Is Your Kid's Booster Seat Safe? Check the New Ratings to Find Out

Check your child's booster against these rating from IIHS

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) revealed its annual report card on booster seats today. Is your child’s booster on the Best Bets list?

Every year, IIHS tests all the booster seats on the market to determine how well they lift up a child so an adult seat belt fits correctly. To earn the top “Best Bet” rating, the booster must correctly position a seatbelt on an average-sized 4- to 8-year-old in most vehicles, which means you can move it from Mom’s SUV to Dad’s minivan without compromising safe fit. The lap belt should fit snug across the upper thighs, and the shoulder belt should hit the center of the shoulder.

While 58 seats earned the top rating (more than ever before), 2 seats earned the “Not Recommended” designation. Both backless and high-back models scored the top rating.

The IIHS has been testing boosters since 2008 after research indicated that most seats in the market were not providing good fit with a seatbelt. New models are evaluated with crash dummies as they hit the market, and manufacturers use the feedback from IIHS to improve their design.

According to research from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, using a belt-positioning booster seats lowers the risk of injury to children aged 4 to 8 years by 45 percent. Improperly-fitted belts can cause damage like spinal or internal organ injuries in an accident.

Click here to check your child’s booster against the IIHS ratings now.

Mom of two Sasha Emmons is a writer and editor. Follow her on Twitter and Google+.

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