NHTSA releases new car seat safety ratings

Originally posted at askpatty.com.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently released new car seat ease-of-use ratings. A new five-star ratings system will help parents evaluate car seat features before they buy.

Safety isn’t a factor in the ratings because all seats rated by the NHTSA meet Federal Safety Standards and crash performance standards. The seats are rated in four categories:

* Evaluation of instructions
* Vehicle installation features
* Evaluation of labels
* Securing the child

I checked out our car seat and the ratings and comments were spot-on. Our seat is great in many ways. But it doesn’t have a way to insert the harness buckles one-at-a-time or to even keep the two pieces together as you’re trying to insert them. It’s been a source of frustration for me from day one. While it certainly is easier than it was at first, it’s no fun to wrestle a wiggly baby into his seat straps. Baby Trend could help make it easier.

So if you’re looking for any car safety seat — infants, toddlers, or 4-8 year old kids — check out the Five-Star Ease-of-Use ratings system. I certainly will when our little guy outgrows his current seat. And at his current rate of growth, that won’t be long at all.

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