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AIBU to advise my friend on car seat safety

(29 Posts)
GlassIsRefillable Thu 22-Sep-16 06:49:42

My friend told me yesterday that she lets her 2 year old daughter ride in the front of the car with her and even though she is in a forward facing car seat she switches off her air bag. She said that being in the front passenger seat is just as safe as the back and that the car seat manufacturer advised turning off the airbag.

I did say at the start of the conversation that I am obssessed with car seat safety and have read up lots on it. I didn't want to argue with her so instead last night sent her a link to the government website that I refer to. My partner says I should have just left it. AIBU to send on this link? I phrased it that I'm sure if she's checked with the manufacture it's fine but this is where I get my info from. I just thought what something happened and I didn't say anything?

HopelesslydevotedtoGu Thu 22-Sep-16 06:56:32

Not unreasonable
But she may well react badly
People can be sensitive about their choices and perceive advice as criticism

SprogletsMum Thu 22-Sep-16 06:58:56

Just out of interest why isn't it safe for them to be in the front? I know rear facing with the air bag on is bad but thought forward facing was fine?
I probably don't want to know this because one of my dc will have to sit in the front when I have my 4th but it never hurts to be better informed.

ElsaAintAsColdAsMe Thu 22-Sep-16 07:01:20

I wouldn't. It sounds like she has done her own research and made choices that she feels comfortable with.

What you did sounds as though it could be perceived as patronising and critical. I'm sure you didn't intend it that way but be prepared that she may not take it very well.

GlassIsRefillable Thu 22-Sep-16 07:03:38

Hi SprogletsMum,

This is the site I use for information:

It doesn't say the front seat isn't safe, just that rear seats are safer and should be used where there is the option. smile

Muskateersmummy Thu 22-Sep-16 07:07:36

It doesn't say the front seat isn't safe

This is why I wouldn't have sent her the link. I would have gently said something there and then but not pushed it. She has clearly made her own decision on it.

GlassIsRefillable Thu 22-Sep-16 07:16:55

Thanks all, perhaps I should have left it then. I had good intentions but I can see how I might have come across as interfering. She's a pretty relaxed person so hopefully won't take offence. Next time someone says something similar I will try to get my point across in the conversation then leave it.


katemess12 Thu 22-Sep-16 07:27:04

Leave it. It sounds like she's done her research and made a choice accordingly. She'll probably get shitty with you if you try and push your findings on to her, and rightly so.

SprogletsMum Thu 22-Sep-16 09:59:42

Having read that link I reckon it's probably safest for my nearly 2 year old in the front. Her seat being in the back means that the front seat has to be quite far forward. So ds or dd is closer to the front airbag. She's also strapped into a harness so can't lean forwards where dd and ds are secured by the belt so can lean forward.
I always think it's good to share information but once it's been seen just leave her to it.

AliceMum09 Thu 22-Sep-16 11:33:31

I don't think the front seat is any less safe, as long as you consult your vehicle's manual to see what it says about having child seats in the front. That's more important than what the child seat manufacturer says. Obviously the airbag MUST be off for a rear facing seat to be allowed in the front, but you should go by what your specific car manual says for forward facing seats. This is the relevant page from my car's manual.

It's common in Sweden for older children to sit rear facing in the front seat

Dontyoulovecalpol Thu 22-Sep-16 11:35:59

Leave it- people are obsessed with car seats and I for one am fed up with advice which hasn't been saught or child seat obsessives butting into posts (happens on FB a lot) to comment on a picture or post with car seat safety advice. It's just another parenting club to judge other on. Breastfeeding, slinging, weaning, sleep training. You're part of the car seat club.

katemess12 Thu 22-Sep-16 11:40:48

Dontyoulovecalpol Totally with you. grin

Shits me to tears.

zzzzz Thu 22-Sep-16 11:44:55

It says it is "safer" but doesn't explain how much safer or what the population is. For exampl if they include children sat in rear facing seats in their "it's safer to sit in the back" stat then it's not quite the same is it?

