Even if you've installed your child's booster seat properly it doesn't mean it's safe, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). In fact, some seats are so unsafe the institute recommends that parents avoid them.
Booster seats are designed for kids who have outgrown forward-facing child seats, raising them up so adult-size safety belts fit properly. The IIHS rated booster seats based on how well they fit children ages four to eight with the lap and shoulder belts in a variety of vehicles. The following seats got such bad ratings the IIHS recommends not using them: Evenflo's Chase, Express, Generations 65, and Sightseer models and Safety 1st's All-in-One and Alpha Omega Elite. The Canadian company Harmony Juvenile Products was recognized as a "standout" in booster-seat design because all five of its seats were "best bets."
Of the 83 seats that were tested, 41 got a "check fit" rating because they didn't consistently fit well with belts, and 36 got a "best bet" or "good bet" rating. Children ages four through eight who are in a booster seat are 45 percent less likely to be injured in a car accident than kids using only seat belts.