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Help! Am I being over cautious or sensible??(6 Posts)
So I have just had to replace my car due to my old car failing MOT spectacularly, and have a dilemma about my child's car seats. I wanted to get advice/opinions from fellow mumsnetters as I do have a tendency to be over protective! This might be a bit long winded to explain but please stick with me lol...
My eldest uses a Britax advansafix seat which is a 1,2,3 group seat that becomes a highback booster from 18kg, but is also an extended harness seat, meaning the harness can be used up to 25kg. This is ideal for us as my boys are big for their ages and I'm not comfortable with the thought of him using a highback booster with adult seatbelt yet (he's 3). The seat attaches to the car by isofix, top tether and seatbelt through the back of the seat (when using with the harness).
My new car has the top tether anchor points, however Britax say the seat has not been approved for use with this car because the anchor points have not been tested above 18kg so they can't guarantee performance over this weight.
Now bearing in mind the seat is attached by Isofix AND seatbelt, as well as the tether, it's not like it's all on the tether point to bear the load in a crash, surely 3 points of attachment are more than enough to ensure safety in the event of a crash? Especially when most highback boosters only attach by isofix alone, I don't see how it could be unsafe whilst the seatbelt is being used to secure the seat (instead of securing the child in a booster seat, when we reach that point I would change the seat).
But because it hasn't been tested I have a niggling doubt, my mum thinks I am being very pfb about it and half of me agrees with her, but the other half thinks I should play it safe and buy a new seat, although it's an expense we can ill afford having already replaced the car!
What would you do??
Britax are always updating their lists it may well be added before you need to go beyond 18kg anyway. I would use it but then I live somewhere where you can use uk car seats and most of our cars are not on the lists so we just get them checked to see if they fit.
I would see if it fits ok and email britax
The problem won't be the 18kgs thing, it will just be that Britax haven't tested the Advansafix in your model of car yet.
Britax sell another seat called the Two Way Elite which has a 5-point harness with a 25kgs limit. This seat is fitted in the car with the seatbelt (forward or rear facing, you can have it either way). No ISOFIX required for that seat, or top tether.
I'm not really sure why the Advansafix requires both ISOFIX and seatbelt. It's obviously been designed like that for a reason, and you must fit the seat with both as directed, but part of me wonders if it's just done like that so that parents think it's safer - there seems to be an obsession with ISOFIX, but in actual fact it isn't safer, it was only invented as a SIMPLER method of fitting child seats. The ISOFIX points in your car have a maximum weight that they can take (the weight of the seat + the weight of the child). Most ISOFIX seats have a limit of 18kgs for the child because the seats are quite heavy, a couple of newer ones can take a slightly heavier child because the seat has been made lighter (Concord Reverso and Nuna Rebl I think).
I reckon that actually using ISOFIX on the Advansafix once the child has passed 18kgs is 'void' and it's going to be the seatbelt holding the seat in. But I guess it would be too confusing for parents to have more than one set of installation instructions (for example saying use ISOFIX alone if your child weighs less than 18kgs and then switch to seatbelt install after they pass 18kgs) so they just have a simple 'use both ISOFIX and the seatbelt all the time' approach.
As long as the seatbelt is tight and you don't get buckle crunch with it I would use the seat if it were me. But these are only my thoughts, I don't have any training in child seats and am only speculating about the ISOFIX weight limit stuff.
Your son needs to stay in a 5-point harness until she's at least 4, preferably 4 1/2, so your only other choices (for forward facing at least, there are more for rear facing) are the Britax Two Way Elite, Diono Radian 5 and Cozy 'n' Safe Excalibur.
I bet you will struggle to get your son under the shoulder parts by the time your son is 18kg anyway. I think the Advansafix is very misleading because it won't take a child much past 18kg with the harness on. My son wouldn't fit under age 4, and he is dinky.
Sorry I meant using the 5 point harness. You will be able to continue to use it with the adult seat belt until the age of 12.
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