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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!

AThingInYourLife Fri 05-Oct-12 14:32:06

Go with skinflint. £350 for a slightly safer car seat is silly if you don't have it.

3monkeys3 Fri 05-Oct-12 14:36:47

It is actually 5 times safer for under 2's to be rear facing - no contest for me and we bought the expensive rear facing seat. But I also spent quite a bit more than necessary on a car because of all the research I did on ncap - car safety is very important to me. I believe that the law is going to change soon anyway - with rear facing compulsory until 15 months and recommended until age 3.

Anotherusefulname Fri 05-Oct-12 14:36:47

I think if you have the money you should buy one. I couldn't and hated knowing that my children weren't the safest they could be but I didn't have the money and drive a fiat panda so it was impossible. DD was 21 months before she outgrew her reversible seat in rear facing mode. She is nearly three now and I would still prefer her rear facing so unless driving is absolutly necessary we walk.

3monkeys3 Fri 05-Oct-12 14:37:51

There is a recaro seat (you can get it in John Lewis) that is around £200 btw.

BartletForTeamGB Fri 05-Oct-12 14:38:41

"scare mongering" or truth tellling?!

They are bulky, they are difficult to fit in smaller cars, and they are more expensive, but they mean that fewer children suffer severe injuries in accidents.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 05-Oct-12 14:41:23

YANBU. Risk is relative and you can't eliminate all risk. If you really wanted to cut down your chances of being killed in an accident you'd trade in whatever you're driving for some top of the range Volvo.

You may find it cheaper to buy one from a Volvo dealer - phone them and ask around.

They're not difficult to fit in smaller cars - my DD was in hers in a Nissan Micra for a long time. I'd put her in through the boot as it was a 3-door car.

It's not 'scare-mongering' either, it's fact-stating. Rear facing is safer - there is no disagreement on that.

cakebar Fri 05-Oct-12 14:44:48

You can rationalise the cost if you look at it as part of your overall cost of driving. How much does motoring cost you per year - petrol, insurance, mot, tax, servicing, finance/saving for a replacement, it will be hundreds if not thousands per year.

Also look at it per use, over the lifespan, and again it's not that much.

AThingInYourLife Fri 05-Oct-12 14:46:44

Five times safer than what?

If you really wanted to eliminate the risk you would get rid of your car and replace it with nothing.

zippey Fri 05-Oct-12 14:54:00

We have a front facing one, we got it second hand from someone on gumtree.com, I think it was about £40 - still more than I wanted to pay (Id have prefered £20) but sometimes you have to spend that little bit extra for safety.

DrinkFeckArseGirls Fri 05-Oct-12 14:56:26

Zippey hmm

naturalbaby Fri 05-Oct-12 15:00:27

I'm sure there's a thread somewhere on MN with cheaper recommendations.

My baby was in his infant seat till 15months and we have a big 4x4 so my reasoning is he's in a safer car even if his car seat isn't the safest.

Badmood Fri 05-Oct-12 15:09:25

How old is your child (sorry if you already said).

My son is currently 94cm in height - I Have just thrown another £200 at car saftey!

As he kept doing the Houdini impression and we spend so much time in the car I couldn't risk him not being strapped in properly and at the same time how are you supposed to pull over every 2 minutes on a motorway to restrap them!

We have just brought a Pallas 2 - mamas and papas. Having "umm'd" about it for a few weeks (having already spent £400+ on 2 rear facing car seats, one for each car) I only wish I had do it sooner.

The reports say it is second to a rear facing seat, but the design etc means still safer than a "normal" forward facing. Real plus point on justifying cost was it grows with him up until the stage he should no longer need a seat/booster.

We only brought the one as he is prodominatley in my car, and he seems to behave for his dad!

