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Rear facing car seat until 15months?

(21 Posts)
bessie26 Tue 09-Dec-14 20:01:51

In the last few months, I've heard from a couple of people about a change in the law requiring babies to be rear facing until they are 15 months old.

As DC3 is getting close to the weight limit for his baby car seat, I popped into Mothercare the other day to quiz them & they confirmed that this is the case, and that the law was likely to come into effect from the end of Jan 2015.

So why can't I find anything about this online? If this is happening in a little over a months time, it's not giving people very long to sort things out!

AliceMum09 Tue 09-Dec-14 20:24:22

It's called i-size if you want to Google it. It's not going to be law, it's just the latest recommendation, bringing together the knowledge that rear facing is by far the safest way for children to travel and the use of ISOFIX to try and remove some of the 'human error' factor in the fitting (or incorrect fitting) of child seats.

I must admit I have not taken much notice of the i-size stuff (not that I have seen much about it!) because my youngest child is just over 2 1/2 and already sits in a rear facing seat that will keep her that way until she weighs 25kgs (which, since she is following the 9th centile for both height and weight, will be about 9 years old!). Realistically I'll keep her rearfacing until at least age 5 and for as long as I can after that.

As I said, nothing is going to be law, and the current regulations are still going to be 'valid' alongside the new i-size ones for a good while (I guess to give people who have older children time to 'use up' the existing seats they already have for any new babies they may have). I don't think that i-size goes far enough anyway, 15 months is still way too young for a forward facing seat. I don't see why they won't just have a big push to get everyone to see that rear facing until the age of 4 is safest, then perhaps this would become 'normal', as it is in Sweden (where you would be hard-pushed to find a child seat for sale that would allow an under-4 to forward face).

TallulahTwinkletoes Tue 09-Dec-14 20:29:51

There is a website called rear facing .com or something like that. It's very interesting when looking at the safety of rear facing seats and I highly recommend it.

I haven't heard anything about this but in the us I believe it's two years before they have a front facing. not really sure where their legs go tho

TheJourney22 Tue 09-Dec-14 21:31:08

Just piping in here.....

I do indeed agree with whatever is safest with car seats etc, however .... I faced the challenge 4 months ago (he was then 9 Months) that my DS would scream effing blue murder in rear facing, I changed to forward facing & the screaming instantly stopped.

What is more dangerous? The distraction of DC uncontrollably screaming to the point of making themselves sick or forward facing for more concentration on driving .....

Just a thought .... I wish he would of stayed in rear facing & of course be as safe as possible hmm

AliceMum09 Tue 09-Dec-14 21:36:30

Rear facing seats for older children are just the same size as the forward facing ones, and are installed in the car with a gap between the child seat and the backrest part of the vehicle's seat. This gives the child room to stretch their legs out fully until about the age of 2 (just guessing, my 2 1/2 year old can still straighten her legs fully, but as I said, she's on the 9th centile for height so she's below average) and after that they can either put their legs down the gap or sit cross-legged. Some seats have more space than others, mine is quite low down in the car so although there is a gap there is no 'depth' to it so if DD2 ever grows she'll have to cross her legs.

It's a common assumption that rear facing Group 1 seats take up masses of room in the car, but they don't. They take up the same space as a forward facing seat that has been installed with a safe amount of legroom for the child.

AliceMum09 Tue 09-Dec-14 21:42:15

But what has stopped the screaming? Is it the change of direction, or is it the fact that he's in a bigger, more upright seat and is more comfortable?

Bigger, more upright and more comfort all come with rear facing seats too, plus the child has a better all-round view out of the car than if they are forward facing.

TheJourney22 Tue 09-Dec-14 21:47:50

I wish I knew what stopped the screaming .... It was like a switch.

I think it's because he can see me

AliceMum09 Tue 09-Dec-14 22:19:51

It could be. I noticed DD2 was fine in the car when her siblings were there, but was a bit 'whingy' (but not full on screaming) when they weren't - they are both at school, so during the week it's just me and her. I never had a headrest mirror for any of them when they were in the infant carrier, but I bought one for DD2 after realising she probably thought she was alone in the car when she couldn't see me!

TallulahTwinkletoes Wed 10-Dec-14 05:45:19

I bought a group 0 and 1 car seat. Britax first class plus and kept DD rear facing until she was one. Literally on her 1st birthday she was screaming whilst driving back from the glamorous Skegness. I turned her around and she stopped. She was happy, I think because she could see me. Until that day she had been fine.

