Experts determine how to safely strap kids into booster seats

The latest booster seat ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety show that most child seat manufacturers have mastered something that once eluded them.

Building a seat that provides good safety belt fit for the typical four- to eight-year-old passenger.

Of the 53 new booster seat models evaluated, 48 earned the agency’s highest rating of “best bet.” Back in 2008 when the institute began rating boosters, only a quarter of the seats evaluated earned that designation.

The evaluation focuses on belt fit and does not involve crash tests.

A correct belt fit means the lap belt lies flat across a child’s upper thighs and the shoulder belt crosses snug over the middle of the shoulder.

Five models, however, made the group’s list of booster seats they wouldn’t recommend this year. Those models are:

  • Cosco Easy Elite
  • Cosco Highback 2-in-1 DX
  • Diono Olympia
  • Diono Pacifica
  • Safety 1st Summit 65

The institute’s complete list of ratings can be found online at and includes many models that were evaluated in years past. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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