Read the saftey reports, and see how you feel. It was the best money I have spent in a while as know he is safer than before.

greensnail Fri 05-Oct-12 15:13:50

You can get them quite a bit cheaper than £350 I think although I'm not really up to date. I paid less than £200 for ours but that was 3 years ago. It fits fine in our small car and it is actually easier to get dc in and out of than a forward facing seat - don't need to open door as widely to get them in.

I bought it for dd1 because at that time she was needing to be in the car on motorways etc most days and so it seemed worth the extra expense. Now dd2 is in it but we're only in the car a couple of days a week and rarely go on motorways or long journeys so if I didn't already have arearfacing seat I'm not sure I would bother paying extra for one as the risk of us being in an accident is much smaller.

silverten Fri 05-Oct-12 15:17:53

I got a Volvo branded rear-facing one last year from my local dealership. I think it's a re-branded Britax one, cost about 180 quid. I had to push my dealer to order it in, they'd never heard of them and didn't know that Volvo did their own brand, but it was worth the effort.

I'd recommend it: it's very solid, heavy and good quality, got lots of adjustment in it and should last my DD til she's about 7 years old (assuming she doesn't grow faster than your average child!).

Bit pricier than many group 1+s, but I thought that if it was going to last several years the cost would even out in the long run. Plus the rear-facing extra safety, of course.

I'm in the same boat
Ds is only 6 months and a skinny little thing so I should have plenty of time but we will find it really hard to find £200 for s car seat. When I go back to work I'll go part time and we'll have very little spare cash, it'll take us 5 months to save the money!

badmood Re M&P Pallas. I used to world for them and got to spend the day at the test centre. The tester told me that after seeing so many tests that was the one he had for is grandchildren. smile

3monkeys3 Fri 05-Oct-12 15:31:31

5 times safer than forward facing.

Tailtwister Fri 05-Oct-12 15:32:02

They are expensive, there's no doubt about that. However, there are cheaper ones out there than £350 and quite a few which are fine in smaller cars.

I don't think the videos are scaremongering at all. They show genuine crash tests which show the possible injuries sustained when comparing ff to rf. I certainly don't think people who buy them are overprotective either.

The only way the cost is going to come down is if more people buy them There have been significant improvements over recent years with some major retailers stocking them. When we bought our first one (only a few years ago now) we had to import it from Sweden.

Principality Fri 05-Oct-12 15:35:58

I have the Volvo one for the second car. It's easy to fit and move about. It also fits in small cars- I've had it in a polo and a micra!

I also have the besafe izi 3 or whatever its called. I'm very happy with it. We got it when ds was 14m and he is now 3 and still got growing room. I thinly we paid £310 ish.

I paid less than £200 for one about 6 months ago. And it was not hard to fit in our little Fiesta.

secondseverncrossing Fri 05-Oct-12 15:40:15

Mine was less than £200 and fit just fine in the back of a VW Polo.

It's entirely up to you how you spend your money and prioritise.

However, I do think it's odd when people spend £700+ on a puschair/travel system that they get bored of after a few months but won't consider paying for rear facing seats.

maddening Fri 05-Oct-12 15:40:35

We have the one that costs £350 and feel better for having it.

As we are planning to have 2 dc we will use it for up to 6/7 years overall so that will spread the cost.

My dh has a v good ff seat as ds only goes in his car once a month or so.

I quite fancy that egg cocoon one that wraps up around the dc in a crash but I couodnn't justify chucking away a good seat that I have.

I think like everything you research and then make the best parenting choices that you can within your budget.

secondseverncrossing Fri 05-Oct-12 15:42:18

If you get the two way elite (which is what I have) you can also keep them in a harness past 18k which is also safer than using the adult seatbelt.

Stardust01 Fri 05-Oct-12 15:44:07

We ordered a Britax Two-Way Elite from the In Car Safety Centre in Milton Keynes.

It costs about £200 at the moment.

It has fitted into about ten different cars so far (we don't have our own car so hire cars, relatives' cars...), and some of those cars were small. It has actually been more versatile than my SIL's FF seat for DN.

