Booster seats are considered dangerous for children who weigh less than 40 pounds but the manufacturer of the “Big Kid” Booster seat doesn’t care. Despite several lawsuits settled with parents whose child suffered internal decapitation or traumatic brain injuries because the booster seat did not protect them adequately from side impact, the manufacturer continues to pretend its booster seat is safe for children over 30 pounds. The reason for doing so is purely motivated by profit and no regulation in the US is preventing the manufacturer to do so. In Canada where regulations are stricter the same booster seat is deemed safe for children over 40 pounds.
Evenflo executive put profit ahead of safety
A recent investigation by Propublica found that executives at Evenflo were asked several times by one of their safety engineers to stop selling their “Big Kid” booster seats to children who weighted less than 40 pounds. The engineer told executives that by raising the minimum weight to 40 pounds instead of 30 the company would align with the American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommendations and match Canadian regulations. His recommendations were vetoed by a marketing executive.
Not only did the company continue to sell the “Big Kid” booster seat to children over 30 pounds in the US but it also falsely advertised that its seat was “SIDE IMPACT TESTED”. On its website Evenflo claimed that its booster seat was rigorously tested with simulators that show that the seat was safe in side impact crashes that are responsible for an estimated 25% of children deaths in car accidents. In reality the company tests were showing that child-sized crash dummies would suffer catastrophic head, neck or spinal injuries or death in case of a T-Bone collision. Evenflo not only turned a blind eye on the test results but also advertised the seats as safe during side impact accidents. Some parents told Pro Publica that one of the reasons they bought the Big Kid Booster Seat was because it was the one that was promoting safety the most.
Flaws in the US regulations in regards to children seat safety allows Evenflo to sell dangerous products to parents while pretending they are the safest. As a results children continue to die or to become paralyzed for the rest of their life.
Read the ProPublica investigation
Picture of an Evenflo booster seat courtesy of www.yourbestdigs.com/reviews/best-booster-car-seat/