Infant Car Seat Safety Risk

When it comes to baby travel-stroller systems, Orbit is one of the hippest and most expensive. It costs a whopping $900! Consumer Reports has found a potential safety risk with the car seat.

Like other "travel systems," the Orbit Infant System is a child seat that can either be snapped into its stroller or latched into its car-seat base.

But in Consumer Reports' tests at a specialized lab, two out of six seats failed simulated crashes.

"In one case when the seat was installed with LATCH and it tested to the federal standard, it detached from its base." said Consumer Reports Jennifer Stockburger. "In the second case it did so when attached with the lap and shoulder belt. Though there have been no reported injuries, we do feel that this poses a safety risk."

Consumer Reports contacted the manufacturer, Orbit Baby. The company insists its seat is safe and said: "We took immediate action and scheduled further extensive testing at the same certified test lab. All of the car seats subjected to these tests passed."

Still, Consumer Reports says Don't Buy the Orbit Infant System.

If you own it, use it without the base.

"In this case you'll strap it directly into your car using the seatbelts," said Stockburger. "And in that configuration it passed our crash tests."

Stockburger also said, "You'll need to look at your instructions, but what you'll be doing is threading your seatbelt through the belt path under the carrying handles on both sides of the seat. Make sure everything is pulled tight, and be sure that it's threaded through the clips on the buckle side. And remember, any car seat is better than none at all."

But Consumer Reports says you don't need to spend $900 for a travel system.

The $245 Graco Stylus Travel System passed all of Consumer Reports' tests and was named a Consumer Reports Best Buy.

Orbit Baby says if you have questions or concerns about its products, you can call the company at 877-ORB-BABY.

When installing any car seat, if you're having trouble getting it snugly in place or you want to check you've done it correctly, Consumer Reports recommends going to a car-seat installation checkpoint for help.


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