DS (22mo) seems very happy in it.

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?

maddening Fri 05-Oct-12 16:02:01

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.

elliejjtiny 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.

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

lljkk 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

Maddening- which is that? Do you have a link?

maddening Fri 05-Oct-12 17:48:56
maddening Fri 05-Oct-12 17:51:09

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 smile

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.

maddening Fri 05-Oct-12 19:26:21

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.

maddening Fri 05-Oct-12 19:27:56

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

maddening Fri 05-Oct-12 19:30:17
zippey Fri 05-Oct-12 19:32:36

Safety and risk aside, children over 1 years will get a lot more enjoyment being in a front facing car seat. They can watch the world go by, see mummy and daddy etc.

MigGril Fri 05-Oct-12 19:38:32

I disagree with that zippy, I think DS gets a much better view out the back as he has a full view out the rear window. he can see clearly out the side window and talk to his sister who is next to him ff as she is 5 years old.

BartletForTeamGB Fri 05-Oct-12 19:39:39

"children over 1 years will get a lot more enjoyment being in a front facing car seat."

Nonsense!

A RF seat is nice and high so DS can see plenty out of his side and rearview mirror. We also have a mirror set up so DS can see us when he is in his seat.

www.jojomamanbebe.co.uk/sp+baby-mirror-for-rear-facing-seats+A4463?tyah=y

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 05-Oct-12 20:00:47

zippey you brought a second hand car seat via gumtree from a compleate stranger and complained about it costing £40

do you really belive anybody is going to pay attention to anything you say about car seats?

maddening Fri 05-Oct-12 20:07:18

Out rf seat is higher than the ff seat in dh car - all ds gets is a view of the sky and the back of a seat whereas in my car he is high up so can see out of the window and the back window - as it's a zafira he gets a fab view

filetheflightoffancy Fri 05-Oct-12 20:21:14

We paid about 220 for ours (a Recaro Polaric) so you dont have to fork out massive money. For me, once I had heard about rear facing car seats I just kept thinking that if we had a crash and the worst happened to DS in a FF seat, I would always be thinking 'what if....'.

However, when you look at the statistics rationally the risks really are tiny. There are child death comparisons on the Rearfacing.co.uk webiste between Sweden and the UK, but they dont really mean much because Sweden is so different from the UK in many ways, most notably population. The vast vast majority of children who are seriously injured or killed in car accidents are not properly restrained at all.

I do find that some people on Mumsnet are a bit righteous about it and have talked about 'giving a lecture' when people ask about their RF seat hmm If people have asked us about it, I just mumble something about it being safer, but certainly dont go on about it.

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 05-Oct-12 20:25:18

forgive me for asking (im unsure ) ive looked on a website with several rf ones but a few said use rf till 2 years then ff.

i thought they were surposed to be rf untill about 4 years old?

sugarice Fri 05-Oct-12 20:26:14

Think of £350 divided by the amount of days the seat is to be used by your child.

Money well spent!

Redbindy Fri 05-Oct-12 20:34:56

Assess the risk properly, then spend the money taking your child out or on presents. The adverts are just scaremongering. If you believed them you would have to wonder why there are any adults on the planet.

cerealqueen Fri 05-Oct-12 20:35:38

This article is interesting and Which? generally know what they are talking about

here

GotMyGoat Fri 05-Oct-12 20:40:35

Erm.. I spent £25 on a car seat from asda [awaits flaming] , it says it will last till dd is 7. we can use that rear facing as long as we can squeeze her legs in. You don't have to spend a fortune to be rear facing.

we don't actually have a car, so we will use a car maybe tops 10 times in a year, we felt it wasn't really necessary for us to spend a lot of money on a car seat because of this, though we drew the line at second hand, turned down a free offer as was too scared it would be damaged.

