Car Seat Safety Update

It's not easy figuring out which car seat to buy, let alone how to install it correctly. Check out this guide to car seat safety from a mom who's been there.

I wrote about Consumer Reports‘ fairly dismal assessment of infant car seat safety. While I was glad to learn our daughter’s car seat was one of the “safe” ones, I also realized she’s rapidly outgrowing it. As we say at home with grand gestures, she’s “sooooooo big!”

To shop for the next size up, I wanted to find out what Consumer Reports considers “safe” toddler/booster seats. Turns out, I had to fork over $5.95 for a one-month subscription to the site in order to access that info. Here’s what I found out (scroll down for updated list as of 2015).

Top-rated convertible seats:

  1. Britax Roundabout
  2. Evenflo Triumph 5
  3. Cosco Alpha Omega Elite 22-155

Top-rated toddler booster seats:

  1. Eddie Bauer High Back Booster (Cosco)
  2. Safety 1st Vantage Point SE High Back Booster
  3. Cosco Summit High Back Booster
  4. Evenflo Chase DLX

FYI, I think we’re going with the Evenflo Triumph 5—it’s $109.99 with free shipping from Albee Baby. And while I’m at it, I’ll pick up a Mighty-Tite car seat belt tightener to make sure Cassie’s new seat is installed safely. (Thanks for the tip, Cara!)

Car seat safety update

Hey, there. It’s 2015, and a few years since I had a kiddo in a pumpkin seat. Safety experts continue to monitor and study the performance of car seat safety, while manufacturers keep on making (and sometimes improving) car seats in a variety of styles, sizes, and features.


Here are some helpful steps for choosing the right car seat for your little one, courtesy of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:

  1. Start with the basics: Pick the correct car seat type (there are four main ones), according to the latest age and size recommendations (from birth to age 13). Compare makes, models, and ease-of-use with this handy Car Seat Finder tool.
  2. Install the car seat correctly: This is a big one. Many, many parents do it wrong, which can be dangerous for your child. Correctly used child safety seats can reduce the risk of death by as much as 71 percent, according to Safe Kids Worldwide. Check out these car seat installation tips to keep your child safe.
  3. Register your car seat: Do it right away, so you can get car seat and booster seat recall notices.
  4. Stay on top of safety alerts: You can sign up to get additional car seat safety updates from the NHTSA.

Car seat buying guide

I still think Consumer Reports is a good resource to check before you purchase a car seat. Each year, they update their buying guide with ratings and reviews of the latest models. As of 2015, the top picks for safer car seats included:

Free inspections

Once you choose your seat and install it according to the directions, you can also choose to have it inspected by a certified technician. Most of the time, these inspections are free of charge, and the technician can help train you on making sure your child’s seat is installed safely. Find a car seat inspection station near you. If nothing else, this extra step will give you peace of mind.

It's not easy figuring out which car seat to buy, let alone how to install it correctly. Check out this guide to car seat safety from a mom who's been there.


4 thoughts on “Car Seat Safety Update

  1. Thanks, Susan! I just realized the other day we needed to shop for the next size car seat and I was procrastinating about doing the research. And now I don’t have to. 🙂

  2. Choice of right car seat for your little one is very important. Before buying a baby car seat, one must be aware about the Consumer Reports’ safe toddler/booster seats & also car safety tips.

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