Child safety seat :: Most car seats for babies fail crash tests

A child safety seat, “car seat”, or a “child restraint system”, is a restraint which is secured to the seat of an automobile equipped with safety harnesses to hold a child in the event of a crash. Most car seats for babies fail disastrously when subjected to side-impact crash tests, according to a study of seats available in the United States by a consumer magazine.

The magazine, Consumer Reports, published by the nonprofit Consumers Union, said that one manufacturer, Britax Childcare Group, of Andover, England, sold a model in Europe that was the top performer in its tests, but that the version that Britax sold in the United States failed the test.

The seats are rear-facing models designed mostly for babies under one year old. They have a base that is installed in the car and a carrier that can be detached, with the baby strapped inside. Of the 12 car seats tested, Consumer Reports said it could recommend only two, and it urged a federal recall of the poorest performing seat.

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