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Car safety(10 Posts)
I am thinking about becoming a nanny, and I have a few questions about car seats.
I have no children of my own, so have no experience with this. I'd like to know the regulations on car seats.
Are babies and children supposed to be in the back of the car?
Is it ever ok to have them in the passenger seat? What if there is an airbag?
Should they be forward or rear facing?
At what age can they use a booster seat?
Are babies and children supposed to be in the back of the car? Ideally yes
Is it ever ok to have them in the passenger seat? What if there is an airbag? You may , if not ideal, push the seat back as far as possible but never use a rearward facing seat in front if there is an airbag.
Should they be forward or rear facing? Under 9 kg must be rearward, 9-18kg can be either depending on style of seat but usually it has its own harness, 18kg plus can be a highback booster seat but some harness seats go beyond 18kg
At what age can they use a booster seat? not age , weight , 18kg+. Booster cushions(with no back) are often used for primary age children but are no longer recommended as no head protection.
Car seats will all be labelled with appropriate weight range and the age this approximates to, but weight is the more important safety factor.
This website is very good and explains the current system which is based on "groups". They start in Group 0 and go up to Group 2 or 3 (2 is a high backed booster and 3 is a low booster) - group 3 is totally optional.
The groups are based on weight and size of child. They overlap, and you should keep a child in the lowest group seat for as long as possible before moving them up - the overlap is because children reach different age/weight/height combinations at different times.
The minimum weight for a booster seat is 15kg (not 18kg, that is the maximum weight for Group 1) but you should keep a child in a harnessed seat until they outgrow the seat or reach the maximum weight.
It's likely that the parents you nanny for will make their own requests in terms of which car seat to use, so the research may be unnecessary anyway. If you want to know about the groups etc it might also be worth reading up on i-Size which is the new standard, this is going to become more common until it becomes law in around five years time.
I'd say the most important things you need to know are how to fit car seats and how to use them safely. There are lots of common mistakes like not fastening the straps tightly enough or putting a child in a seat with bulky clothing, blankets or coats.
Thanks very much
My car has barely a boot (very small), and I don't know whether a pushchair would fit in it or not, would it be ok to have it in the passenger seat (obviously tucked into the footwell as much as possible)?
You'd be surprised how small some fold! But yes I'm sure it would be fine in the front seat.
Thanks ever so much for your help
I will look into using and fitting car seats safely - have you got any other advice on this?
I disagree about the pushchair. In an accident it could be flung around the car with some force and could be a potentially lethal blow to the head. I think it is always better to choose one that fits in the boot with the parcel shelf still on. I have a small car and I have even managed to fitva double buggy in the boot! Howevervif yours is very small it may be worth swapping it if you are working with babies, it is a pain in the backside trying to get an infant carrier seat in a three door car.
What car do you have by the way? I have found buggies that fit in my mums Micra.
Any unrestrained item in a car could be lethal in a crash so no I wouldnt be happy about putting the pushchair in the front.
Group 0+ seats are suitable from birth to 13kg or until the baby's head comes over the top, these must be rear facing.
Group 1 seats are suitable from 9kg to 18kg or until the tip of the babies ears are level with the top of the seat, these are usually forward facing but special extended rear facing seats are becoming popular now as rear facing is 5x safer than forward.
Group 2 seats are suitable from 15kg to 36kg or until the tip of the ears are level with the top of the seat, these are always forward facing and use an adult seatbelt to secure the child.
Group 3 seats are the same as group 2 but with no side impact or head protection so I wouldn't recommend for frequent use.
If you were buying seats I would recommend taking your car to a car seat safety centre and seeing what fits but there are seats which can be used through the different stages with a few adjustments. The Joie Stages can be used from birth to 25kg and retails at £149.99 so 2 of these should see you through.
There are also small folding pushchairs available like the Petite Star Zia.
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