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Money vs safety.. How do I find the balance?

(20 Posts)
PinkAndBlueBedtimeBears Mon 18-Aug-14 18:29:48

I wish we Wernt in this situation.. if anyone has a lottery win feel free to send some my way!

Dd is currently rear facing in a britax.. thing, but it's only rear facing until 29lbs- she is now 28 3/4 lbs so we need to do something quickly.

I really want to keep her in ERF (extended rear facing), dp isn't as sold (due to the money- will explain in a sec) on the idea, as we have other options.. They are

1- keep her in her britax thing, but turn it around to be Forward facing- she can stay in that seat forward facing until approx 4yo, obviously the most cost effective (free! As we already have the seat) option but I really want her ERF..

2- we looked at the joie stages ERF seat at mothercare today, 'only' £130 (but very reasonable compared to everything else!) but it won't fit in my car hmm

3- spend approx £300 on the 2way pebble (the only real option we can see that will fit in our car- open to other suggestions)

Dp thinks option 1 is the only viable one- we already have the seat, it's safe, and 90% of people wouldn't even be considering ERF- why are we?

I'm more in the favour of option 3- ERF is safer (for 50% of crashes, the other 50% they perform the same as forward facing), and if I had a crash and something happened to dd and she was forward facing would I ever forgive myself? 'For the sake of £300 she would have been better protected..' What if etc etc

Dp has said if I decide ERF is the option, then we will buy it, end of story. But I'm struggling because we arnt exactly well off, this would have to go on a credit card to be paid off over a few months (0%)
It feels like a 'want' because we already have a car seat that will do......

So what do I do?! sad

Floralnomad Mon 18-Aug-14 18:37:09

What sort of car do you have ?

CookieMonsterIsHot Mon 18-Aug-14 18:41:52

We had very similar discussions in our house. I had decided to cave to DH's wishes for another rear-facing seat but at the last minute we went forward-facing instead because....

DS reached a stage of development where rear-facing disturbed him. We think he wanted to see more, to see the driver and perhaps, like most people, was slightly disturbed at travelling backwards at high speed. Obviously he was too young to say all this. He just screamed and cried increasingly in the car.

We decided that a constantly screaming child would greatly increase the probability of a crash. So the safest seat was actually the forward-facing seat. He gurgled away happily in that one.

We are all still alive.

CookieMonsterIsHot Mon 18-Aug-14 18:47:45

I should point out that my babies were very skinny (I did feed them as much as they wanted, honest) so they moved up car seat sizes when a bit older than most babies.

PinkAndBlueBedtimeBears Mon 18-Aug-14 18:49:36

2005 ford focus..

You see, that would almost make our decision easier- but dd really isn't bothered by being RF (18mo), if she was we would probably have her FF with the same rationalisation as you!!
How old is your ds cookie monster? I don't want to get ERF then her turn into a hysterical mess a few months later!!

hollie84 Mon 18-Aug-14 18:52:36

There are other smaller Joie seats - I think the Tilt goes to 18kg forward or rear facing and is about £85.

JADS Mon 18-Aug-14 19:08:08

Realistically how much time does your dd spend in the car? If it's a lot of miles, then it is probably worth going for ERF. If you just do the odd potter around town and an occasional long journey, it probably isn't.

Ds was 18 months before we had him forward facing as he was very underweight and still fitted the group 0 car seat. Around that time, he became less and less happy in his car seat. Once he was FF, he was much happier and went back to sleeping rather than grizzling. It might have been a growth phase and a coincidence. Many adults don't like going backwards (I travel on trains a lot and hear about it all the time).

ikeaismylocal Mon 18-Aug-14 19:15:27

Do you plan on having more children in the next couple of years? If so you could reuse the one she is in now and a rf one.

My dc are in rf seats, we live in Sweden and the vast majority of toddlers/pre-school children are in rf seats, we were shown a horrific information video about rf seats in our parenting group, I couldn't choose a forward facing seat after seeing that video as I'd feel terribly worried everytime we were in the car and if we had a crash and ds died I'd never forgive myself.

MrsRaegan Mon 18-Aug-14 19:18:00

I have a fisherprice car seat from that can be either rear or forward facing. It was £39.99 from Argos and is supposed to last till he's 3.

hollie84 Mon 18-Aug-14 19:20:29

Those cheaper seats only go to around 10kg (9-12 months) rear facing and then have to forward face Mrs.

