Consumer Reports: Finding safer child car seats

Car seat technology has improved dramatically since they were first introduced decades ago.

We’re taking a look at tests by Consumer Reports that show one safety innovation could significantly cut the risk of head injuries.

With a one-year-old and another one on the way, Natalie Gershstein knows her top priority when looking for a car seat safety.

“Baby stuff is always innovating and changing at a miraculous rate. so, they’re always coming out with new and better,” Gershstein said.

Just look at how car seats have changed over the years.

Consumer Reports says today’s seats are no doubt safer.

Like in the case of load legs—a clever feature originally from Europe that gives car seats extra support by extending a “leg” from the car seat base to the car floor.

“It allows for crash forces to be absorbed more so by the car seat and load leg and less crash energy to be transferred to your child occupant,” Emily Thomas with Consumer Reports said.

CR’s crash testing shows the added safety benefit of a load leg as it limits both the car seat and the child’s motion.

“We found that when using infant-sized dummies that there was an average 46 percent reduction in head injury risk for seats that have a load leg versus those that don’t have a load leg,” Thomas said.

CR says you can expect to pay more for that extra margin of safety.

For example, CR’s top-rated infant seat from Clek offers excellent crash protection with its load leg.

A more reasonably-priced seat that also scored “best” for crash protection is the Evenflo Litemax DLX.

Before shopping for a seat with a load leg, check your car’s manual for compatibility.

About the Authors:

Lauren Helkowski joined WSLS 10’s digital team in August 2022, but has held a passion for storytelling long before.

You can watch Brittny during the week anchoring the 5, 7 and 11 p.m. newscasts on WSLS 10 and reporting on news that matters to you.