As most of us moms know, children car seat safety can be so confusing. When do you turn them around? When do they graduate to regular sized car seat? When are they big enough for the booster seat? Our previous article covered most of these questions, but new booster seat crash tests just came out from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. They broke down the list to Best Bets, Good Bets, and Not Recommended.
For a proper fit, boosters elevate a child so that a regular safety belt will fit them better. The lap belt is supposed to fit across the upper thigh, not across the abdomen which is more likely to be injured in a crash than bony structures like the pelvis. The shoulder belt should cross snugly over the middle of a child’s shoulder and this makes it more comfortable to use. The better the fit, the less likely it is to move behind the back or under an arm. Also you can buy boosters as highbacks or as backless – and both types ranked within the best bets and good bets.
The Best Bets are most likely to position lap and shoulder belts in the right place:
Combi Dakota, backless with clip
Cosco Junvenile Pronto
Eddie Bauer Auto Booster
Evenflo Big Kid Amp, backless with clip
Maxi-Cosi Rodi XR
Recaro Young Sport
Good Bets have acceptable lap and shoulder fit:
Britax Parkway SG
Combi Kobuk, backless with clip
Evenflo Symphony 65
Graco TurboBooster SafeSeat 3, Sachi
Graco TurboBooster SafeSeat Step 3, Wander
Parents should avoid buying the seats on the Not Recommended list because they do not provide good belt fit. The institute suggests that you do not throw it away if you have one of these because any booster seat is better than not one at all – so just replace it when you can.
Alpha Omega Elite
Alpha Omega Luxe Echelon
Eddie Buer Deluxe
Eddie Bauer Deluxe 3-in-1
Harmony Secure Comfort Deluxe, backless with clip
Safety 1st All-in-One
Safety 1st Alpha Omega Elite
Do any of you smarties have any experience with the seats mentioned above?