By Marlie Hall

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NEW YORK (CBS NEWS) – New safety ratings are out to help parents keep young children safe in the family car.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has announced its ‘best bets’ in booster seats.

Booster seats elevate children riding in the backseat, providing a good seat belt fit that is essential for kids ages four to eight.

“Booster seats are important for children who are too small for adults belts to fit them properly,” said Jessica Jermakian, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety researcher.

The Institute for Highway Safety says a record number of new booster seat models earned the institute’s 2014 ‘best bet’ rating, with 27 out of 41 providing solid seat belt fit on kids in a range of vehicles.

“What booster seats do is elevate the child and help guide the lap and shoulder belts so that they are in the best position for protecting the children in a crash,” said Jermakian

The lap belt should cross high on the thigh, not the abdomen, with the shoulder belt firmly in the middle of the shoulder. Improperly fitted seat belts can actually hurt kids, causing neck lacerations and other problems.

The institute says consumers should avoid the Diono Olympia and Pacifica models and the Kids Embrace Batman No Back booster because of poor seat belt fit.

Research shows a good booster seat cuts the risk of crash injuries by 45-percent, for kids four to eight years old.

Top-rated booster seats can cost anywhere from $25 dollars to more than $350, depending on features.

Click here for a full list of institute ratings.

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