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Car booster seats for kids are getting better - study

2016-11-17 13:51

BETTER QUALITY: According to a study, the manufacturers of booster seats are producing better quality products. Image: iStock

New York - Companies that make child booster seats for vehicles are getting better at designing them to protect kids, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety said Thursday (Nov 17).

Of the 53 new booster seats IIHS tested, 48 received the nonprofit's highest rating. Two models of booster seats, which were made by Dorel Juvenile, were not recommended. When IIHS first began rating booster seats about eight years ago, only a quarter of seats earned the highest rating.

READ: Booster seats: What you should know

"Parents looking for a safe option for kids who have outgrown seats with built-in harnesses have more choices than ever," said Jessica Jermakian, a senior research engineer at IIHS.

Booster seats are made for children between 4 and 8 years old who have outgrown their car seats. Kids who sit on the booster seats are 45 percent less likely to be injured in a crash compared to just using seat belts alone, IIHS said.

The Dorel Juvenile models that were not recommended were the Cosco Easy Elite and the Cosco Highback 2-in-1 DX. The IIHS said Dorel Juvenile designed seven other boosters that received its highest rating.

"It's disappointing that they would introduce boosters that don't do their job when they clearly know how to do it right," Jermakian said.

WATCH: Child car seats - All you need to know

According to South Africa’s Arrive Alive, there are several different types of restraints when it comes to choosing the correct booster/baby seats.

Factors to consider are the child’s weight, height, does it have a proper three-point lap and diagonal seat-belt fitting when driving in a vehicle and will the seat fit in your car.

Arrive Alive said: “If a child is restrained in the wrong system for its age or weight, or the straps or harnesses are not adequately secured or entirely left undone, it will place the child at an increased risk of both fatal and non-fatal injuries. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when installing a restraint and placing your child in it.”

A child should be kept in the most appropriate restraint suitable for his or her size and age and only be moved to the next category of restraint when he or she no longer physically fits.

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