Tests show manufacturers are making better booster seats

Tests show manufacturers are making better booster seats
Thursday, November 7, 2013 - 5:19am

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety released their latest test results on child booster seats. The test results show booster seats are getting safer but, there are still some key points when choosing the best one for children.

Booster seats were meant to protect children in cars in case of a crash. But when they're not properly restrained, it could be deadly.

Now, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety finds manufacturers are making better, safer booster seats.

"This year there are 31 new booster seats on the market. Nineteen of those are in the institute's top rating of best bet," said Jessica Jermakian with Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Others have room for improvement and a couple are not recommended.

"The problem here is that the lap belt is riding too high up on the tummy. It's not lying flat across the upper thighs. And the shoulder belt is too far off the shoulder, rather than sitting snugly in the center of the shoulder," said Jermakian.

If the shoulder belt isn't positioned correctly, a child is at risk of coming out of the seat.

The lap belt should be low on the child's upper thighs and the shoulder belt in the center of the shoulders, not falling off of the shoulder, and not too high on the child's neck.

But even though booster seats are safer, experts said there's no need to rush your child into one.

"The institute recommends that parents keep their children in a harness-based restraint for as long as possible up to the height and weight limit of the seat," said Jermakian.

Alyssa Loweree's daughter Jillian was not quite ready for a booster sea, but Alyssa's happy more boosters are making the grade to keep children safe.

"I’m really glad that manufacturers are improving the safety for the children because my daughter is very young right now, but hopefully they'll just keep improving as she gets older," said Loweree.
When children outgrow child seats, they should use boosters until adult belts fit properly.

For a full list of booster seat ratings, visit http://www.iihs.org/iihs/sr/statusreport/article/48/8/1.

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