Understanding Car Seat Ratings

Understanding how child car seat ratings are done might be the most important thing that parents can do in order to choose the right model for the baby. It is certainly important that you pick the best baby car seat that is the right size for your child, but beyond that getting the right safety features and finding one that is easy to use is also very crucial.

The NHTSA rates all children's car seats that meet the minimum safety requirements. The most important thing that you can do is make sure that you buy a infant car seat that is on the rated list. If it is not, then that means that it has not met the minimum safety ratings. In this case, there is no way that you can trust any claims that are made by a company about the safety of its car seat.

Once you have ascertained that the baby car seat that you are looking for has car seat safety ratings available, then you need to learn what the different infant car seat ratings mean and how you can evaluate which are important to you. There are five ratings in total, and one might be more important to a certain individual than it is to another.

Meanings of 5 Car Seat Safety Ratings

The first kind of rating has to do with the evaluation of labels. There have been child seat recalls for products that don't have labels in the right place. It might not immediately seem like this is very important, but there are phone numbers that are printed on these labels and if they are not visible, then this is a safety concern. This might not be the most important category for all people, but nonetheless it should be considered.

The second rating has to do with the evaluation of instructions. Many people consider this to be one of the more important baby car seat ratings as the inability to properly use a product will often result in a loss of the effectiveness of the safety features that are included. It is been shown that many people install and use child safety car seats incorrectly, and understanding the instructions would be the best defense against that situation.

The third rating category evaluates how well the child is secured in the seat. It is crucial not to overlook this one, as it may be the most important of all. There are a number of different toddler car seats that have good ratings in the other four categories, but do not do so well in this one. In that case, it might not be a seat that you would want to use for your child.

The fourth rating evaluates the installation features of the car seat. Whether or not this is important has to do with how the baby seat will be used. If there is one single way that it will be used and it has sufficient installation features for this kind of use then it should be suitable. There is obviously a little bit more to this category than simply the rating, and some further research might need to be done in to an individual car seat.

The fifth of the child car seat ratings is the overall ease of use. If you feel that you can navigate your way through difficult instructions then this might not be so important. There is more to do with that than the instruction manual, as this is also a separate category. It has a lot to do with how easy it is to get in and out of the vehicle and safely secure it. Even for a seat that is difficult to use, it is possible to learn how to use it so it might not be the most important of all the different criteria.


It is wise to get to know the infant car seat ratings and the different categories that are used. The NHTSA evaluates the different child seats by type, and you can get car seat safety rating for newborn, infant, toddler, convertible units, combination seats, booster seats and many others. Once you have found a seat that performs well in the overall car seat safety rating, make sure that it is a suitable size for your child and you'll be providing them with the utmost in safety.

And above all, driving safely should be your first priority. As with any other things, no amount of safety features and precautions can prevent injuries from serious car crash situations, so it best that you keep an eye on the road.


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