Most booster seats do well in new safety rankings

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Results are being released this morning on the latest tests on child booster seats. The results should make manufacturers as well as parents very happy.

It's violent enough even when a child is properly restrained during a car crash, and possibly fatal when they're not.

Now, new testing by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety concludes at least manufacturers are making better booster seats.

"So, this year there are 31 new booster seats on the market. 19 of those are in the Institute's top rating of Best Bet," said Jessica Jermakian, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Seats like the Britax Parkway SG in highback mode or the Harmony Transit Deluxe received top ratings because the lap belts lie flat across the upper thigh and the shoulder belt fits snugly across the center of the shoulder.

Britax, Evenflo, Ferrari, Graco, Harmony, Recaro and Safety 1st all had seats on the institute's "best bet" list.

Two boosters both from Dorel Juvenile Group ended up on the institute's "not recommended" list, although Dorel says both "are in compliance with and exceed all federal requirements for child restraint systems."

Boosters have proven effective at protecting children, but experts say there's no need to rush your child into one.

"The Institute recommends that parents keep their children in a harness-based restraint for as long as possible up to the height and weight limit of the seat," said Jermakian.

That generally means somewhere between ages 4 and 8.

Check the ratings here. 

Children should use boosters until they're big enough for adult belts to fit properly.