Friday, January 05, 2007

Infant Car Seat Reviews - Big problems for little people

Consumer Reports has carried out it's annual tests of infant car seats, and the results are far from reassuring.

The seats were subject to 35 mph (56 km/h) frontal crashes and 38 mph (61 km/h) side impact. Of the twelve tested, only two performed well enough to be recommended by Consumer Reports.

Here is a summary of the important findings:

Of 12 infant seats tested, only two performed well enough to be
recommended by Consumer Reports: the Baby Trend Flex-Loc and the Graco
SnugRide with EPS.

Nine infant seats provided poor protection in some or all of the tests,
even though they meet the federal safety standard. One seat, the
Evenflo Discovery, didn't even meet that standard. CR is urging federal
officials to order a recall of that seat.

Many infant seats sold in Europe undergo more rigorous testing than do
models sold in the U.S. Indeed, when CR crash-tested an infant seat
purchased in England, the Britax Cosy Tot, it was the best in the
tests. An infant seat sold in the U.S. by the same manufacturer, the
Companion, failed CU's tests.

CR's findings offer added evidence of problems with LATCH, the
federally-mandated attachment system for child car seats. Many car
seats performed worse with LATCH than with vehicle safety belts. And
LATCH attachments aren't always easy to use.

Although the tests are tougher than US federal regulations, they are more reflective of real-life situations.

We use the LATCH/UAS system in our 2006 Honda Civic, and I have to admit that it does take some getting used to. Taking the seat in or out of the car is not something that I do on a whim. When we went on holiday and left the kid with my in-laws, it took me nearly an hour to install the seat in their 2002 Sentra.

From PR NEWSWIRE (via the amazing DAYLIFE)

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