Parents – Not Sure Which Car Seat to Use?

Are you looking for a new car seat for your infant, toddler, or 4- to 8-year-old child but overwhelmed by the choices and worried about how to properly install your car seat? Click HERE to see how car seat features differ among various models.

Use the Five-Star Ease of Use Ratings

NHTSA provides parents a five-star ratings system that allows you to evaluate how easy certain car seat features are to use before you buy a seat. Are all seats safe?

All car seats rated by NHTSA meet Federal Safety Standards and strict crash performance standards. While all rated seats are safe, they do differ in their ease of use in four basic categories:

  • Evaluation of Instructions: Examines the content and clarity of the instruction manual for the restraint.
  • Vehicle Installation Features: Examines the ease of using features that pertain to installing the child restraint in a vehicle.
  • Evaluation of Labels: Examines the content and clarity of the labeling attached to the child restraint.
  • Securing the Child: Examines the ease of using features that pertain to securing a child correctly in the restraint.

NHTSA Ease-of-Use 5-Star Ratings

NHTSA uses a five-star rating system to help consumers evaluate the four basic category ratings:
  • (5 Stars) = Excellent features on this child restraint for this category.
  • (4 Stars) = Above average features on this child restraint for this category.
  • (3 Stars) = Average features on this child restraint for this category.
  • (2 Stars) = Below average features on this child restraint for this category.
  • (1 Star) = Poor features on this child restraint for this category.
  • N/A = Does not contain any features that require a rating.



Search Ease-of-Use Ratings



Simply click on the type of car seat you are buying and find the NHTSA ratings for:
Car Bed Forward-Facing Convertible Booster Seat
Infant 3-IN-1 Combination All
It Must Fit Right to Work Right

Remember, the best car seat is the one that fits your child properly, is easy to use, and fits in your vehicle correctly.

Get Your Car Seat Checked for Free

Be certain you've installed your car seat correctly by having it checked at an inspection station by a certified child passenger safety technician.

  • Click HERE to find the inspection station nearest you.
Get More Information
  • For more information on NHTSA's Ease-of-Use Ratings, click HERE
  • For guidelines in using Ease-of-Use ratings in advertising and communications click HERE