Car Seats...(6 Posts)
We are about to purchase a new car seat for our one year old son...what are your opinions on forward or backward facing seats? I always assumed he would move into a forward facing seat after his maxi cosi pebble, but my DH has researched that a backward facing seat is best upto 4yrs, as their neck muscles etc are still not developed enough to withstand an accident in a forward facing seat until 3-4 yrs.... we've be looking at the BeSafe Combi X3?
Well, I'm a bit biased as I have the BeSafe and small child here loves it. . Ours is the IsoFiX model and fits in our Sorento, PIL's Verso and DM's Micra. I'm not exactly tall / strong and find it easy to move between the cars and make sure it's fitted correctly (there are green indicators on the fix bars).
Seriously though, having done the research, RF are safest in head-on and side-on collisions, which tend to be the ones that happen at higher speeds - they are no safer for rear-enders (generally happen at slower speeds).
We bought one because we do a fair amount of motorway / dual carriageway driving and also there are a few side roads around where cars tend to 'shoot-out' into the main road. Had we been mainly on urban/suburban type roads then we would possibly have gone for an FF as there would have been minimal risk differential for double the price.
We have a britax two way elite rear facer because it was the best seat for my car and needs, and we bought it at the milton keynes incar safety centre. It has side impact limitations but was still the best choice for us. Because these seats are large they require a bespoke fitting - they bring out all the ones you like and decide which has the safest fit. That has to be better than the service we got in mothercare where some dude tries to sell you the most expensive one without even asking what car you drive or how you intend to use the seat (ie, does your child sleep in the car alot/how long are your journeys etc) The price was comparable.
Be warned that Which do not rate rear facing seats well as they decided the margin of error when fitting them is too large, but don't let that put you off. The centre fitted ours and make sure you are completely trained in taking it out and in before they let you drive off. Your friends will all want to see it too, feel it for sturdiness, and you will get asked questions like "when is he getting a big boy seat?" frequently, but I think a rear facer is the best choice.
This is a good site about rear facing - it's estimated that rear facing is about 5 x safer. Studies have been done on real life crash data as well as crash tests.
We have the Britax 2-way Elite which we've been very happy with (DS is 2.9 y.o.) - in fact, he liked it much better than his baby car seat.
Thank you.... It does sound like the best/safest option to be backward facing...we do do a lot of motorway driving, so BeSafe it is! After all, our little one doesn't know the difference yet, it's just me who thinks he would be happier forward facing!!
Yes, the Milton Keynes place is good. They were also very helpful when we had to dismantle the seat when DS threw up over it, and couldn't work out how to put it together again - talked me through it step by step over the phone.
Some of the Which? results are affected by the fact that seats like the Britax 2 Way Elite go forward as well as rear facing - they tested them on forward facing only, and didn't come out that well.
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