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Question about airbags and safety....

(18 Posts)
hackneyzoo Mon 04-Oct-10 18:03:44

I can't fit a stage 0, 1 and 2 car seats across the back of my ford focus estate so one of them is going to have to go in the front passenger seat.

Which is the safest option:
i) Stage 0 seat with airbag disabled

ii) Stage 1 seat (for 2 year old)

iii) Stage 2 High back Booster (for 3.5 year old) ?

Should I disable the airbag if I am using a stage 1 or 2 car seat in the front?

Also if anyone can recommend a combination of 3 seats that might fit across the back any suggestions will be gratefully received...have been to Halfords and had no luck!

nicm Tue 05-Oct-10 00:09:01


i would say probably the baby seat in the front if you can switch the airbag off. i would phone the essex council car safety team for advice. cathy and vicky are really helpful and you don't have to live in essex. i had a cabrio(rear passenger and could be changed to a maxi cosi rodi sps), a britax twe(middle) and a KISS (rear driver)in the back of a vw golf as i couldn't switch the airbag off.

good luck, i spent ages at the in car safety centre trying to get a combo that worked! do you have a good independent baby shop locally that you could try instead of halfords?

castleonthehill Tue 05-Oct-10 17:13:10

I would see if you could change one of the seats so they all fit in the back. Putting them in a different order can help get them all in. If you have to put one in the front which may be easier to strap them in I would put the big one and put that seat all the way back then you don't need to have the air bag turned off.

They properly wont want to turn it off. When I had a clio nine years ok I had to write a note saying I had asked them to turn it off they then gave me a copy and kept the original on file. I then had to check every time it came back from the garage as on the dash it would show their was a problem with the air-bag. so they would "fix it" and as I was a nanny to three children and my own I needed it off.

hackneyzoo Tue 05-Oct-10 21:21:02

Thanks NICM, I think the Car Safety Team is a good idea, they are only about an hour from us, so I think they might be worth the visit. Halfords are pretty limited I think.

Hi Castle, have tried a few combos with different seats, and am now going to investigate the airbag route, thanks for the info

lenats31 Fri 08-Oct-10 18:59:10

Put the baby in the front passenger seat. Pull that seat as far back as it will go. This is to avoid injuries to the head as much as possible as these seats are to be installed at a 40 degree angle so baby will ride UP in the seat upon impact. If the head is close to the top, you might be in trouble if the seat is close to dash.


Put the 2 year old behind the driver. NOT behind the passenger seat.

Put the booster in the middle. NOT behind the passenger seat.

The reason that they should not be seted behind the passenger seat is that this seat has been pushed as far back as it can go. therefore the risk of head injury for the other two would be great if you get involved in a crash.

I know the Focu Estate pretty well. i have had several of them here, fr a car seat visit.

You CAN fit the booster in the middle.


sazm Sat 09-Oct-10 14:48:04

lenats31 - how do you de-activate the airbag?

if you try different seats in you will find a a combination that will work,

i had a maxi-cosi cabrio in the middle of the back seat with a britax hi-liner (highbacked booster) for my elder 2(4yo and 6yo).

my lo has now outgrown the maxi-cosi so i have a britax eclipse in the middle.

if you put the baby in the middle and a high backed booster at one side you could put in one of the high backed boosters with a harness for your 2yo?

hackneyzoo Sat 09-Oct-10 22:19:01

Thanks Lena, that sounds very clear advice. I can get a switch added to the car to activate/ deactivate the airbags so will do that. I have a britax eclipse stage 1 seat for the 2 and 3 yo at present. Can you recommend a HB booster that would fit for a small nearly 4 year old?

Hi Sazm, the problem I have is the seatbelts are short in the focus so the cabrio baby seat is on a base and takes up more room. We've tried lots of different combinations with the slimmest stage 1 and HB Boosters and can't seem to get 3 in safely. Will look into a HBB with a harness though, didn't know you could get them.

Can anyone recommend a good place to try seats out in East/North London that isn't halfords or mothercare?

nicm Sat 09-Oct-10 23:29:42

i'm not sure if either are close to you but i would try to get to either essex or milton keynes. people on here really rate them and i have spoken to essex car safety on the phone and they were really helpful. have been to the in car safety in belfast and they were really good too-we spent about 2 hours trying seats in my car to see what worked lol.

sazm Sun 10-Oct-10 23:20:25

hackneyzoo - put the cabrio in without the base!its much narrower that way.

do you know that de-activating the airbag will be expensive (about £200) and will also affect your insurance as its classed as a mmodification ( i know because my friend had to get her fiesta done,it put her premium up by about £300!)

lenats31 Wed 13-Oct-10 22:01:23

The major problem with fitting three seats across the backseat in any car, is that you´ll have big trouble getting your hands down to install the seats correctly (tight enough) or to buckle up chidlren in boosters.

Tis is why I recommend putting one of them in the front seat. The capriofix sits as close to the back seat back as the fforwardfacing seats do.

there should be a key switch for the airbag somewhere up front. otherwise, take the car to an authorized shop to have it deactivated.

lenats31 Wed 13-Oct-10 22:06:59

The best booster is a highback one with isofix. however, if your Focus does not have isofix (far from all of them do), it is recommended that you get one without isofix. the reason is that isofix seats are heavier and will move more in a crash.

The hipbelt MUST lie across the child´s lap and not on the abdomen.

The shoulderbelt should lie across the colarbone and not th neck and not too far out neither (tip of shoulders)

Seatbelts may become knives in a crash. So if they are placed wrong, they may cause serious injuries to the vital organs.

lenats31 Wed 13-Oct-10 22:08:39

OH and shoulderbelt should not touch the neck as this may bring the child to displace the belt (under the arms or behind the back)

hackneyzoo Sat 16-Oct-10 17:49:19

Thanks for all the advice everyone.

SAZM, the seatbelt on my car is not long enough to secure te cabrio, thats why I have the base. I got a quote for 150GBP to deactivate the airbag, thanks for the insurance tip I hadn't thought of that.

Lenats, thanks for the safety advice.

Nicm, I am going to take your advice and go to the essex car safety centre, it is only an hour away and sounds like they will be very helpful.

twilight3 Thu 21-Oct-10 08:58:50


worked a treat for my SIL and her fiat (punto I think, not quite sure). She was also going on forever about how helpful and polite they were.

Maybe it's worth just having a look?

hackneyzoo Thu 21-Oct-10 18:03:53

Thanks Twilight!

hackneyzoo Tue 09-Nov-10 16:11:03

Just an update in case anyone is in the same situation..

I went to the brilliant Essex In Car Safety Centre today, where they managed to fit 3 seats in the back of my ford focus:

On the rear driver side: Maxi Cosi Rodi SPS HBB

On the rear passenger side: Britax baby Safe Infant carrier

In the centre: Britax Eclipse SI

So it can be done safely!

sazm Wed 10-Nov-10 14:53:05

just wanted to add that the seatbelts are long enough in the focus for a maxi-cosi cabrio (i have had mine in 3 focus') you need to put the seatbelt round the back of the seat first then over the lap part and secure ! ( we have had the same issue in several cars)

hackneyzoo Wed 10-Nov-10 18:00:26

Hi Sazm, I think it must vary from model of focus, couldn't be done safely in mine with the cabrio fix, even with the essex ladies on the case!

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