Safety group tests and rates child booster seats

6:00 PM, Nov 7, 2013   |    comments
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ARLINGTON, Va., (WUSA) -- The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has released ratings for 31 models of child booster seats.

"The Institute evaluated and rated new booster seats to see how well they positioned belts on typical 4 and 8 year old kids.  And, the good news is that we have more booster seats than ever before that have our top rating," says Jessica Jermakian.

Nineteen out of 31 models earned that top rating, others still need improvement, and a couple are not recommended.

Jermakian says, "The problem 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."

The IIHS says well made booster seats can save lives.  They demonstrated what can happen in a crash with a booster seat, and what can happen in a crash without one.

IIHS More Booster Seats Grab Top Rating

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

Studies have shown children in booster seats are 45 percent t less likely to get hurt in a crash compared to kids buckled up without one. 

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found safe booster seats in a variety of price ranges from under $20 to over $200.

The Institute says you should also consider a child's height and weight regardless of age.

A booster seat should be used until adult seat belts fit and protect your precious cargo properly.

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