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Growing out of ERF seats, what next?(4 Posts)
Our daughter is 3 years, 1 month and she's almost at the point of growing out of both ERF seats we have (a Hauck Varioguard and a Casualplay Bicare Fix). She's only just 15kg but the headrests / straps on both seats are at the highest level and they're about in line with her shoulders so when she even gets slightly taller they'll be too low.
This is annoying as we were hoping they'd last until she's 4! She's not even that tall, around 95cm, and as above well within the weight limit.
Anyway, we're not sure what's best to go for next so any recommendations would be great. We'd prefer to keep with isofix for the next stage as it seems sturdier and easier to fit. I also think she ought to still be in a harness even if she has to go forward facing.
Thanks in advance!
You'll only get her to 18kg with an Isofix seat, whether rear or forward facing. Check her lines on the growth chart and see how much longer that gives you assuming height isn't an issue.
If you want to keep her rear facing longer than that you will have to get a seat that belts in too, there are quite a few options that will take you to 25kg with plenty of height (we have the Axkid minikid, belted only, but they have options with isofix or both). Got to say the minikid is rock solid with belted installation but if you are needing to move it it's not quite so easy, and to buy two will be £££. Britax do quite a few ERF seats up to 25kg which should be fine height wise for her.
Forward facing I like the Joie seats, again there are some that isofix and some with seatbelt fitting, most have a tether system too. There are a few that will do you beyond the harness stage and work as a high back booster which may make spending out that money again seem a bit more worth it. Most FF seats only harness to 18kg; I believe there are a few FF seats which harness beyond this but again check the charts as you may be happy with the age she'll likely have to move to a seatbelt.
If she's at the limits of an 18kg seat harness, then any 18kg seat will be too small for her, meaning that isofix is out if you want harnessed, because isofix only works up to 18kg of child. Remember it is not about the actual weight of the child as they will normally outgrow a seat in height first - the point being that any Group 1 harness will be about the same size. This is a fairly typical age to outgrow them, BTW, though some children manage to fit until about 3.5 - it is only very little children who really fit until 4 years old.
So if you want harnessed then you want to go belt fit. A decent belt fit (ie where you kneel in the seat and tighten the belt at every step) is actually very sturdy and shouldn't put you off getting a non-isofix seat but you do need to be unafraid to put some welly into it! As moggle says, the next weight stage is 25kg so you're looking for a seat which harnesses to 25kg.
Other than this you could look at high backed boosters. There is actually one school of thought which says that a HBB (if the child is big enough, of course!) is safer than a forward facing harness because it puts less strain directly on the neck. Apparently the Swedes tend to go from RF harnessed to HBB and just skip the FF harnessed stage altogether. Personally I'm okay with a 3yo in a booster so long as the belt fits them properly in it and you can trust them not to undo the belt or just take it off. The isofix weight limit doesn't apply to boosters because it only secures the seat itself into the car, not the child. IMO it's worth getting an isofix booster because it stops it moving around so ensures a better fit of the belt, but if budget is a concern, it doesn't make a difference to safety.
For rear facing the straps should be coming from just below or in line with shoulders anyway. Forward facing is above or in line with shoulders.
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