How is there a gap between the car and the seat when rear facing? It would have to be plugged with something to make it safe on impact.

zoemaguire Wed 10-Dec-14 06:30:42

Its hard to describe, but there just is one! Our Rf seat is braced at the bottom against the seat, then has a post at the back braced to the floor, and you also shove the front seat against the back of it. It is extremely sturdily fixed in, way more so than our ff seats.

Alwaysinahurrynow Wed 10-Dec-14 06:52:26

We've also go down the extended rear-facing route but with a britax dualfix which means that I can change it to forward-facing if I wanted to once he was heavy enough if he was unhappy. At 25 months he is still happy enough rear-facing, so until he initiates it, I will keep him rear-facing.

Sephy Wed 10-Dec-14 07:51:38

There isn't a gap with mine... Starting to worry it might not be installed properly...? Is it possible to get someone to check? We bought ours from Tesco online, somehow doubt our local Tesco will have an expert... This is why I should have gone to a specialist!

TallulahTwinkletoes Wed 10-Dec-14 09:24:30

Sephy, I'd honestly take these 'professional services' with a shit load of salt.

Halfords and kiddicare fitted my friends forward facing before time. Halfords was at less than four months. My friend believed it was ok because they said.

I can't remember a gap but her feet must have gone somewhere wink

AliceMum09 Wed 10-Dec-14 10:10:38

ISOFIX ERF seats have a brace bar that sits against the backrest of your car's seat to stop the child seat rebounding towards the rear of the car in a crash. Seatbelt-fitted ones have tether straps tying them to the car's floor (some cars have special fixings for this, in others you loop the tethers round the metal runners that the front seat slides in, or the front seat itself). Like somebody else said, the installation is a lot more sturdy than a forward facing seat.

Sephy, what seat is it that you bought from Tesco? I don't know that they sell any 'true' ERF seats (like the ones sold by Securatot etc), you definitely can't buy a 25kg seatbelt-fitted ERF seat online because the manufacturers like you to be shown in person how to fit the seat and position the tether straps. If it's something like the Joie Stages or Hauck Varioguard then these seats don't have rebound bars or tether straps. They have to be installed with the child seat pushed right up to the backrest of your car's seat, and the child seat has to be fully reclined when installed rear facing. It's the angle of the seat (reclined right back) that stops it rebounding in a crash. Same applies to the Britax First Class etc.

zoemaguire Wed 10-Dec-14 12:01:27

AliceMum, we bought our 25kg seatbelt-fitted besafe izi combi online! Admittedly it is a bugger to fit thoughsmile

AliceMum09 Wed 10-Dec-14 12:25:16

Oh, maybe it's just Britax then!

FoxSticks Wed 10-Dec-14 12:27:18

Our besafe is an isofix one and definitely has a gap although our 3 year old prefers to repeatedly kick the seat rather than put her legs in the gap confused

She's got lots of room though, as much as a ff seat and I'm hoping she will stay in it for another year when our dd will go into it. My FIL thinks we are deranged for keeping dd rear facing and often comments on poor dd not being able to see anything (rubbish) and has mentioned that we must get her ff when she starts school or she'll be bullied hmm I'm tempted to buy another rf seat for ds so I can keep dd rf just to irritate him.

Sephy Wed 10-Dec-14 12:33:44

Thanks AliceMum and others.

It's the Hauck Varioguard and as you say it's pushed right against the backrest and reclined. I did find the installation guide a bit confusing about whether it had to be reclined or not but followed something I found online and had it like that.

So there's no gap on mine, I guess she'll have to cross her legs. Also (much less) nervous about the state the car will get into when she has muddy shoes to kick against the seat, but for now I'll be grateful she's been slow to walk!

FoxSticks Wed 10-Dec-14 12:40:01

You can get car seat covers Sephy that normally hang over the back of the passenger seat for ff seats. We just pop one over the headrest on the back seat to protect the seats from dd.

AliceMum09 Wed 10-Dec-14 15:43:15

I've got some sort of cover, it's one that's sold as being for a forward facing seat to protect your car's seats from indentations etc. I got it from Mothercare, it's a Diono brand one.

fatterface Sat 13-Dec-14 14:02:52

Don't group 0+ seats fit up to about 15 months anyway? I think the weight limit is 13kg.

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