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Child Booster Seat Ratings from IIHS

Steve Wagner

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) promotes safe car seat usage, as well as provides safety ratings each year for the best and worst car seats on the market. Among the most misunderstood car seats on the market, boosters tend to be the most misused. Parents often put kids into boosters well before they are ready (meeting the height or weight requirements), and boosters are easy to misuse when it comes to latching and proper restraint.

According to recent studies, more than half of all children in booster seats are buckled incorrectly, or their seats are restrained incorrectly in the car. The IIHS works hard to provide helpful ratings for parents searching to purchase a seat, and they offer a variety of ratings on seats currently being sold on the market (BEST BETs, GOOD BETs, Not Recommended, and Check Fit).

  • BEST BETs: These seats are ones that are highest rated for restraining children between 4-8 years old in almost any car or van.
  • GOOD BETs: These seats provide an acceptable fit in most cars and vans, although not all, depending on the make and style of the vehicle.
  • Not Recommended: These seats do not provide a good fit in any vehicle and should not be purchased.
  • Check Fit: These seats have varied reviews, and depend more on the size and weight of the child, as well as the style of vehicle in which they will be installed.

The price of the models that receive BEST BETs range from as inexpensive as $25 to over $300, so there is a seat for every budget. If you already have a booster seat, you can check how your seat is rated on the IIHS’ website, and you can also check to see which seats have the best ratings before making a new purchase.

Check out this video for more information on how a booster seat should fit your child, and remember to follow the maximum height and weight recommendations before moving your child up to the next stage of safety seat.

Have you been misusing your car seat or booster seat? Don’t worry…you’re not alone. Seven out of ten parents reportedly do not install their safety seats correctly, and with constant upgrades and new functions being added to safety seats each year, there is always more to learn.

Check out this infographic we recently released on proper car seat installation, and don’t forget to call the personal injury lawyers of Wagner Reese at (888) 204-8440 if your child has been injured due to a faulty or malfunctioning car safety seat.


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