Infant Car Seats Fail Crash-Safety Tests

Here's scary news for parents of young children: Infant car seats probably aren't as safe as you think. Find out which ones make the grade (+ which don't).

Here’s some scary news for parents of young children: Your little one’s car seat probably isn’t as safe as you think.

I just learned that Consumer Reports performed new safety tests on 12 infant car seat models, and “most failed disastrously.” Yikes! Apparently, crash tests for cars are more rigorous than those for seats. Even infant car seats.

  • Only two models did well: the Baby Trend Flex-Loc and the Graco SnugRide with EPS.
  • Some models passed the tests when installed using the vehicle safety belts, but not with LATCH (the federally mandated attachment system for child car seats): Chicco KeyFit, Compass I410, Evenflo Embrace, or Peg Perego Primo Viaggio SIP. Consumer Reports advises: “If you can’t get a tight fit with the safety belt, buy one of the two seats we recommend.”
  • Three models failed all of Consumer Reports‘ “tough” tests: the Evenflo Discovery, the Graco SafeSeat, and the Britax Companion.

Read the full article here. Or skip right to the ratings chart. I plan to go home tonight and make sure my daughter’s seat is, indeed, the Graco SnugRide. (I think it is.) If not, we’re going shopping this weekend!

Get more tips and links to help you understand child car seat safety (updated in 2015).

Here's scary news for parents of young children: Infant car seats probably aren't as safe as you think. Find out which ones make the grade (+ which don't).

6 thoughts on “Infant Car Seats Fail Crash-Safety Tests

  1. just4ofus says:

    For those of you who are ready to buy booster seats, Consumer Reports only recommended ONE when I bought mine…
    I always check consumer reports before buying those things…
    Who knew the BRITAX would fail.. they are among the most expensive of car seats… makes me feel better for never buying one of those stupid cow covered BRITAX seats!

  2. My car is too old to have the LATCH system, we use the seat belt that requires a belt-clip (which are almost impossible to find now since every car has LATCH now.)

    One product I love is my Mighty-Tite car seat belt tightener! It’s only $16 and it really, really makes sure your car seat is in there good and tight.

  3. I did some research after reading the CR article. I found some interesting stuff, but I can’t figure out how to link in a comment. Anyway, I guess a lot of people dispute CR’s claims. Some of the reasons include: one year a seat is at the top and the next it is at the bottom when there were no differences in the manufacturing of the seat from year to year; CR doesn’t disclose who installs the seats; who’s doing the testing; and their circle ratings are confusing and unclear (was it one or seven things that made the circle go from full red to half black?) etc. On the other hand, CR is an indepentent, non-profit magazine, so who knows?

    We actually have the GRACO safe seat, which I guess failed the tests, yet the person at Babies ‘R Us, the fireman we took the seat to to check the install, and stuff all over the box says it’s the best seat out there, and the highest rated when it comes to side impact crashes. (It was also MIGHTY expensive!) We were on are way to get a convertible seat anyway (I’m sick of lugging the bucket around), so maybe we’ll just push that purchase up a few weeks.

  4. When looking to buy anything for the boys I always check out the Consumer Product Safety Commision Web site (

    You can sign up for email alerts specific to child focused products. It is a great resource- and something we checked when looking to buy a few second hand car seats – for the grandparent vehicles.

  5. It's important as a concerned parent to look into the product that your buying to help protect your child from injury. The Consumer Product Safety Committee provides so much helpful information on reaching that goal. Also look into size, height and weight that would be appropriate for your child.

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