SlanketySlank Fri 05-Oct-12 20:46:51

The Britax Two way Elite was 200 quid when I bought one almost 2 years ago. It rear faces from 9-18kgs (approx 4 years of age) and forward faces up to 25kgs so we'll get lots of use out of it and DS2 will use it too. It was a huge expense for us but we felt it necessary.
DS1 was a very long skinny baby and outgrew his infant carseat length ways at 8 months (head was over the top of the seat) but he only weighed 7.8kg so was under the minimum weight for a FF seat. This is what made us look for extended rear facing seats. He was still below the minimum weight for the Two Way but we couldn't afford the isofix seats and the other cheaper ERF seats didn't fit our car. The woman who fitted it said it was safer to put him in the Two Way than in a forward facing seat.
How old is your child? When DS2 came along we got a Britax first class plus, it was £100, its not an extended rear facing seat but because it's bigger than an infant carrier DS2 shouldn't outgrow it rear facing before he reaches 13kg which will probably be somewhere between 18 months - 2 yrs old, then after that its forward facing until 18kg, its a cheaper option if you can't afford an extended rear facing seat but want to keep your child rear facing for a bit longer than an infant seat allows.

nocake Fri 05-Oct-12 20:53:18

Why would you put your child's safety aside, zippey?

AnAirOfHalloween Fri 05-Oct-12 20:53:32

My only complaint is in a rf seat when driving at night or in winter the bright lights of the car behind shin on the child and stops the child from sleeping.

How can i stop this from happening?

Fishwife1949 Fri 05-Oct-12 21:02:45

I only spent £150 on my travel system and pur car only cost £1000 so there is no way we could afford a car seat for 400 and you cant even re sell it to recoup some of the money

If you dont have it you dont have it

Agree with the others who say do a risk assessment before deciding which type of seat to buy. We have the IziCombi BeSafe IsoFiX - fits in our Sorento, PIL's Verson and DM's Micra no problem and is easy to transfer between the three.

We decided on RF as we do a fair amount of motorway / dual-carriageway driving and there are also a number of roads around the general area where people tend to 'shoot' out of side-roads. So for us, it made sense.

The 'five times safer' figure refers to head-on or side-on collisions - which have higher fatalities as they tend to occur at higher speeds. It does not refer to where you may be rear-ended (typically happens at lower speeds).

Oops - that'd be 'Vers*o*' blush

3monkeys3 Fri 05-Oct-12 21:27:42

I'm not a statistician, but have read plenty about rear facing seats before deciding to get one - I think plenty of people have answered on my behalf on this thread (thank you) and the info is freely available if you google.

I agree that you have to weigh up the risks of your own situation - we live fairly rurally and I have to drive along winding, national speed limit, country roads pretty much no matter where I go, so rear facing made a lot of sense. If I only really pootled around town it probably wouldn't be so important to me.

MigGril Fri 05-Oct-12 21:42:32

when looking for independent info on car seats I first looked at which. But had big issues with them. They only test seats in one make of car, which actually makes there test a bit useless as every car is different and one seat that gets a great ratting in the car they test may not fit your car properly and be quit useless.

Fitting any car seat is important and it's why I think they should all be sold and fitted by independent specialist not baby product retailers. A high percentage of car seats aren't fitted correctly, which is why we had ours fitted as well. Means we've been shown by the experts how to fit it correctly.

For those of you buying second hand seats you need to know car seats have a life span most only last 10 years at most some less. It doesn't seem to be well known in the UK but all US seats have an expiry date on them, as plastic breaks down over time. So I'd be careful of buying seats that you don't know the age of our how they have been stored.

filetheflightoffancy Fri 05-Oct-12 21:51:54

I am a bit [hhm] about the whole 'expiry date' on car seats - I have seen expiry dates closer to 5 years, for example on maxi cosi infant carriers. Ok, if you have used a car seat non stop for 10 years and left it in the sun every day for those 10 years then yes, the plastic will have deteriorated.

