Study: Half of All Car Booster Seats Need Checking

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I’m not one who goes in for fear mongering when in comes to children. That said, don’t be stupid. The statistics tell us that car accidents are one of the most likely threats to the safety of everyone, and that goes double for kids. So pay special attention to this latest Washington Post report:

Half of all booster seats don’t ensure that adult-sized seat belts fit children properly in all vehicles, according to an analysis released Thursday by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Of 83 booster seats evaluated, 41 fell into the “check fit” category, meaning they might not provide adequate seat-belt fit for all children in all vehicles, the study found. Parents with those seats should check that the booster makes the lap belt lie flat across the child’s upper thighs and the shoulder belt fit snugly across the middle of the shoulder, researchers said. If it doesn’t do both, they said, parents should use another booster seat. The analysis covered all U.S. booster seats being manufactured.

I’d also caution that this isn’t a warning just for booster seats. We have two children currently in full-size car seats. They’re young and active kids, and they like to climb into their seats themselves. And once they’re belted in, they still find ways to horse around and tug at the belts. Combine this with the fact that we sometimes have to take out the seats and put them back in so we can accommodate more people and haul stuff, and you’d be surprised how often my husband and I find the restraints on the car seats getting loose. Make sure you always put your car seats back carefully. And if you’re not checking how secure your car seats are regularly, you need to be.