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Two car seat questions - rear facing related

(9 Posts)
QueenOfFeckingEverything Wed 17-Aug-11 10:53:48

1) DS's car seat (Britax First Class Plus) says it can be used rear facing until he reaches 13kg and then forward facing until 18kg. Is there any reason it can't be used rear facing for longer, assuming he still fits obviously?

2) We are considering converting a large van to a live-in vehicle. This will mean having an extra row of seats fitted - if we had them fitted rear facing and then used a forward facing seat, how would that compare to using an extended rear facing seat in a normal car? (NB I will of course speak to whoever does the seat fitting, but tbh they are unlikely to know much about rear facing seeing as not even car seat shops seem to know much!)

sazm Wed 17-Aug-11 11:17:50

no it doesnt, the carseat manual should tell you some where ' only to be used in direction on travel' - (fitted rear or forward facing as described in the manual )as thats the way they are safety tested.
i dont think theres any seats that are reccommended to be used on rearfacing cars seats.
the other problem is,in regard to the law - a child has to use an 'appropriate restraint' for their age,if it wasn't fitted correctly(acording to the manual) this could be a problem?

aswellasyou Wed 17-Aug-11 11:18:54

1) The seat either won't have been tested rear facing past 13kg or it failed the safety tests. It would invalidate your insurance to use the seat past 13kg rear facing and you may find out too late that it's also dangerous.

2) Again, most forward facing seats haven't been tested sitting on a rear facing chair in a vehicle. I'm guessing they won't have been designed to take the impact of a head on collision down the back of the seat. I'm pretty sure the Kiddy seats have been tested but don't quote me on it!grin

notfarmingatthemo Wed 17-Aug-11 11:27:25

The britax seat is only tested to 13kg rear facing so you have to turn it round at that point.

Car seats have to be used in the direction they are tested in as the forces are different.

You may find your child doesn't reach 13kg for a long time. my two were 2 and 2.5 when they reach two and a half. If I knew about it then would have got a two way elite as it would have kept them in a harness for longer

sazm Wed 17-Aug-11 13:49:56

ooh yep thats another point, my ds is 2.9yo and is 12kgs smile

BertieBotts Wed 17-Aug-11 13:56:28

The Kiddy Infinity Pro is definitely approved for use on a rear facing seat e.g. in a van - I have one and it says so in the manual. Couldn't speak for the others, but the manuals are downloadable on the website so it wouldn't be hard to check.

First Class will only have been tested to 13kg rear facing so not advisable to use past that, but as others have said, that will be likely somewhere between age 2 or 3 anyway. It's also higher up and taller than an infant carrier, so it's likely you'll be able to use it RF to the 13kg limit, whereas DS, who is the small side of average and in one of the larger infant seats (Maxi Cosi clone branded for mothercare) and he outgrew it at 18 months by height.

BertieBotts Wed 17-Aug-11 14:03:59

There is no infant seat BTW which you can use on a rear facing seat, apart from possibly the carrycot types, like the Britax one - but check the manual, if it's online, and I don't know about boosters - again it's worth checking the Kiddy website to see about their group 1-2 seats. Something like the First Class, even though it can be used both ways, I wouldn't use that on a rear facing seat either, because the bracing will be all wrong as the forces exerted on the seat in a crash would be likely to be higher than those tested for. So it might be worth making sure you have at least one spare seat (even if in the front) which is has a deactivatable airbag, in case you have more children, want to use DS' seat RF, or ever take a small baby for a lift.

BertieBotts Wed 17-Aug-11 14:08:08

Just looked at the britax babysafe sleeper, and it says it can be used crossways to the direction of travel, but then a big "NO" next to "On backward-facing rear seats". I don't see why though. But I suppose they would have said it was able to be used if it was. confused

TruthSweet Wed 17-Aug-11 19:27:23

The First Class has the same shell as a rfing to 25lg Britax Nordic Secura (I have both so easy to compare) but the NS has a completely different base, it uses tethers and a different belt routing. It also has metal plates on parts of the seat.

I echo those who have said that the seat will not have been tested past 13kg so you have no idea if the seat might fail, which could be catastrophic. It may be that if it was tested at a higher weight it might still work but as EU car seats have to conform to the group 0/0+/1/2/3 system unlike the US where seats can be any weight limit the manufacturer deems safe and even retroactively changed you will never know if it works, to say, 14kg or 17kg. The Sunshine Kids Radian had the rfing limits upped on older models when testing showed it was safe and there is a big rfing movement in the US so SK didn't want people buying other seats with a higher rfing limit than there's.

I also echo those who have said that installing a car seat against the direction of travel is almost always not allowed unless the manufacturer has specifically stated it is safe (and most won't fork out to test the seat on something that is fairly obscure).

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