However, many seats, particualrly the infant carriers, are used for much shorter periods of time that that and spend the rest of the time in a cool dark cupboard. And what about the group 1,2,3 car seats, surely they are supposed to be used for a lot longer than 5 years - what is the point of buying one if you cant use it for its purpose?

I have never seen any independent research about car seat plastic deterioration and think that it is probably a bt of a money making scam.

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 05-Oct-12 22:10:56

file. i had a infant car seat in my loft have no idea why i put it in there in the first place but after a 12 year gap when i went back up there to see what i had saved from dc i thought would be the last. i brought it downstairs slipped on the last few steps and dropped it not very hard but it cracked im so glad i was taking it to the bin as opposed to thinking of using it.

as in a accident it would have been less usefull than a teabag

DuelingFanjo Fri 05-Oct-12 22:16:55

yanbu but beware, there are lots of people who will tell your priorities are all wrong if you can't magic up £200+. they will tell you that you don't care for the safety of your child.

BonnieBeaumont Fri 05-Oct-12 22:45:06

We purchased the Recaro Polaric recently for £205. Money well spent!

Our local Mothercare just started stocking rf carseats for older children. With the help of a discount and a gift card, we paid a little over £200 for the iZi BeSafe Kid X3, without Isofix (old car).

pigletmania Sun 07-Oct-12 19:11:45

My dd is 5 and she had ff seat from 14 months, ds is 8 months old so we are using all her seats for him. I don't see the point in getting rear facing carseat, we only do 2 motorway journeys a year, rest is local, even then it's once a week. Really I agree with others, it's a wonder there are still adults alive, it's a relative isent it

DoodleAlley Sun 07-Oct-12 19:28:01

OP if you cant afford it then you can't afford it. There are plenty of places children get injured - including in the home. You will probably get a slightly polarised perspective on this thread because inherently most people who comment - whilst not necessarily being anything other than well intentioned - will naturally be the people who have placed this priority particularly highly.

That's not to say that what they have to say isn't absolutely valid and relevant but won't show you a cross section of society to show you that buying a ff seat is also a perfectly normal choice.

Out of interest I've never seen a rear facing one above the usual infant ones and so wondered where on earth their legs go once they get older and longer? DS was super long and already started to look uncomfortable by the time to moving to forward facing?

bagofholly Sun 07-Oct-12 19:29:58

Loving the "but kids find ff more interesting" argument! My 3 year old prefers to sit in the driving seat but obviously we keep this to a minimum, no motorways etc!

Honestly! hmm

DoodleAlley Sun 07-Oct-12 19:30:07

Btw according to the <ahem> speed awareness course I went on recently I was shocked to learn that statistically motorways are the safest roads. Or at least you are least likely to have an accident on one. Obviously if you do the repurcussions are far worse but the statistics surprised me

pigletmania Sun 07-Oct-12 19:32:57

Erm not a fair comparison bagofholly.

DoodleAlley Sun 07-Oct-12 19:34:51

You mean you're not meant to let them sit in the front seat, in-seatbelted, half hanging out of the window?

< bangs head that I've got it wrong again>!!

DoodleAlley Sun 07-Oct-12 19:35:34

Un-seatbelted. Even my phone is ashamed of me!!!!

pigletmania Sun 07-Oct-12 19:39:23

Oooh I remember those days windw wide open, hanging out of it feeling the wind on my face

bagofholly Sun 07-Oct-12 19:40:30

Pigletmania my three year old would tell you it's perfectly fair to let him drive. Thankfully I can barely hear him over the back of his giant rf seat.

bagofholly Sun 07-Oct-12 19:41:20

Or rolling around completely untethered in the boot...

DoodleAlley Sun 07-Oct-12 19:42:39

Oh he would love to go in the boot...

And then I could put my shopping in pride of place.

AThingInYourLife Sun 07-Oct-12 19:44:35

I think the child's preference is a reasonable argument giving the level of risk involved.

