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Old 06-20-2007, 07:50 PM
 
Location: Living in Paradise
5,702 posts, read 21,917,846 times
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NHTSA began rating child restraint systems, which include booster seats, in 2002 -- using a grading system of "A," "B," or "C" to denote how easy certain features are to use on safety seats. For 2007, NHTSA rated 101 child safety seats from 19 different manufacturers for 2007. Of the 101 seats rated, 81 percent received an overall score of A. In 2006, 85 percent of rated seats received an overall score of A. NHTSA's Ease of Use Ratings program strives to prompt child restraint system (CRS) manufacturers to improve their products and make them easier for consumers to use. Highlights from the 2007 ratings of selected safety seats are as follows:

* A total of 165 ratings were awarded in 2007, covering all the multiple use modes for convertible and combination seats available in the 101 safety seats selected. This was an increase from 2006, where 99 seats were selected with a total of 160 individual ratings. The 2007 ratings are estimated to cover over 95 percent of safety seats currently available to consumers.
* In order for a seat to qualify for an overall "A," it must receive an "A" rating in every possible mode. Out of the 101 seats rated, 82 received an "A" overall, 8 received a "B" overall, and 11 had mixed scores of either an "A" or "B" for each of its modes.
* As in 2006, there were no safety seats that received an overall "C" rating; however, there were several "C" scores in some individual categories.

In addition to the overall rating, NHTSA also uses the letter grading system to denote how well the child safety seats perform in five individual categories:

* Whether the seat is pre-assembled or requires assembly after purchase.
* Clarity of the labeling attached to the seat.
* Clarity of written instructions regarding the seats proper use.
* Ease of securing a child in the seat.
* Whether the seat has features that make it easier to install in a vehicle.

Remember, the best child safety seat is the one that fits your child properly, is easy to use, and fits in your vehicle correctly. The best way to ensure a proper fit in your vehicle is to try installing the child seat before purchasing.
Be certain you've installed your child safety or booster seat correctly by having it checked at a child safety seat inspection station or by a certified child passenger safety technician. To find one near you, visit http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/CPS/CPSFitting or Home | SeatCheck.org. You can also call 1-888-DASH-2-DOT or 1-866-SEATCHECK.
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