt-positioning boosters are always used with lap AND shoulder belts.
  • Booster used with adult lap and shoulder belt in rear seat.
  • Shoulder belt should rest snugly across chest, rests on shoulder; and should NEVER be placed under the arm or behind the back.
  • Lap-belt should rest low, across the lap/upper thigh area—not across the stomach.