I think I'd be intensely irritated but pretend it was fine like when people lecture you about bf/ff or wearing you baby.

AliceMum09 Thu 22-Sep-16 12:21:54

It's not quite the same as other parenting debates. You can breastfeed your baby and they will be perfectly happy and alive, same as you can formula feed a baby and they will be perfectly happy and alive. How you feed your baby is personal choice, and if anybody had said anything to me about my decision to use formula I would have been annoyed and asked them to mind their own business.

However if I was unintentionally using my child seats incorrectly I wouldn't mind that being pointed out. You can use the correct child seat, fit it correctly and strap your child in properly and your baby/child will be perfectly happy and alive. Make a minor mistake with any of those elements and your child could potentially die if you are involved in a collision. That's why I have spoken to complete strangers in car parks (and friends) when I have seen an incorrectly installed seat. I'm not trying to make myself look superior or the other parent look stupid, I'm just doing what I hope someone would do for me if I made a mistake that could cost my child their life.

Dontyoulovecalpol Thu 22-Sep-16 12:24:09

I wouldn't dream of listening to a stranger in the car park who decided to advise me on a car seat. Why would I trust them? They could be anyone! They'd get a short shrift I'm afraid

Summerholsdoingmyheadin Thu 22-Sep-16 12:30:12

Car seats can be safely used on the front seat as long as you follow the fitting advice by the car seat manufacturer and the vehicle manufacturer and adhere to the airbag on/off recommendations. A 9month old (who can just about legally forward face) is almost certainly safer travelling rear facing in a decent car seat on the vehicles front seat with the air bag deactivated than a 9 month old travelling forward facing in a car seat on the vehicles rear seat.

taytopotato Thu 22-Sep-16 12:30:57

There is a risk that the child might get thrown through the windscreen window.

Summerholsdoingmyheadin Thu 22-Sep-16 12:48:33

They can only get thrown throughout he windscreen if they are forward facing and not using a car seat with a correctly adjusted 5 point harness. A child in an ERF seat with a correctly adjusted 5point harness can not be thrown through the window regardless of which row of the vehicle they are sitting in.

Bumplovin Thu 22-Sep-16 13:44:30

We've just bought our car seat and were told that new guidelines state the child should be rear facing until age 4 to protect their neck and head. Im not sure about front seat tho.

JenLindleyShitMom Thu 22-Sep-16 13:47:34

Ugh! Twatty thing to do.

Soubriquet Thu 22-Sep-16 13:55:55

I'm getting fed up of car seat mums

I've been made to feel incredibly guilty by some information out there.

My kids are in the best car seats I can afford. They aren't the £200 ones that everyone seems to be raving about though.

JenLindleyShitMom Thu 22-Sep-16 14:03:51

It seems to be the current "on trend" hobby at the minute to get outraged by inappropriately car seated children. I've seen a sudden explosion of 'shaming' pictures on my FB newsfeed of seats that are apparently wrong with captions like " can't believe they drive their most precious cargo around like this <sad face emoji>" and other shocked and angry faces. I usually have to read through the comments to find out what is wrong with the car seat.

steppemum Thu 22-Sep-16 14:06:37

well, if a child is sitting in the front seat in a forward facing seat, and their head is lower than the head of a child/adult at 135cm, then you must have the air bag off.

It is the same reason that a small older child must be on a booster in the front seat. And the seat should be pushed as far back as possible.

An air bag is set at the right height to hit the chest of an adult. A short child person would get the full blast of the airbag on their face, and it would snack their neck and kill them.

I wouldn't have said anything to your friend though.

steppemum Thu 22-Sep-16 14:08:38

not saying you should put them in the front seat, just if that is where they are.

Summerholsdoingmyheadin Thu 22-Sep-16 16:52:31


You don't have to spend £200 to get a safe seat. Decent ERF seats can cost not a lot of money. The joie tilt for example costs £60 and fits most cars and rear faces to 4 years old.

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