Child Safety Seat Ease of Use Ratings


Are All Seats Safe?
All car seats rated by NHTSA meet Federal Safety Standards & strict crash performance standards. While all rated seats are safe, they do differ in their ease of use in four basic catagories:


Evaluation of Instructions

Vehicle Installation Features

Evaluation of Labels

Securing the Child


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Safety 1st Apex 65 (FF)



Manufacturer  /  Model NameSafety 1st Apex 65 (FF)
Model Number  /  Manufacture Date22537-GMA  /  May 29, 2009
Harness Type5-pt
Weight  /  Height22lb - 65lb / 34" - 52"
Evaluation of Labels 1 stars
There may have been a label missing from the CRS. There is not a picture of a child properly restrained in the CRS on the labeling. No overview of the correct methods of installation is given. No indication of correct harness height is given. The belt path is not labeled. No illustration is given on the labels to show the caregiver how to prepare LATCH attachments for use. The labels do not remind the caregiver to tighten the LATCH belt.
Evaluation of Instructions 2 stars
In the instructions, the tether is shown but not labeled with each mode of installation. The instruction manual storage is difficult to find and/or use while the child restraint is installed. No full picture exists of a properly restrained child in the child restraint in the owner's manual. Additional sizing information is given in text only in the owner's manual. The warning that the safest place for children is the rear seat is located among other unrelated warnings in a bulleted list. The warning that indicates that the rear seat is the safest place for children is not illustrated in the owner's manual. The section describing vehicle seat belt types is incomplete and may be missing important information.
Securing the Child 2 stars
The restraint did not arrive prepared for the smallest occupant. A head hugger or body pillow covers the harness slots. The harness must be rethread to adjust height for the child's growth. Multiple actions are required to convert the seat to this mode of use; the caregiver must read the instructions. The harness must be taken out and rethreaded to disassemble the seat for cleaning. When disassembled for cleaning, mandatory parts of the restraint become detached and could be misplaced.
Installation Features 2 stars
Interference is possible between a seat component and the seat belt/LATCH belt. The restraint is equipped with hook-like LATCH attachments which may require twisting to remove from the vehicle. No storage area exists for the LATCH attachments and/or the tether.
Overall Ease of Use Rating 2 stars

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