What Child Booster Seats Are Effective?

Check out the Institute for Highway Safety's evaluation of child seats.

Oct. 1, 2008 — -- For the first time ever, child booster seats that are used in cars have been put to the test.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, with the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, recently evaluated the effectiveness of 41 car booster seats and found that 13 did "such a poor job of improving the fit of lap and shoulder belts for children that the Institute doesn't recommend them at all."

"The findings were surprising because their purpose is to position a child effectively, and so many didn't achieve this main purpose," Anne McCart, vice president of research at the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, told "Good Morning America."

Also, since booster seats are only held in place by the car's seat belt, it can unbuckle.

Few people know that fact better than Kevin Miller, father of 3-year-old Kyle, who was killed when his car seat detached in a wreck.

"When we turned around, Kyle was, Kyle wasn't in the car at all," Miller said. "His seat was gone."

Since then, the Miller family began a mission to educate people about the ineffectiveness of booster seats and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has responded.

According to a statement released by the Institute, "These evaluations are the first to tell consumers how well boosters sold by U.S. retailers improve belt fit for children in cars, minivans and SUVs."

"Our data show it's possible to design a booster with good lap and shoulder belt fit," Matt Reed, the study's lead author and research associate professor at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, said in a press release. "Boosters that can't do that should be redesigned."

Booster Seat Evaluations by The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

Not Recommended

Safety Angel Ride Ryte backless Cosco/Dorel (Eddie Bauer) Summit Graco CarGo Zephyr Evenflo Big Kid Confidence Cosco/Dorel Traveler Compass B505 Compass B510 Evenflo Generations Dorel/Safety 1st (Eddie Bauer) Prospect Cosco Highback Booster Cosco/Dorel Alpha Omega Evenflo Chase Comfort Touch Safety 1st/Dorel Intera

Good Belts Graco TurboBooster backless with clip Fisher-Price Safe Voyage backless with clip Combi Kobuk backless with clip Fisher-Price Safe Voyage Britax Parkway LaRoche Bros. Teddy Bear Safeguard Go backless with clip Volvo booster cushion Recaro Young Style Britax Monarch

Good Belts Graco TurboBooster Safety Angel Ride Ryte Recaro Young Sport Combi Kobuk Safety 1st/Dorel Apex 65

Note: Unless the booster name indicates that it is a backless seat, all boosters are highbacks. Go to iihs.org for the full list of model numbers and manufacture dates.

For more information, check out the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's web site at http://www.iihs.org/.