New Study Says Booster Seats May Be Unsafe

By Kristie Turck •  Published 10/03/08 •  3 min read

Last updated on October 7th, 2008 at 01:40 pm

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute reported Wednesday that 13 booster seats don’t put children in an optimal position to be protected in a car crash. IIHS President Adrian Lund said the 13 boosters they don’t recommend “may increase restraint use by making children more comfortable, but they don’t position belts for optimal protection.” The IIHS rated booster seats in 3 groups, 13 were not recommended, 10 were rated “best bets” and 5 booster seats were “good bets”:

Not Recommended by IIHS:

Best Bets by IIHS:

Good Bets (when used as a highback, were acceptable):

Important!: Your child needs to be in a proper height/weight restraint.  PERIOD. The government recommends car seats for children up to 40 pounds and booster seats for children over 40 pounds until they are 8 years old or 4 feet 9 inches tall. All children should ride in the back seat until age 13. It’s about the fit with a booster seat.  Boosters act as a way to safely position seat belts on your child’s body and should:

“No matter how a booster did in our evaluations, parents still need to see how it fits their child in their car,” Lund advises. He urges them “not to rush to buy a new booster if theirs isn’t among the top seats. Check how it fits and remember, it’s better for children to ride restrained in any booster than to let them ride unbuckled.”

Before you toss your booster seat read through this information provided by the IIHS.  CBS News has a neat little video as well:

Sources and interesting reading:
CBS News Article with video
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
Nature’s Child Blog