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What Are The Safest Car Seats?

Apr 1, 2008
No car seat can be sold on the market in the United States without passing certain safety restrictions and crash tests.

Despite these regulations, not all car seats are created equal, and there is no way we can find out which are the safest car seats based on these tests; manufacturers aren't legally required to release this information. But at the very least, we can be assured that each car seat sold in the United States meets or exceeds the regulations.

You can find out which car seats are safest through Consumer Reports, which does simulated car crashes to test the effectiveness of car seats. However, we should also note that scientists have discounted the results for various reasons. Sometimes it's because of past mistakes, or because of poor parameters and less than good reporting. Still, Consumer Reports is a good place to begin your research.

Consumer Reports has written about its top picks over the years. Do remember, however, that even the safest car seat in the world is only as safe as the user. If you don't install it properly or use it properly each time your child rides in the car, then of course it's not safe.

Consumer Reports' most recent test included eleven rear-facing infant car seats. It was a retest of the previous year's test, which had some errors. All eleven seats met governmental crash test standards when attached using the seat belt and when using the LATCH.

(LATCH is an acronym for Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children.) Once again, the US' system of testing fails to gives us any idea of which were the best and worst performing models.

Consumer Reports addresses this problem by trying to identify the safest car seats. They do it by rating the car seats on Ease of Use and Fit to Vehicle. These two things will have an enormous impact on the safety of car seats.

If the car seat doesn't fit inside the car properly, you won't be able to install it safely. The harder it is to install the car seat, the more likely you will not fasten the car seat safely and properly.

Using these guidelines, Consumer Reports rated the Chicco Key Fit as the safest car seat. The second safest car seat was the Britax Companion.

For the Best Buys, Consumer Reports deemed Baby Trend Flex-Loc and Graco SnugRide as having the best value and features for your money.
About the Author
Before you buy a car seat make sure to visit Car Seat Reviews to find in-depth reviews on the Best Car Seats and other Car Seat Ratings.
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