The Checkout

Is your child's booster seat safe?

Annys Shin

Safety experts have singled out 13 child booster seats for not doing a good enough job of protecting children during a crash.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute said Wednesday that the booster seats for children ages 4 to 8 don't position them so they receive optimal protection from safety belts, which is their main purpose. The IIHS gave the thumbs down to the following models:

Compass B505
Compass B510
Cosco/Dorel Traveler
Evenflo Big Kid Confidence
Safety Angel Ride Ryte
Cosco/Dorel Alpha Omega
Cosco/Dorel (Eddie Bauer) Summit
Cosco Highback Booster*
Dorel/Safety 1st (Eddie Bauer) Prospect
Evenflo Chase Comfort Touch
Evenflo Generations
Graco CarGo Zephyr
Safety 1st/Dorel Intera*

*these models have been discontinued

Evenflo, which has sold more than 4 million seats cited by the IIHS said in a statement that the institute's findings are "misleading" and fail to take into account "real world use."

The company added that it was not aware of any injuries stemming from "an improper fit."

The IIHS listed 10 seats as "best bets:"

Combi Kobuk
Fisher-Price Safe Voyage (with plastic clip)
Graco TurboBooster
Britax Monarch
Britax Parkway
Fisher-Price Safe Voyage (highback)
LaRoche Bros. Teddy Bear
Recaro Young Style
Volvo booster cushion
Safeguard Go when it's used as a backless booster

The Institute also gave a thumbs up to five seats, calling them "good bets."

Among highback seats, IIHS recommends:

Combi Kobuk
Graco TurboBooster
Safety Angel Ride Ryte
Among combination seats, IIHS recommends:
Recaro Young Sport and Safety 1st/Dorel Apex 65 when used as highbacks

Car seats are recommended for children up to 40 pounds. Booster seats are for children over 40 pounds until age 8 or they reach a height of 4 feet 9 inches. Children should ride in the back seat up to age 13.

If you want to check out the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's ratings for child seats, go to

By Annys Shin |  October 1, 2008; 11:30 AM ET Annys Shin , Consumer Alerts
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