Infant car seats; Graco good, Evenflo bad
I'm usually not one to raise a fuss over one of those stories you see on the news, you know the ones? The sort where the 6 p.m. news anchors ask with heightened eyebrows, "could your child's life be AT RISK?" and then cut to commercial. But this one has even me up in arms.
Update: Consumer Reports has made the unusual move of taking back its study, saying that "new information received Tuesday night and Wednesday morning from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) ... raises a question about whether the tests accurately simulated that speed [of 38 mph]." While this is interesting, I find it odd to quibble over what may be one or two miles an hour of difference when we're talking the safety of our children! [end update]
Consumer Reports did a study of 12 infant car seat models. Instead of testing them in crashes at 30 mph, the speed that the U.S. government requires car seats to withstand, the magazine tested the seats (filled with baby-sized crash-test dummies, shivers) at 35 and 38 mph, the speeds at which most cars are crash-tested. The results were frightening; many car seats detached from their bases, and some were catapulted out of the base. Many seats would have "caused grave injuries."
Graco's SnugRide with EPS seat, $79.99 at Target, and the Baby Trend Flex-Loc, also $79.99, passed the test. The Evenflo Discovery, $49.99 at Target, did so poorly that Consumer Reports urged the CPCC to recall the seat. I've raved about this at length at my 'day job,' and you can see Consumer Reports for more detail.