By Jim Donovan
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — New research finds booster seats are getting safer, but there are still some things parents need to consider when choosing the best option for a child. 3 On Your Side Consumer Reporter Jim Donovan joins us with the details.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, an insurance industry financed research group, has just released ratings for 31 models of children’s booster seats. Jessica Jermakian with the Insurance Institute says, “The Institute evaluated and rated new booster seats to see how well they positioned belts on typical four to eight-year-old kids, and the good news is that we have more booster seats than ever before that have our top rating.”
Nineteen of 31 earned that top rating. Others still have room for improvement and a couple are not recommended. According to Jermakian, “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.”
If the shoulder belt isn’t positioned correctly, a child is at risk of coming out of the seat in the event of a crash. In a seat with the proper fit, the lap belt is low on the child’s upper thighs.
The shoulder belt should be in the center of the shoulders, not falling off of that shoulder, and not too high on the child’s neck. Also consider a child’s height and weight, regardless of age. a booster seat should be used until adult seat belts fit and protect properly.
The Insurance Institute found safe seats at a variety of price points ranging from as low as under $20 dollars to over $200.
To take a look at the list visit: http://www.iihs.org/iihs/sr/statusreport/article/48/8/1