The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is well-known for the coveted Top Safety Pick vehicle awards it releases every year, but the IIHS also rates child booster seats, giving top scorers Best Bet status. The Institute is the only organization that tells parents which booster seats provide the best seat belt fit, and which ones don’t.
“A record 31 seats have been designated BEST BETS, meaning they correctly position a vehicle safety belt on a typical 4 to 8 year-old in almost any car, minivan, or SUV,” the IIHS says in its press release. Five booster seats are Good Bets for having acceptable belt fit. The IIHS does not recommend six booster seats because with them, seat belts don’t fit properly.
The 31 awards are a significant increase compared with the past few years. Last year, 21 seats were Best Bests, but in 2009, only nine received the award. “For parents, this means that finding a good fit for a child is easier than ever, and some top-rated seats start at less than $15, although some can cost hundreds of dollars,” says The New York Times.
But finding the right booster seat is just one part of vehicle safety. Seat belt fit is also critical. For a proper fit, the lap belt should lie flat across a child’s upper thighs, and the shoulder belt should hit the middle of a child’s shoulder.
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