Is your car seat safe? Possibly not as safe as you think it is.

You can find the article I read here, but the gist of it is that some car seats failed when tested at the same speed cars are tested at. Apparently car seats only have to test at 30 mph in a frontal crash, not 35 and 38 mph in a frontal and side crashes. Nine out of 12 seats tested did not perform well.

This is particularly disturbing when you think about how hard it is to get a car seat installed correctly in the first place. It leaves us with a situation that not only are the seats difficult to install, they are not performing as well as the rest of the car is expected to. It’s pretty frustrating.

Manufacturers insist there is nothing wrong with their seats, which is the answer one would expect. But Consumer Reports is the company doing the test, and they’re pretty good at what they do.

This doesn’t mean give up on car seats; not by a long shot. Even when the seats don’t perform as well as you might like they are safer than not riding in the seat for your baby.

If you’re in the market for a car seat, do yourself a favor and check out this report. The two best performing seats were the Graco SnugRide with EPS (a type of energy absorbing foam) and the Baby Trend Flex-Loc.

And make sure you get your installation checked. In many states police or fire departments will do so for free. SeatCheck.org can help you find a place to get yours checked.

Update 1-18-07

Consumer Reports blew this one! They’ve withdrawn the report. 

[tags]car seats,safety,consumer reports,car seat test,graco snugride[/tags]