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Seat for 4 year old. Confused! Help!

(12 Posts)
EthelCardew Sat 13-Dec-14 11:00:43

My very nearly 4 year old desperately needs a new car seat as the one we're using is over 12 years old and has seen her three cousins through too. The harness straps slip out of the different height notches and the one strap tightener is very stiff to secure. It also has a ridiculous tightener lever right by her feet that secures the whole thing and which she can undo with her feet rendering it unsafe.

She is hovering over 32lbs at the moment and is around 102cm. I bought a maxi cosi HBB thinking she's tall enough and heavy enough to use the car seatbelt but she is pretty slight and the seat belt just doesn't look safe at all. She can also pull it out and get out and wrap it around her head. She thinks it's hilarious.

And then I read horrible stories online about children sustaining internal injuries in accidents at a relatively low speed because of the immense pressure caused by the adult seat belt.

Sooo... I'm wondering about trying to find a 5-point harness seat for her size but can't seem to find one online. Does anyone have any recommendations?

Is my only option to buy a 2-3 group seat which will have a better 5-point harness to use for the few months it will take for her to grow a bit and then convert into a HBB?


DarylDixonsDarlin Sat 13-Dec-14 11:12:49

Its not your only option, but its probably the most sensible one. I think there are seats you can have rear facing up until at least 18/19kg, so that is another option for you.

I had two Britax Evolva 123s that had a 5 point harness, which was ok up to 18/19kg, one of my children was over this weight by the age of just over 4, the other remained under the weight until age 6!

Velvet1973 Sat 13-Dec-14 18:52:25

What about something like the cybex pallas? Not harness but impact shield. Very mixed reviews on impact shields, the negative ones coming from manufacturers that don't make them but independent such as which they come out well.

PoppySausage Sat 13-Dec-14 18:57:46

Oh I'm scared now as I just bought a graco logica with adult belt guides - aren't they safe!?

EthelCardew Mon 15-Dec-14 20:41:39

Daryl Hmm... She has hovered over this weight for ages, putting a bit on and then losing it so I do wonder if she may stay there for a while too. I'll take a look at the Evolva.

poppy They are obviously certified as safe but despite being in the hight and weight range, my little one just doesn't look big enough, broad enough, I don't know really what it is but the belt just seems to cross her in the wrong way and doesn't look like it would hold her in an accident. I'm sure there's pros and cons to all systems but I know I'm not comfortable with her in the HBB and adult belt right now.

Velvet That looks very strange! I don't think I could handle not even having a step around her!

BertieBotts Mon 15-Dec-14 20:49:40

If she's only 32 lbs, that is 14.5kgs, they need to be 15kgs for a high backed booster so she's not big enough, although she might be tall enough for one. (Poppy if your DC is over 15kg, then it's safe).

I would go for one of two options.

1. Go into car seat shops and see if you can try her in various Group 1 (5-point harness) and Group 1-2-3 (harnessed but convert to a booster) seats. Try and find one which has at least 5cm left before you reach the top strap hole. Remember with forward facing seats the harness must come from above the shoulders, not below them.

2. Look for a seat which is designed to harness to 25kg. The problem with most of the Group 1 or 123 seats is that although the harness can support children up to 18kg, they often don't have the height. A seat which harnesses to 25kg does have more height in the harness. Try the Britax Two Way Elite. It is a rear facing one but it goes forward facing too if you don't want to turn her back around.

I would not go for an impact shield seat in this case. I like them but for tall, skinny children they don't work very well because the point that they are "pinned" into the seat is too low meaning they would bend over it too sharply in an accident.

WhispersOfWickedness Mon 15-Dec-14 20:50:25

We have an Evolva 123, I'm fairly sure it is only recommended to be used without the harness from 15kg, so your DD should be in a harness at her size really. The Evolva is brilliant, by the way, we now use ours without a harness for 5yo DS, He's probably about 20kg now. We didn't change it until he reached 18kg though, so you have probably still got a long while of her in it with a harness, so will get your money's worth!

lucy101 Mon 15-Dec-14 20:55:24

You should look at the extended rear facing seats like the Britax 2 way elite. Much safer and my large 4 year old is very comfy in his so you would get a few years out if it.

ArchangelGallic Mon 15-Dec-14 20:55:42

I'm very happy with our cybex pallas. DD loves it too and still uses impact shield at almost 4 as only weighs 14kg. Can use it until she's 12 so definitely value for money.

EthelCardew Tue 16-Dec-14 18:10:50

Thanks bertie that's really helpful info. She had got up to 15kg, hence me buying the HBB but has dropped back down now and doesn't seem to be putting it on again. She's growing upwards but not heavier!

She can't go rear-facing as she suffers terribly from motion sickness and needs to look out the front. If the Britax can face forwards, it sounds great.

AliceMum09 Tue 16-Dec-14 19:04:40

It's safer to use a 5-point harness up to its maximum (18kgs) rather than start using a high backed booster at the minimum weight allowed (15kgs).

The Britax Evolva is a good seat, but when I used mine as a high backed booster the seatbelt would not retract while the headrest was still quite low down. If my son leant forwards the seatbelt would come out with him but when he sat back in the seat the belt was left loose across his chest. I ended up buying a dedicated high backed booster instead, I worked out that DS would have to get to at least 7 years old before the headrest was high enough up to allow the seatbelt to move freely.

EthelCardew Wed 17-Dec-14 07:40:01

Alice Thanks, I wish Halfords had had the same advice!

The seatbelt issue is disappointing, but I do still have the Maxi-Cosi Rodi HBB in storage if we should need it.

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