Cupoftchaiagain Mon 18-Aug-14 19:26:09

I don't know. I agonised over this and eventually went for cost. I cannot always keep her as safe as I'd want and I want her to have a full, exciting, adventurous life. We go on buses trains and taxis, no seat. £300 at that time would have meant no summer holiday, no happy toddler feet trying out warm sand and petting stray cats.. With a the risks thereby involved!
What I am trying to say is there will always be risks and I want to respond to them more or less consistently.

Cupoftchaiagain Mon 18-Aug-14 19:29:32

And yes I've seen an erf video. Also read some contradictory research on some types of car not being as strongly built as the Scandinavian's, and the erf seat place ing the child in a weaker section of the car.

purplemurple1 Mon 18-Aug-14 19:32:53

We've judged it on how often and the type of traffic we drive in.
For us it's a 5 min drive to nursery with very little traffic, I'm also in Sweden but I don't feel the level of risk warrants the expense of forward facing.

hollie84 Mon 18-Aug-14 19:52:57

We often (monthly) do motorway driving, as well as pottering round the city, and will be driving abroad on holiday, so I feel rear facing til at least 2 is fairly important. Unfortunately £300+ on a seat isn't possible for us so hopefully a £100 seat will do!

Have you looked at the Hauck Varioguard as a cheaper option as well as the Joie seats?

BertieBotts Mon 18-Aug-14 20:01:14

Kiddy Guardian Pro is around £130 as well. It's not RF but it has an impact shield which is supposed to be safer than a FF harnessed seat (but not as safe as RF). I went for the equivalent of this when DS was that age (Was an older model which they don't make any more). There is also a Kiddy seat which converts into a booster later if you wanted to justify spending a bit more.

You do have to remember that frontal crashes are only one type of crash. Side impacts are also common and that is important, and some of the RF seats don't have very good side protection. Low speed crashes (by far the most common) are also possible and don't have as high a risk. And horrible thought, but car seats - even the extra tests they do - are only tested up to 40mph anyway because any crash at higher speeds is so unpredictable that they can't guarantee any seat - or car - is safe.

So yes you are reducing a risk of potential death which is obviously the worst thing imaginable, but you're reducing a risk which is extremely rare in the first place.

ikeaismylocal Mon 18-Aug-14 20:01:23

The car type is a good point, ds's carseat is huge and only just fits safely in our Volvo estate, I just don't think it would safely fit in a smaller car but there must be more compact options.

I think if our journeys were short or infrequent I'd not be so worried but we drove across Europe with ds so I felt we really needed it.

So many Swedish rules seem incredibly unsafe, the attitude to wild swimming, ice on lakes, schools (often no fences at all) co-sleep ing and lots of other things makes me think if it's advised in Sweden it's probably best to follow the advice as they don't seem to be overly health and safety worried.

BertieBotts Mon 18-Aug-14 20:12:32

The road conditions must surely be different in Sweden as well, though?

OP I found figures for you from 2012. 12 children aged 1-4 died in car accidents. Just 12 in the whole year. 7 of those were pedestrians, and 1 of the 5 who were passengers is listed as being in a collision with a HGV or bus. So just four children out of the age group you are worried about, the vast majority of who will have been in forward facing seats, a fair few in boosters. That is not a high number. Try to bear that in mind.

PinkAndBlueBedtimeBears Mon 18-Aug-14 21:53:16

Thanks all flowers I was dreading coming back to this and having a few hmm responses!

I have a ds (2 weeks!) so the idea ATM is if when we get a new ERF, ds (when out of his car seat I can carry) will go into dds old britax- rear facing, before we then make a judgement call on taking dd out of ERF to put her back into the britax ff so we can use the ERF for ds.. Make sense? :/

We are looking at the britax two way elite at the moment, which seems to be fairly compact for an ERF anyway! is there anywhere anyone knows of that will tell me if this will actually fit in my car?!

We drive everyday, mainly town mileage, but I do easily 400miles a month- with motorway mileage chucked in at least a few times a month..

WottaMess Mon 18-Aug-14 22:23:46

Britax dual fix is good and quite compact and you can normally find a code for boots online to bring it down to just over 300. We have 2 smile, and a besafe which is good but massive! shock

BertieBotts Mon 18-Aug-14 23:10:17

Yep that makes sense.

Britax have a fit finder on their website. Is the 2we listed on that?

Otherwise there are I think three separate places you can try out RF seats in your car - post on Car Seats, they are v knowledgeable on there. One is the In Car Safety Centre and there's another, and then there's the Kiddicare outlet centre.

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