Thu 2 Oct 2008
Your kid is out of the car seat, so that means it is time to go to a full on seatbelt, right? Well, not really. Regular seat belts are meant for adults and only work properly if the person using it is 4’9” or taller.
You already know your child is too big for the car seat, but he is not big enough for an adult safety belt yet. What’s the solution?
A booster seat.
Okay, you’re all ready to buy a booster seat for your kid. Now all you have to do choose which one to get. You know they can’t all be good, so which one do you choose?
Choosing a Booster Seat
Fortunately the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has made an in depth study of booster seats. They have determined which booster seats are safe and which booster seats are not so safe.
They have based their study on two very important factors, where the lap belt falls and where the shoulder belt lays. Accurate placement of these two belts is really the booster seat’s whole purpose in life. Where a booster seat places these belts determines whether or not it is a safe booster seat.
Problems With The Safety Belts
The lap belt has the tendency rise up and lay in on the soft abdomen instead of resting on the hard pelvic bone. If the belt is too high the belt can cause serious internal injury. That is where the booster seat comes in, the better it keeps the lap belt on the bone the safer the booster seat is.
The shoulder belt has the tendency to either ride too close to the neck or two far over on the shoulder, both of which can cause serious damage in case of an accident. Booster seats have the goal of keeping that shoulder belt right in between those two areas.
Highbacks usually do a better job of this than back-less booster seats, because of the control that they have over the shoulder belt.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has created a list of booster seats that are your Best Bets, Good Bets and not recommended. Fill free to check this out and see where your child’s booster seat ranks.
The Best Bets you can feel pretty safe about, but it still comes down to seeing which booster seat fits your child the best. By fitting the booster seat with your child’s needs you can be assured that your child has the best protection available in case of an accident.
For more information you can go to the official Insurance Institute for Highway Safety website.
Not Recommended (click here for pictures)
Safety Angel Ride Ryte backless
Cosco/Dorel (Eddie Bauer) Summit
Graco CarGo Zephyr
Evenflo Big Kid Confidence
Dorel/Safety 1st (eddie Bauer) Prospet
Cosco Highback Booster
Cosco/Dorel Alpha Omega
Evenflo Chase Comfort Touch
Safety 1st/Dorel Intera
Best Bets (click here for pictures)
Graco TurboBooster backless with clip
Fisher-Price Safe Voyage backless with clip
Combi Kobuk backless with clip
Fisher-Price Safe Voyage
LaRoche Bros. Teddy Bear
Safeguard Go Backless with clip
Volvo booster cushion
Recaro Young Style
Good Bets (click here for pictures)
Safety Angel Ride Ryte
Recaro Young Sport
Safety 1st/Dorel Apex 65
For the latest reports Check out the 2009 Safest Booster Seats report