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What Is The Best Booster Seat To Buy


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Car seats and boosters provide protection for infants and children in a crash, yet car crashes are a leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 13. That's why it's so important to choose and use the right car seat correctly every time your child is in the car. Follow these important steps to choose the right seat, install it correctly and keep your child safe.


In addition to registering your car seat to receive recalls and safety notices from your car seat manufacturer, you can sign up to receive e-mail alerts from NHTSA about car seat and booster seat recalls to make sure your child remains safe.


This guide has been updated to reflect that as of July 2022, some models of the Clek Olli and Clek Ozzi, two backless booster seats that appear in the competition section, were the subject of a safety recall notice.


For the 2022 update of this guide, I spoke with Kerry Chausmer, program and member services director for the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA); Jessica Jermakian, PhD, vice president for vehicle research at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), a nonprofit organization dedicated to automotive safety; and Alisa Baer, MD, a pediatrician and co-founder of car seat safety website The Car Seat Lady. (Note: The Car Seat Lady website uses affiliate links, but it does not receive any compensation directly from car seat manufacturers.)


When I worked on the first version of this guide, in 2018, I became certified as a CPST, completing a 40-hour training program through the Safe Kids Worldwide organization, which teaches the proper installation and use of car seats.


I also interviewed representatives from car seat manufacturers Chicco, Diono, Nuna, Graco, BubbleBum, and MiFold. For the 2022 update, I consulted representatives from Chicco, Graco, Diono, Maxi-Cosi, Evenflo, UPPAbaby, and Britax. I talked to dozens of parents about their car seat experiences, scanned hundreds of Amazon reviews, and read articles from reputable media outlets such as Car Seats for the Littles and BabyGearLab.


Although the regulations for when a child is eligible to ride in a booster can vary from state to state (and seat to seat), typically the minimum height requirement is around 38 inches and the minimum weight requirement is around 40 pounds.


I tried out each booster seat with two of my children (ages 8 and 6). I unboxed, assembled (when applicable), and installed and uninstalled each seat. Over the course of six months, my kids took turns sitting in the seats in different cars (a crossover SUV and a minivan) and in different moods (from cooperative to cranky) while I took down the feedback on their likes, dislikes, and preferences. I formed my own opinions on the pros and cons of every seat, including install, fit, aesthetics, and ease of use.


We also asked three other families to try out the booster seats; each family (with kids ranging in age from 4 to 9 years old) tried four to five seats. They responded to detailed questionnaires about what it was like to install and move the seats into various cars, the buckling-in process, whether their kids were able to get a proper seat belt fit once buckled in, the overall look and feel of the seats, and how easy the LATCH system was to use (if applicable).


Since kids in boosters are often able to clearly articulate their opinions, their feedback was extremely valuable; we were curious to get their thoughts on everything from cup holders to cushions to armrests. The kids also reported on how well they were able to see out the window and whether they were able to get and stay buckled in comfortably.


For the seats that convert from high-back to backless, we asked families what they thought of that process. Were the pieces easy to separate, but not so easy that they fell apart each time the seat was moved Finally, we inquired about cleanup, encouraging families to make a mess and then deal with the aftermath (we had one instance of car sickness and many more instances of cracker




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