Consumer Reports

CR's safest infant car seats

NBC Universal, Inc.

New parents face a slew of purchases as they welcome a new baby, but perhaps none are as important as an infant car seat. When you shop around, many of them look alike, so how do you know which ones will protect your baby when you need it most? Consumer Reports uses state-of-the-art science and testing to rate and recommend the safest seats for any budget.

Consumer Reports expert, Jennifer Stockburger explains that the main objective of a car seat is to manage the crash forces with the energy absorption, keeping it away from the child. While all child seats sold in the U.S. must meet federal safety requirements, Consumer Reports goes beyond and conducts its own crash tests at a higher speed, and test-sled designed to more closely represent the inside of a car and a real-world crash.

And that includes looking at new designs like seats with "load legs," an extra support that extends from a car seat's base to the vehicle's floor, and it makes infant seats that much safer.

The Clek Liing is CR's top recommended infant seat earning high scores for crash protection

And along with crash tests, Consumer Reports engineers also evaluate each seat for how easy it is to use and to install. Car seats are unique in that there's so much of the consumer's use that actually affects the outcome of how it controls energy and protects a child in a crash. The reasonably priced Chicco KeyFit rated as one of the easiest seats to install and also top for safety.

Always make sure that your child is buckled properly and the seat is properly installed every single time. To help you make the best and safest choice, try Consumer Reports' free infant car seat finder.

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