My children were much happier in the car once they were facing forward. It wasn't a consideration in not choosing a rear-facing seat, but it was one of the things that made me happy with the choice.

pigletmania Sun 07-Oct-12 19:45:49

Bagofholly lol. I used to like curling up on the parcel rack as a kid

pigletmania Sun 07-Oct-12 19:48:59

That's why I don't agree with all this scaremongering and guilt tripping on here. My friends dh s a traffick policeman and non of his children has ever been rearfacing past babyhood, does not think its necessary

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 07-Oct-12 19:54:32

i cant even find any without isofix youngblowfish do you by any chance have a product code or a link to the none isofix version?

EasilyBored Sun 07-Oct-12 19:54:36

The only place local to us that stocks RFing seats other than the baby bucket style ones (which DS is very close to growing out of at 9 months hmm ) only had two kinds, and both were only RF to 13kg anyway (about the same as the bucket seats), they also fitted really really weirdly - the belt seemed to have to go round the top of the seat, which meant when you opened the door you kind of had to either limbo the baby underneath it, or try and go in from the other side. They were also MASSIVE and woul have to behind the front passenger, who would have to have their knees touching the dashboard. Bit of a nightmare really.

I'm in two minds about the whole thing - I want to keep him RF as long as possible, but we can't really afford £200+ for a car seat, and we would have to drive a very long wat to somewhere that stocks more than 2 kinds. So am a bit stuck. DS is over 10kg at 9 months, so I hope we'll be able to get to at least January before he's too heavy (though he might be too tall sooner than that), but then I think we may have to get a FF seat.

pigletmania Sun 07-Oct-12 19:57:40

Surely if it was that important there would be far more promotion about it from police and it would be made mandatory in law for a child to be rf until tey are 18kg. I have only heard about rf past babyhood on Mumsnet

pigletmania Sun 07-Oct-12 19:58:42

It's more difficult to find rf tan ff carseats

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 07-Oct-12 19:59:26

piglet, apparently the uk is one of the few places still left where rf is not the norm and not very well known about

tilder Sun 07-Oct-12 20:01:34

Am just intrigued where their legs fit if rear facing at 4.

pigletmania Sun 07-Oct-12 20:03:48

We will not be buying rf carseat once ds has outgrown his babyseat, we don't use the car very much

pigletmania Sun 07-Oct-12 20:04:37

I think at 4 they are about 18kg so go ff.

IfYouSeeMeSayHello Sun 07-Oct-12 20:07:02

Was more than happy to spend it. DD in it still at 3.75. Money well spent for peace of mind IMO.

DoodleAlley Sun 07-Oct-12 20:08:15

Come on people help us out - where do the legs go?

pigletmania Sun 07-Oct-12 20:10:33

It would be hard if a chid is very tall, I guess ths what you have to weigh up when choosing a car seat, rf probably works better for shorter chidren

seventiesgirl Sun 07-Oct-12 20:11:34

I was brought home from hospital on a cushion on the back seat of the car wedged in between my 5 and 6 year old sisters (no seatbelts). Just because I'm still alive doesn't mean it's ok to do that these days, when we know the risk (as well as legislation). Scaremongering- bollocks, more like common sense. FF based on cost I can see a point if you really can't afford it, but hiding your head in the sand about RF being safer is just nuts.

flow4 Sun 07-Oct-12 20:12:00

HOW MUCH?!?! shock

I am reminded of the time my DS1 was small (about 16 years ago) and I was poor. His pushchair broke, and my budget for a 'new' second-hand one was £18. A toy catalogue dropped through my letter box advertising toy pushchairs for dolls that cost twice that. hmm angry sad

If you've got £350 spare, buy a cheaper one and donate the difference to a charity that aims to tackle poverty.

pigletmania Sun 07-Oct-12 20:12:33

My nephew when he was 3, waste size and hight of a 5 year old was very tall so would not have been right for him. Must be awful sitting crossed legged for a very long journey

pigletmania Sun 07-Oct-12 20:14:35

Totally different seventiesgirl

monsterchild Sun 07-Oct-12 20:15:32

OP check US Amazon and other sites, the seats are much cheaper, and see if shipping isn't too much.

