Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Best Booster Seats

FROM CNN: Some highway safety experts are giving their take on the best child booster seats available on the market today. And several manufacturers ended up with seats on both the 'recommended' or 'not recommended' lists.

Studies show four to eight year old children are 45-percent less likely to suffer serious injury in accidents if they're in a booster seat. And if that booster is properly belted. Dr. Kristy Arbogast/Children's Hospital of Philadelphia :"Make sure those belts are in the right place so that the restraint can do its job if the child is in a crash." That's what the Insurance Institute for Highway safety focused on for its latest ratings on booster seats and came up with this list of the best:

Best bets for booster seats
-combi dakota backless/clip
-recaro young sport
-recaro vivo
-maxi-cosi rodi xr
-evenflo big kid amp backless/clip
-eddie bauer auto booster
-cosco juvenile pronto
-britax frontier
-clek oobr

But these eleven booster seats did not fare that well in the Institute's testing:

Booster seats not recommended:
-harmony secure comfort deluxe backless/clip
-combi kobuk
-evenflo express
-eddie bauer deluxe
-safety 1st alpha omega elite
-evenflo sightseer
-alpha omega elite
-eddie bauer deluxe 3-in-1 -safety 1st all-in-one
-alpha omega luxe echelon
-alpha omega

Anne Mccartt/ Insurance Institute for Highway Safety "Parents should avoid buying the 11 boosters on our "not recommended" list. These seats do not provide good belt fit." The Institute's Anne Mccartt was on the today show talking about these eleven and what constitutes improper belting. "...the shoulder belt you can see if falling off the shoulder. It should be fitting snuggly on the center of the shoulder."

Seven of the eleven come from one manufacturer Dorel Juvenile group-that offers the Eddie Bauer, Safety 1st and Alpha Omega brands. Dorel says the Institute's "Test simulates only one size child in one position" And says all of its seats meet or exceed government regulations.

Evenflo said the same thing when contacted. It, too, had seats that tested well, but two fell under "not recommended." Harmony strongly defended its secure comfort deluxe and questioned the Institute's testing procedures. While the makers of the Combi Kobuk are curious because they say its seat has passed previous institute testing. Most safety experts say poorer performing seats still protect children in crashes.

Of course, the booster seat we have isn't on either list. However, when I get a booster for my 3 year-old (when he's big enough) I will go back and check this list. What kind do you have? Are you surprised that some popular brands are on the not-recommended list?


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