5_best_child_seatsChild safety seats save lives. Protecting infants while riding in a car isn’t just a responsibility, it’s the law. Every state in the nation requires children up to three years of age to be secured in car seats, with booster seats required for most children up to 10 years old. Keep in mind that the risk of injury in a crash is reduced 45 percent if children are properly restrained. But how do you know which do the best job of cocooning your most precious cargo?

Consumer Reports has identified the five best car seats for your baby. All five performed well in new front impact tests that simulated a 35 mile per hour crash and scored well for ease-of-use. The new testing procedure is said to provide parents with the information needed to more easily compare the safety of seats designated for infants.

The recommended car seats are:

  • Chicco KeyFit and KeyFit 30
  • Combi Shuttle
  • Cybex Aton 2
  • Safety 1st onBoard 35 Air
  • UPPAbaby Mesa

Since the cost of these seats range from $150-to-$300, Consumer Reports lists others that cost slightly less but still perform well overall:

  • Safety 1st Comfy Carry Elite Plus
  • Graco SnugRide 30 Classic Connect

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) also does extensive testing for their booster seat best picks for parents and grandparents. However, anyone who used the 2014 IIHS ratings should know that two of their best booster seat recommendations are now not recommended. The IIHS warns that initial testing on the Eddie Bauer Deluxe Highback 65 and the Safety 1st Summit 65 did not detect issues with the positioning of the shoulder belt. You can see their list here.

When you get the proper car seat, there are some other important facts to keep in mind:

  • Nine out of 10 child car seats were found to be installed incorrectly
  • Nearly half of all child car seats are not compatible with motor vehicle seats
  • Many parents move their children out of booster seats too early
  • Families continue to use old unsafe seats or ones that have been recalled

When installing a car safety seat you should:

  • Always do so in the back seat, using the center most position
  • Make sure to use the correct seat for your child’s age and size
  • Keep infants in rear facing seats
  • Secure the seat so it moves no more than one inch from side to side

Just as you want to do everything you can to protect your children, make sure you also have the best auto insurance protection with the discounts you deserve. Contact a California Casualty advisor today for a no- hassle policy review and comparison at 1.800.800.9410 or at www.calcas.com.

Sources for this article:

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2014/04/5-best-car-seats-for-your-baby/index.htm

http://www.ghsa.org/html/stateinfo/laws/childsafety_laws.html

http://www.iihs.org/iihs/ratings/child-boosters/best-bets

http://www.safercar.gov/parents/CarSeats/Car-Seat-Safety.htm

http://www.safetyandhealthmagazine.com/articles/12967-researcher-42-of-child-car-seats-not-compatible-with-vehicle-seats

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