How Does Your Kid’s Car Seat Rate?

When our son, Matthew, was born, my husband and I had so many questions. Car seats, in particular, were confusing. What to get? Where to look for safety ratings? Would a particular car seat work in our car? Sheesh! Just the kind of hassles sleepless parents need, right?

Well, that whole thing just got a bit easier. A new government rating system grades child-safety seats on ease of installation. U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary Peters and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have released ratings for 78 child-safety seats currently available.

NHTSA says 7 out of 10 child-safety seats are either the wrong size for the child or are seriously misused, reducing their effectiveness in a crash. (When properly used, child-restraint systems reduce fatal injury by 71 percent for infants and 54 percent for toddlers in passenger cars. In light trucks, fatal injuries are reduced by 58 percent for infants and 59 percent for toddlers.)

For a complete list of the new rankings, visit and click on “Child Seat Ease of Use Ratings” under “Quick Clicks.”

Wish this had been around back in the day!

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