Arlington, Virginia – The U.S. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has rated 60 models of child booster seats, which elevate children so that safety belts will fit them better to protect them in a crash.
Of the seats evaluated, nine were labelled “Best Bets” and six were “Good Bets.” Eleven were not recommended because they do such a poor job of fitting the belt. Fit is important because safety belts are designed primarily for adults, not children. A good booster routes the lap belt flat across the child’s upper thighs, and positions the shoulder belt at mid-shoulder.
“Parents can’t tell a good booster from a bad one just by comparing design features and price,” said Anne McCartt, senior vice-president for research. “What really matters is if the booster you’re considering correctly positions the safety belt on your four-to-eight-year-old in your vehicle. Our ratings make it easier to pick a safer booster for kids who have outgrown child restraints.”
A few seats did not come to market in time for this round of evaluations, but the IIHS will rate them soon and post the results on its site. The plan is to assess new models throughout the year, much like the IIHS rates new vehicles for Top Safety Pick awards.
The best-rated boosters are the Combi Dakota, Recaro Young Sport, Recaro Vivo, Maxi-Cosi Rodi XR, Evenflo Big Kid Amp, Eddie Bauer Auto Booster, Cosco Juvenile Pronto, Britax Frontier, and Clek Oobr.
For a full ratings list with model numbers and photos of seats, visit IIHS.