Is Your Child's Booster Seat Doing Its Job? IIHS Evaluates Belt Fit

It may be easy to install child seats in the Ford Escape, but installing a seat only matters if the seat does its job.

When a child outgrows their front-facing car seat—typically between 4 and 8 years old—they are usually still too small for the car's seat belts to fit correctly. Lap belts designed for adult passengers often fit across a child's stomach instead of their lap, putting them at risk of serious injury to internal organs in a crash. Similarly, the shoulder belt often fits across a child's neck instead of their shoulder, putting them at risk.

A booster seat should correct your child's seating position so that the belts fit properly, protecting them if a collision should occur. Boosters may have high backs, or they may be only a bottom cushion.

The IIHS has found that some booster seats always provide a good belt fit for most children, regardless of what kind of vehicle—sedan, minivan, SUV—the seat is installed in. Other boosters may vary in performance depending on the vehicle model. Check out the IIHS booster seat ratings before making a purchase, and always check for a good fit after installation.

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