The folks at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) have just released the results of their latest evaluation. They put 31 child booster seats to the test to find out which ones do the best job of protecting youngsters in crashes.
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The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has released its 2012 report on children’s booster seats recognizing an improvement on most new seats.
When you strap your child into a car seat, you think that they are safe because these seats have safety standards, right? Sorry to burst that bubble, but if you’re strapping kids weighing more than 65 pounds to a booster seat, they don’t come with any government safety standards. And even seats for younger children are regulated only for their effectiveness in front-end collisions.
So what’s the problem? It turns out it lies with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. They haven’t developed a lifelike child crash test dummy, which is needed to properly test the safety of seats built for heavier children. Until then, child seat manufacturers are left to self-regulate their car seats, instead of following guidelines instituted to protect children in front, side, rear-end and rollover accidents.
The problem, says safety experts, is the lack of funding for research and development into lifelike child test dummies. With the rise of overweight children, seats made just a few years ago to hold children up to 65 pounds are now marketed for those up to 85 pounds.
[Source: The Washington Post]
It’s time to double check your car seats. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is saying that many young children are still being placed in the wrong restraint or booster seat systems.
Last week was Child Passenger Safety week, so now is the right time to ensure that you have the right car seat for your child. It’s also important that these safety seats have been inspected to make sure they’re working properly.
NHTSA 2009 stats show that child fatalities from motor vehicle crashes were the leading cause of death for children ages 3 to 14. Last year, an average of four children age 14 and younger were killed and 490 were injured every day.
“Make no mistake about it: child safety seats save lives,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “Children who graduate too soon from their safety seats are at risk of serious injury. Parents and caregivers should ensure that safety seats are installed correctly and should always use them. Their children depend on it.”
Children usually outgrow their forward-facing seats around age 4 and at about 40 pounds. At this time, they should graduate to booster seats until the seat belts in the vehicle fit properly. You know that a seat belt fits properly when the lap belt lays across the upper thighs and the shoulder belt fits across the chest (they usually fit kids once they turn 8 or when they are 4’9″ tall).
The NHTSA released a survey on booster seat, which found that just 41 percent of 4- to 7-year-old children ride in booster seats, virtually unchanged from the prior year. In 2009, restraint use for children age 1 to 3 years increased from 92 percent in 200, while restraint use for all children under age 13 remained stayed the same at 89 percent.
When it comes to your most precious cargo, you want to make sure your kids are well protected in case of those worst-case scenarios. Research has stated that using child safety seats can help reduce injuries and deaths in a crash, and new findings support the use of mandated booster seats.
There’s a new study out that will be of particular interest to parents. Conducted by the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, this new study is the first to look at injury rates before and after a state law on booster seats went into effect. Taking a look at New York State booster seat law (implemented in March 2005), the study found that injuries in children ages 4 to 6 years old dropped 18 percent. This improvement is due to the increase in use of boosters after the child restraint law was upgraded, from 29 percent to 50 percent.
More research that also supports the benefits of boosters was conducted by the Journal of Pediatrics in 2009. This study found that children aged 4-8 years old who used booster seats were 45 percent less likely to sustain injuries than children who were just using the vehicle’s seat belt.
Child seat laws vary from state to state. All states require a child restraint for children through age 3, while most require a restraint for children until at least 7 years old. Even if the state you live in doesn’t have a law regarding this issue, safety organizations and the government recommend that you keep children in an appropriate child restraint until they are able to fit the vehicles belts both comfortably and safely (usually when they are around 4ft. 9- inches tall). It’s also recommended that all children under age 13 should ride in the rear seat.
[Source: Consumer Reports]
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has released their list of booster seats they do and do not recommend. On the recommended side, there’s been a significant growth this past year, with 21 Best Bets and seven Good Bets. Out of 72 booster seats the safety organization tested, eight booster seats didn’t get recommended.
For a booster seat to earn a Best Bet or Good Bet nod, it must properly position a three-point seat belt over a 6-year-old testing dummy. While performing these tests, IIHS experts measure seat-belt fit in a variety of vehicles. They also use high-back and backless booster seats as well as combination child-safety seats. The ratings do not take into account any type of crash tests.
According to the IIHS, children ages 4-8 who are placed in booster seats are 45 percent less likely to be injured in a car crash than children using only seat belts.
Read the lists of IIHS’ Best Bets, Good Bets and seats not recommended after the jump.
[Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety]