The Institute for Highway Safety has provided a method to take much of the guesswork out of selecting the proper booster seat for your child. Seat belts are designed with adults in mind—so a child booster seat is an absolute necessity—and extra care needs to be taken when securing young children.
Children usually resist wearing a seatbelt because it is uncomfortable. Boosters elevate children so that the safety belts installed in vehicles by manufacturers will fit the child better. The booster seat allows the lap belt to fit properly over the child’s thighs and not their abdomen. The shoulder belt should fit across the middle of the child’s shoulder. Not only will the belt be more comfortable, it will provide maximum protection in a crash.
The institute’s researchers used a specially designed test dummy configured as a 6-year-old child. The researchers determined the effectiveness of how 3-point lap and shoulder belts fit the dummy under a range of configurations representing many different automobile models. Based on a range of scores, a booster seat rating was assigned to each seat. Visit the IIHS website for more information to and read about the 2013 Booster Seat Evaluations.