Child booster seats are necessary to help safely restrain a child in seat belts that are normally designed for adults. According to recent testing by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), they’ve come a long way in improved fit.
According to the IIHS, booster seat safety comes down to how well the lap and shoulder belts are positioned on average booster-age children in most automobiles. Lap belts should be across the child’s upper thighs, and shoulder belts should lie along the mid-shoulder. The belts should not be riding up on the child’s tummy, against their neck or falling off their shoulder.
What the IIHS found was that for the first time in their testing, there were more products with top booster seat ratings than ones that they don’t recommend. This is good news for parents, because it probably means there are more choices out there to help them find the best booster seat.
If you already have a seat but it doesn’t fit perfectly, you should keep using it until you can get a better one. The IIHS notes that children age 4 to 8 who ride in boosters are 45 percent less likely to sustain injuries in a crash, than if they were in seat belts alone. That’s significant.
You can read more about the IIHS review and their ratings here.