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Older car seat with mystery strap!

(25 Posts)
ZolaBuddleia Thu 29-Aug-13 11:20:42

We've been given an old Mamas & Papas car seat, suitable for 9 to 36 kg.

It doesn't have a five point harness, it has a strap that comes out of back of the seat part that on the diagram looks like it comes up the side of the child and across their front in a semi circle up to their shoulder, where it holds the seatbelt.

Thing is, this strap appears to do nothing at all! M&P no longer make the seat, and I can't find any tutorial videos online.

Any ideas?

Clearlymisunderstood Thu 29-Aug-13 11:27:50

Is the car seat older than 5 years old? If so I wouldn't use it anyway as the plastic starts to degrade after that time.

I am aware that isn't what you asked btw but thought I would mention it smile

AmandinePoulain Thu 29-Aug-13 13:18:15

That doesn't sound like it meets current standards, I thought seats had to have either a 5 point harness or impact cushion? It certainly doesn't sound all that safe, I wouldn't touch it to be honest.

LIZS Thu 29-Aug-13 13:27:39

It probably holds the adult seat belt at the child's shoulder level . However that type of seat is less than ideal for a child under 18kg.

AmandinePoulain Thu 29-Aug-13 13:33:40

This link mentions that any seat with a harness must have a crotch strap - I'm assuming this one doesn't? What safety standard does it meet, there should be an orange label somewhere on it. The current one is ECE R44/04.

Clargo55 Thu 29-Aug-13 13:35:03

Zola please do not use this seat. The plastic in car seats starts to degrade at around 5 years from manufacturing. When was the car seat made? With a strap like that I really don't think it would meet current safety standards.

Bamaluz Thu 29-Aug-13 14:01:26

The strap would come up behind the child and hold the seat belt at shoulder height.
However I wouldn't use the seat if it's too old or for a child less than 18kg. There should be a date of manufacture on the back of the seat.

ZolaBuddleia Thu 29-Aug-13 17:10:54

Thanks for your responses.

Yes, I think the seat would be older than 5 years, it was given to me by a family member who used it for her children. Having played about with it today, it does look like the strap should go in front or behind the child to hold the adult seat belt at shoulder height.

DD is 18kg, which according to the safety label is well within the range (starts at 9kg).

The seat we've been using up to now is a rear facing one (IziCombi I think), but now we have a second car we need two. New car isn't big enough for a rear facer, looks like we're off shopping for a new car seat.

AmandinePoulain Thu 29-Aug-13 17:16:34

How old is she? At 18kg she should be fine in a HBB so you shouldn't need to spend a fortune smile

ZolaBuddleia Thu 29-Aug-13 17:18:25

A quick look makes me think that a harness on group 2/3 doesn't seem to be compulsory. Is there such a thing as an isofix group 2/3?

AmandinePoulain Thu 29-Aug-13 17:24:17

The Britax Kidfix is isofix and uses the adult seatbelt, it's suitable from 15kg. Or a more basic HBB without Isofix could work too. Otherwise you're looking at a more expensive seat like an XTensafix for a seat with harness over 18kg, there aren't many about.

ZolaBuddleia Thu 29-Aug-13 17:41:58

Sorry, cross posted. She is 3, and 1m tall. To me she looks too young to be restrained via an adult belt, even if it's correctly routed, but then I'm used to seeing her coccooned by the big car seat.

I like Isofix because otherwise the seat feels wobbly to me. Wonder whether we'd be better to get a group 1/2/3 with a 5 point harness that I can take off later.

AmandinePoulain Thu 29-Aug-13 17:45:24

I think most of them are only harnessed up until 18kg, after that you have to remove the harness. I think if you want to keep her harnessed you'll need to splash out for the XTensafix or another erf seat like the TWE.

ZolaBuddleia Thu 29-Aug-13 17:47:25

Presumably if the harness still fits round her I can use it? Or is it a weight limit thing?

cerealandtoast Thu 29-Aug-13 17:50:09

Britax Two Way Elite is the only seat which keeps a five point harness past 18kg, I believe. It can go forward or rear facing, and is rated to 25kg iirc.

AmandinePoulain Thu 29-Aug-13 17:50:39

They aren't tested above 18kg.

AmandinePoulain Thu 29-Aug-13 17:52:55

Cereal Britax have just released the XTensafix which is ff but harnessed to 25kg. It's not cheap though!


AmandinePoulain Thu 29-Aug-13 17:53:36

Cereal Britax have just released the XTensafix which is ff but harnessed to 25kg. It's not cheap though!


cerealandtoast Thu 29-Aug-13 17:54:01

Oh, look at that, there's the Xtensafix too. How utterly irritating and odd that Britax say, on their own website, that the Xtensafix 'uniquely' uses a harness up to 25Kg. Obviously forgotten all about the TWE then hmm

cerealandtoast Thu 29-Aug-13 17:54:58

x-posts, Amandine smile

AmandinePoulain Thu 29-Aug-13 17:55:45

Sorry for double post, MN went offline and I thought it hadn't posted.

ZolaBuddleia Sat 31-Aug-13 09:28:01

Thanks again. So, if DD is the right weight for a group 2/3 am I OK to buy one? The Britax site and Halfords say age 4 - 12, but I'm not sure whether that's weight based (DD is tall and stocky).

The Xtensafix looks great but pricey, looks like I'd be paying the extra just to get a harness that can be used beyond 18kg. Just looked up my rear facer, didn't realise that the IziBeSafe has a weight limit of 18kg.

Janek Sat 31-Aug-13 09:38:34

Yes, it is based on weight. It doesn't make much sense in a lot of ways, for eg my big-born, big-headed dd2 'outgrew' her group 0 seatbelt long before she could sit up even, let alone was strong enough to support her head when ff if the car stopped suddenly. Luckily we had a group 0-1 seat that could rf for a lot longer than that as well.

Luckily for me she has now grown into her weight a little, so can still use a harness at 4.9. This is good as twice recently she went in a friend's hbb and twice she undid the seatbelt whilst the car was moving shock. I'm hoping it was the novelty of the autonomy and not terminal stupidity!!!

soapnuts Sat 31-Aug-13 09:50:46

It's not strictly true that it's only based on weight - you need to be within the weight limit but the strength of muscles in the neck and proportion of the head in relation to the body are really age dependent. It also depends on whether they are reliable enough not to undo themselves - i've only just started to trust my 4 year old (he's only just hit 18kg so still erf day to day but sometimes has to go in a booster.) the other thing i have found is after we've been away and had to ff it's a pain to get DS back into his normal seat cos he thinks the ff hbb is normal - if i had the choice i'd keep him harnessed all the time. of course that doesn't help with your dilemma - just another thing for you to think about (unhelpful sorry!)

ZolaBuddleia Sat 31-Aug-13 10:44:17

Hmm. I can trust her not to undo herself. Are you supposed to yank the adult seatbelt tight so they're pinned to the seat in the way that they are with a harness?

I get what you mean about size of head to body, that's why she was RF so long (although only until about 2.5 due to change of car meaning there wasn't enough room). So, if weight is an important factor maybe we need to buy two car seats, as she's at the upper limit for the BeSafe.

With the Xtensafix, the tether strap looks like it's pulling back at 45 degrees. Am I right in thinking this is for photography purposes and it really goes down the back of the back seat? At the moment considering the Britax KidFix, which Halfords are selling at the same price as Kiddicare and they can fit it for us.

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