More than half of child booster seats that went on sale this past year performed well in recent safety rankings.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, which is funded by insurance companies, ranked 31 recently released booster seats. Ratings were based on how they positioned a child-sized crash dummy to use a car's seat belts.
Nineteen of the models earned the top rating of "best bet," which means the seat correctly positions 4- to 8-year-olds to use the regular shoulder and lap belts in most cars. Both booster seats with high backs and seats without backs performed well.
One booster seat earned a "good bet" rating in its high-back mode. This indicates that the fit is acceptable in most vehicles. Eleven booster seats got a "check fit" rating, which means the seats might provide a good fit in some vehicles, but parents should check to make sure.
Although most seats performed well, the Institute warns against buying two potentially dangerous booster seats: The Safety 1st All-In-One and the Safety 1st Alpha Omega Elite. Dorel Juvenile Group manufactures both. The seats aren't recommended due to the unsafe positioning of their lap and shoulder belts.
Seats have improved in the last five years, but the seats trusted to carry our most precious cargo can still be made safer.
The Institute's full list of Booster Consultations for 2013 are available on their website.