Evenflo's booster seats could be dangerous for kids under 40 lbs, says new report

ProPublica recently released an investigation into Evenflo's "Big Kid" booster seats.

Evenflo's booster seats could be dangerous for kids under 40 lbs, says new report

As consumers, we expect that products (especially safety products) for infants and children will meet safety standards and be rigorously tested, but as Consumer Reports' investigation of the Rock n' Play taught us, parents' expectations are not always met by the industry.

This week another news organization, ProPublica, released an investigation into Evenflo's "Big Kid" booster seats. It found that while the seats are marketed for children weighing 30 pounds or more, children that small are not protected in side-impact collisions.

ProPublica obtained video of crash-testing which shows exactly why the American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend booster seats for children under 40 pounds (the AAP says parents should keep kids in harnessed car seats as long as possible, instead.)

According to ProPublica's extensive reporting, an engineer at Evenflo raised the alarm on this issue back in 2012, alerting the company to the AAP's recommendations and recommending the company stop marketing the booster seats for children under 40 pounds.

Due to a lack of federal regulations regarding side-impact tests for booster seats, companies set their own requirements for what constitutes a "pass" during side-impact crash tests of booster seats. Some safety advocates say that's just not okay.

Grace Brombach is the Consumer Watchdog associate for the U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund. She says it's time to stop expecting manufacturers to be the gate-keepers of safety and is calling for more regulations for children's products.

"When it comes to their children, parents expect the strongest possible safety standards across the board. Federal safety regulators have had nearly 20 years to implement testing standards for car seats that protect kids from side-impact collisions. It's clear, based on this new investigation, that allowing manufacturers to set their own tests puts kids' safety at risk. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration needs to establish national testing standards for side-impact crashes, just like it did years ago for front impacts," says Brombach.

Motherly has reached out to Evenflo for comment and will update this post if needed.

Bottom line; Parents should not rush to put little kids into so-called Big Kid booster seats. According to the American Pediatric Association (APA), parents should keep kids in harnessed car seats for as long as possible, until the child has outgrown weight or height limits. That means a kid might be 8 years old before they're in a booster, but as ProPublica's report proves, little bodies need that extra protection and the move to a booster seat is one milestone parents should put off for as long as possible.

10 must-have registry items that will change your life, mama

The baby gear heavy hitters that should be top of your list

Calling all mamas-to-be! It's a fundamental truth of (impending) motherhood that your prepping-for-baby To Do list can feel a mile long, but really the best way to feel organized is to sort out the most important item at the top of your list: your registry. Sure the items you choose to include will end up running the gamut from nice-to-haves to absolutely essential game-changers, but mamas in the know quickly learn one thing: Not all baby gear is created equal.

So while you can and should pepper your registry with adorable inclusions that aren't necessarily can't-live-withouts (go ahead, add 'em!), you should make sure you're ticking the boxes on those pieces of baby gear that can be absolute life savers once you're in full-blown mama mode. From car seats to bouncers and playmats, your play and travel gear will be some of the most obvious important items on your list, but so can unexpected things, like a super comfy baby carrier and a snooze-inducing white noise machine. So to help you sort through the must-have options, we turned to the holy grail of motherhood that is buybuy BABY and handpicked 10 of the very best essential pieces that will change your life, we promise.

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Our Partners

Every week, we stock the Motherly Shop with innovative and fresh products from brands we feel good about. We want to be certain you don't miss anything, so to keep you in the loop, we're providing a cheat sheet.

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Earth Mama: Effective, natural herbal care for mamas and babies

Founded and grown in her own garage in 2002, Earth Mama started as an operation of one, creating salves, tinctures, teas and soaps with homegrown herbs. With a deep desire to bring the healing powers of nature that have been relied on for thousands of years to as many mamas as possible, Melinda Olson's formulas quickly grew into Earth Mama Organics. Since then, the brand has remained committed to manufacturing clean, safe and effective herbal solutions for the entire journey of motherhood, including pregnancy, breastfeeding and baby care, and even the loss of a baby.

Bravado Designs: Soothing sounds for a good night's sleep

With 28 years of serving pregnant and postpartum mamas under their belt, Bravado Designs is a true authority on the needs of changing bodies. It's true that we have them to thank for rescuing us from the uncomfortable and frumpy designs our own moms had to live with. Launched in Canada by two young mamas, they designed the first prototypes with extra leopard print fabric certain that a better bra was possible. Throughout the years they've maintained their commitment to ethical manufacturing while creating long-lasting products that truly work.

The Sill: Instagram-ready potted plants

We've long admired this female-founded brand and the brilliant mind behind it, Eliza Blank. (She even joined Motherly co-founder Liz Tenety on and episode of The Motherly Podcast!) The mission behind the business was simple: To make the process of bringing plants into your home as easy as possible, and as wonderful as the plant themselves. With their in-house, exclusively designed minimalist planters, the end result makes plant parenthood just a few clicks away.

Not sure where to start? Here's what we're adding to our cart:

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The 6 biggest lies I believed before having kids

Just about all of us had set assumptions about raising kids before we became parents ourselves.

Just about all of us had set assumptions about raising kids before we became parents ourselves. Some of these ideas might have been based on our own ideas of how we would absolutely do things differently than everyone else. Others, we believed what everyone else told us would happen would apply to our littles, too. But, that's not always the case, mama.

Below are six of the biggest lies I believed before having kids—and the reality of what actually happened for me.

1. Put your baby down drowsy, but awake

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