# Mumsnet Talk

## to want not want to fork out 350 quid for a rear facing toddler seat

(129 Posts)
chairmanofthebored Fri 05-Oct-12 14:29:14

I have looked at the scare mongering youtube videos about the dangers of internal decapitation, resulting from car crashes where the toddler was in a standard forward facing care seat. I then did a quick bit of research into the cost of the recommended rear facing seats. IT turns out they are bulky, difficult to fit in smaller cars, and also around the 350 quid mark.
Does anyone know of one that might be a bit cheaper? I am in danger of being either an over protective parent or a skinflint and I have to decide which!

TeWiDoesTheHulaInHawaii Fri 05-Oct-12 15:44:16

The most important thing wrt car safety is that your child is wearing a seatbelt at all. 95% of children hurt in car crashes aren't.

Sitting in the back is also a big factor.

Rf is safer, but for me on my budget and lifestyle and for a lot of other parents ff is safe enough.

It's not something other people can decide for you.

AThingInYourLife Fri 05-Oct-12 15:47:53

"5 times safer than forward facing."

What does that mean. Can you explain the maths to me?

5 times "safer"?

What is the unit measurement of safety?

Which is the most safe, a kettle or a pot on a stove?

By what multiple?

Would it be based on severity of injuries /number fatal injuries in testing. Over all types of collisions (rear impact, front and side impacts). So I would assume certain injuries sustained would carry a weighting and be marked as sustained if they were during testing - so I would then assume that the marks received by erf seats were 5 time better than the ff seats?

And is the hob the kettle is on electric or gas? Though I doubt you can test it by hurling it at a wall at 60mph

silverten Fri 05-Oct-12 16:02:38

Unit of safety: is probably something like

they looked at all the children involved in accidents, split them into two groups according to forward/rear facing seat. Then calculated the % of injuries in each group, and divided one by the other to get the number 5: ie, one is five times the other.

(I teach statistics- this is one of a couple of common ways of expressing the difference in risk between two things)

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 05-Oct-12 16:20:40

rear facing is a fairly new one on me due to the age gap between my kids (above infant seats) but im going to buy one just trying to find one at the mo.

it also surprises me how many mums i know in rl who think apsolutly nothing about forking out £800+ for what i call a fashion pram and hundreds of pounds on combined usless not needed baby crap and vast quantities of cute baby outfits but freak at the cost of car seats.

a few people have told me that europe is one of the few places left that ff seats are still the norm not sure how true it is but apparently in other places rf is the norm.

vj32 Fri 05-Oct-12 16:20:50

I don't think that a rear facing seat is the be all and end all of car safety. I don't have one, and do think many of the videos etc are scaremongering, or at least have that tone, which puts me off. So if they are genuine, they are just not very good!

We have a newish car, with good safety ratings. We don't drive much, and when we do it is almost all low speed local driving. I am a careful driver (ie I don't speed!) the car seat we do have is a good one and has an isofix base which attaches more securely to the car.

Given the level of risk I am happy with that. But then I also put DS in his own room at 9 weeks. He had outgrown his moses basket, we don't smoke, and he wasn't premature so I felt he was safer in his cot that wedged into his moses basket. That is against advice which says he would be 'safer' from cot death in our room. Its all about your own assessment of risk.

Fri 05-Oct-12 16:32:47

We have a birth to 4 seat that can be RF or FF bought from argos for about £50ish I think. DS3 is 22 months and still in his RF infant carrier at the moment but he'll grow out of it soon I think. But then our car is a 4 seater and there are 5 of us so the ds's rarely go in the car. If we used the car a lot we might spend more on car seats.

Fri 05-Oct-12 16:34:36

I was just thinking the same sock, although I was looking at prams the other day that you can attach carrycot car seats to. They also sit up and are rear facing until about 2 years, depending on weight.

Best of both worlds, ridiculously expensive pram with safe carseat

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 05-Oct-12 16:35:48

ive just looked at one on argos it says rf from birth to approx 15 months and ff after that. and its only £40, maqy be worth thinking about that as it gives longer to save up for a different one

Fri 05-Oct-12 16:41:28

Risk = chances of event * magnitude of consequences.

There is a reason so many of us survived childhoods of never wearing even a safety belt, because "chances of event" were so small, even if magnitude was sometimes large.

A RF seat reduces magnitude but not chances of event.
A RF seat reduces an already very small risk to an extremely tiny risk.
Whether you think reduction from very small to extremely tiny is worth an extra £200-£300... well, obviously most people don't bother. It's individual decision. I might bother if I did A LOT of driving, or if I tended to drive badly, because my "chances of event" factor would be so much larger.

MigGril Fri 05-Oct-12 16:44:40

we have a two-way elite. also got ours from Milton Keynes, car safety centre. was about £200, which wasn't that more expressive then the ff seat we had for DD and will last longer as they can stay in it upto 25kg once you turn it forward facing at 18 kg. So if DS keeps growing the way he is hell be in it until he's about 8 years old. By which time DD will have outgrown her fancy high backed booster seat and we won't need to by a second one for DS. So it won't have actually have cost us any more in the long run.

MigGril Fri 05-Oct-12 16:45:30

oh and it fits in our small toyta yaris no problem at all.

honeytea Fri 05-Oct-12 16:46:27

I would spend the extra money, but then I am a little ott when it comes to car safety, we also have a volvo just because I feel it's safer. When I'm in small cars I feel panicky.

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 05-Oct-12 16:49:18

i tend to think its not really how good a driver you are but how bad everyone else on the road could be

MigGril Fri 05-Oct-12 17:00:23

I'll explains the risk if I can. the main issue with small children being forward facing is there heads are much larger in proportion to their bodies. their neck muscles are not strong enough to support them in an accident. what happens is the head is throw forward causing spinal damage and in worse case spinal decapitation and therefore permanent mobility loss or death. This happens even if they are strapped into a good forward facing car seat.

And yes a lot of other countries have changed there rules. The USA changed theirs last year to a minimum of two years rear facing. The UK may not have caught up yet and DD was in a ff car seat early on and we haven't had an accidents.

But I think of it like this now I know there is a risk if we had an accident and something happened. I'd not be able to live with myself knowing I could have done something that may have prevented the injury.

TraineeBabyCatcher Fri 05-Oct-12 17:41:48

Ps if you go on which's website they have tested most seats and give them ratings based on crash testing as well as affordability etc

AThingInYourLife Fri 05-Oct-12 18:31:13

Ooh, thanks ll

Do you or silver think you can meaningfully measure safety (as opposed to risk)?

It doesn't seem quantifiable in the same way.

Or is it just the inverse of risk? That doesn't seem quite right to me.

kaz1119 Fri 05-Oct-12 18:51:41

Yanbu :-)

We used a RF carseat till 4.5years for DC1 (now DC2 is in it).

They are a lot safer. There is a lot if data availble from scandinavia (where RF seats are much more common). I think there is not much awareness in the UK re RF seats.

If you can afford it, then go for it.

As for the price £350 is not that much as you will have it for several years. I don't get people who spent money on stupid things but get really cheap car seats for their DC.

I think it just comes from tests - the crash cars from all angles and review the injuries to the dummy and the severity of those injuries - the less injuries and lower severity will score better.

Fwiw on the which website there were ff that rated well. However the test results do show lower risk of fatal injuries - the worst are from head on collisions where the neck injuries are particularly bad as rf the head is not thrown forward and that force is spread across the body.

And also which have don't buys on there too so you can avoid the worst ones whichever way you choose to face