Fairylea Sun 07-Oct-12 20:16:38

I think the problem is that once you know it's safer you beat yourself up thinking if something happens it will be my fault I didn't buy a better one etc......

BUT - as someone said you could say that about everything... driving at all.... feeding processed foods... weaning early or late... the whole breastfeeding minefield...

Parenting is one big guilt trip really.

pigletmania Sun 07-Oct-12 20:16:41

That would not be legal now, putting my child in a carseat tat meets the legal requirement is perfectly fine

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 07-Oct-12 20:23:12

it wouldnt much surprise me if the legal minimum requirement changed again at some stage in the future.

given that the legal requirements for car seats are the minimum they have to be.

EasilyBored Sun 07-Oct-12 20:25:21

I can only seem to find ONE that isn't Isofix either - the BeSafe Izi Combi. We don't have Isofix, so are pretty much left with the option of FF or spending £294 on a car seat.

pigletmania Sun 07-Oct-12 20:29:38

That's fine for our situation as we don't use the car much, I don't drive, dh does but only if he has to which isent a lot so not worth it as likelihood of an accident is nt very much.

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 07-Oct-12 20:31:38

thats fair enough piglet.

easily they have loads of none isofix ones in sweden but i cant seam to find any uk ones.

gemma4d Sun 07-Oct-12 20:34:40

doodle : Legs fold, just like when you had to sit on the floor at assembly.

DoodleAlley Sun 07-Oct-12 20:35:20

It's difficult buying online but we have had plenty of car seats be fitted and told they weren't right for the car. Which is far more of a safety concern that whether rf or ff. in fact reading uP on these follOwing this thread they do say they are generally harder to fit correctly so I'd exercise a note of caution for those buying online without seeing it or having it fitted properly.

MigGril Sun 07-Oct-12 20:56:05

easily, the two way elite isn't isofix and is around £200. we don't have isofix in our car either.

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 07-Oct-12 21:09:14

miggril where do you get it from?

maddening Sun 07-Oct-12 22:26:30

Securatot is where we got ours - can't remember if there were any non isofix ones there as I was looking for isofix

Not going to get into the debate of ff vs rf. If you want a rf seat for less than £300 try the in car safety centre - we got a Britax two-way elite for around £200 (which can turn ff at 18kg or remain rf sitting upright) - the other place to try is www.carseat.se - we got a Britax hi-way 2 for £239. This fits from birth so no need for a separate infant seat. Spread over 5 years I don't think that's a huge amount to pay for your child's safety in the car. We use both in small cars (mostly a 106) with no problem at all.

EasilyBored Mon 08-Oct-12 07:17:54

Isn't the Incar Safety Centre in Milton Keynes? That's over three hours from me. Not going to happen. And buying online means you can't try the seat in your car to see if it even fits first. It's frustrating.

lljkk Mon 08-Oct-12 07:34:10

If I sat with my legs folded up for 3 hours in the car I'd get serious leg cramp, probably before I went to stretch them out again. Is that not an issue for small people, too?

MigGril Mon 08-Oct-12 08:02:19

yes we got ours from Milton Keynes. was an 2 hour for us but well worth it. easily the rf website has sockets on it. there maybe some where closer to you.

As for the leg room my DS at almost 2 doesn't have to fold his legs and as he gets bigger you can reduce the incline on the seat so they have more space between the seat and the back seat of the car. He's slightly taller then average so not small.

Easily bored Yes it is but if you call them and tell them what car/s you want to use it in they will talk you through your options of what fits/is easy to install. They are very knowledgeable. I ordered both car seats online as we don't drive and chatting to them about all the cars we travel in really helped us make a decision.

lljjk I guess it would be if they kept them folded up but by the time their legs are long enough for it to be an issue they can either cross them, put them up on the seat or hang them either side. Plus what migril said

MTBMummy Mon 08-Oct-12 15:25:37

We were very prepared to fork out for a rf one - but couldn't find one that would fit in our car (a farily decent sized family saloon) - we also were told that you couldn't get iso-fix rf seats, so we went for the isofix ff one instead.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 08-Oct-12 15:28:30

thats weird because they claim most of them fit nearly all cars and over half of the ones ive found are isifix

Orenishii Mon 08-Oct-12 15:40:09

Have I completely missed something? We don't drive so our baby/child will rarely be in a car - a handful of times a year, I expect. I got a car seat from Kiddicare that should have been £100 but was £55. It starts out rear facing and you can then turn it to front facing. From birth to 4 years. It has adjusting neck/head rests and foot rests that extend out, a strap that weaves in and out of the seat and clips into the car, and then the seat belt that comes around and through the back of it.

Have I completely missed something not spending £350?

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 08-Oct-12 15:49:03

no you havent but lots of people who do drive lots prefer to get the extended rf seats (rf up to at least 4) because they are a lot safer but they are also more expensive because they are inported from scandinavia and other places

MTBMummy Mon 08-Oct-12 16:05:21

@Sock are you UK based?

I only ask as we could only find 2 manufacturers that did rf seats after 9 months, and neither of those offered a isofix version (this was a few years ago - so I don't know if that changes anything) we had a Peugeot 407, and only one of the seats actually fitted, but that was with the front seat all the way forward so that it was unsafe for anyone to be in that seat (head on windscreen - and I'm not tall)

The lady that served us did say it was a common problem with RF seats - shrugs

Zimbah Mon 08-Oct-12 16:08:08

Easily what part of the country are you in? If you post in the Car Seat section on MN, and put your location, you may well find someone with a RF carseat who lives close to you who'd let you try their seat in your car.

bagofholly Mon 08-Oct-12 17:15:16

Best price I found for besafe izi combi (rf, and isofix or belt) was thatcuteage.co.uk

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 08-Oct-12 17:23:25

yep i am but its probally due to the few years that have passed as im looking now.

Sorry, Sockreturningpixie, I only just saw your message.

This is the carseat DH bought about a week ago from our local Mothercare in Manchester. I think it was cheaper, but I don't know exactly what the ticket price was. I can find out and PM you if you like?

A word of warning though, the staff did not fit it correctly and it was only after DH got home and had a read through the instructions that he was able to fit it properly himself. That is very important, because Which? reports that some of the rf seats are so difficult to install correctly that they can be less safe than ff seats because of incorrect fitting. I am sure you would do so anyway, but if you do end up getting a rf seat, just make sure it is fitted according to instructions.

As for the discussion on the merits of ff and rf carseats and their benefit to cost ratios, it is a parenting decision like any other. As long as it is within the law, one should do what one deems the best choice at the time. Personally, I thought it was a good idea because:
1. We could afford it.
2. Road accidents are the lead cause of spinal injuries in children.
2. There is overwhelming evidence that rf seats are much safer in dangerous collisions and particularly good at preventing spinal trauma because of the way they help to redistribute the force of a crash across the back of the seat.
3. DH had two serious RTAs (sober, driving within the speed limit) and I am weeks away from taking my driving test. I realise things can go wrong.
4. My DSis used to work as a personal carer for a wheelchair-bound university student, who suffered a spine injury in a car accident as a toddler.
5. I am suffering from severe PFBitis.

mrsrosieb Tue 09-Oct-12 14:54:52

My health visitor knows of one case of a toddler paralysed from the waist down due to a front facing seat.
I am going to get a rear facing one 2nd hand from eBay when my son is old enough to need one.

MrsRosie you think a forward facing seat is too dangerous but are willing to risk a rear facing seat that is 2nd hand from ebay hmm

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