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Long-bodied 3 yo(9 Posts)
DS (3.8) is currently in a Hauck Varioguard but has been on the highest setting for headrest/straps for a while and his shoulders are creeping above the level of the top of the straps. He’s probably about 16kg and tends to track 75th centile-ish for height so otherwise fine in a Group 1 seat but all his height is in his body.
He has been forward facing for a couple of months now and realistically I don’t think he’d go back to rear facing.
He still naps in the car (and tends to loll forwards unless reclined) and I don’t think I would trust him yet to stay sensibly within a HBB. Plus I understand it’s best to wait until 4-4.5 due to pelvis development etc. At the same time it seems ridiculous to buy another Group 1 seat just for a year, tops.
Feeling a bit bamboozled by it all. Is there a HBB that would somehow work at this age? Or should I try and get a 123 seat with a 25kg harness on the basis that it will go higher even if he doesn’t need the weight limit as such? Or maybe a 123 seat with an impact shield for now? Or is there another option I’m missing?
(Would ideally like something with isofix as I do drive the car around without him in it and don’t want anything rattling around in the back.)
He's too young for a HBB so your options are 25kg seats or a taller 18kg seat.
18kg seats - you could try him in a joie every stage or evolve or the Britax elevate.
25kg forward facing seats - Joie Bold, Cosy and Safe Excalibur. But you must have isofix and top tether points.
25kg rear facing seats - lots more options, all belt fitted (just as safe as isofix!). Good ones to look at are the axkid Minikid and the Britax Two Way Elite.
If you're on Facebook, try the group 'car seat advice uk' and search for tall 18kg seats for other options.
Ooh thank you. That has simplified it greatly for my pregnancy-addled brain. Hadn’t spotted the Joie Bold before but our new car has top tethers so that could be a goer.
Is there any advantage generally to using the 5 point harness beyond 18kg? And is there any reason why you wouldn’t recommend an impact shield 123 seat? Although god knows whether DS would get on with one.
I'm not expert but from what I've read about impact shields, there are concerns that internal organs can be crushed in a crash because of the bar across the middle.
There's no advantage to a harnessed FF seat compared to a HBB for a child who is old enough, heavy enough and mature enough to sit in a HBB. In fact there is some thinking that a HBB is safer because the seatbelt allows for some movement during a crash. However, the advice from the expert who run the Facebook group is that children are not physically developed enough for a HBB until at least 4.5yrs and then maturity will depend on the individual. So if he's younger than 4.5, a harnessed seat would be considered safer until his bones are a bit more developed and he's mature enough to sit with a seatbelt without slouching, pulling at it or falling asleep.
I had a similar situation and got a Britax Evolva SCIT (latest version so has soft isofix). I used the harness until he hit 18kg, and then switched to the HBB. He is now 4.5. It had more height than his previous RF seat, and is comparatively well padded for a 123. I've had no problems at all with him slouching or undoing his seat belt, he knows he has to sit up on his seat. In my car because of the seat angle he is tilted back anyway (there is a wedge that you can put under it) so no problem if he falls asleep. I also had to have my 135cm older child in it as a HBB over the summer a few times and he fit in it fine too so I know it will last.
We got the joie stages which is up to 7 years and can be forward or rear facing. Had really good independent reviews
(Theres also a joie every stage which goes up to 12 years but this has awful reviews!)
Or depending on car size theres the graco milestones. That goes up to 12 years but they are very wide and bulky (again just going on reviews) but all are under £150 so might be more budget friendly?
Is there any advantage generally to using the 5 point harness beyond 18kg?
The evidence between seatbelt and 5 point harness is not strong either way BUT under the age of 4/4.5 there is a risk of sliding underneath the seatbelt in a crash due to the pelvis not being developed enough to hold the seatbelt in place. Plus unless they are mature enough to sit correctly at all times, not lean forwards, mess with the seatbelt, put their legs up,etc then it’s obviously not safe.
Some experts believe that once they are old enough, heavy enough and nature enough a seatbelt is safer.
And is there any reason why you wouldn’t recommend an impact shield 123 seat?
There is a crash test dummy video with an impact shield where the car rolls and the child dummy comes out of the seat completely.
If you are going to buy a 25kg seat, it may be worth buying one that can forward and rear face. Lots of children do go back to rear facing quite happily and obviously it’s much safer than forward facing and so good to have the option. You also don’t have to bother with the top tether when RF so easier to fit.
The Britax Two Way Elite has really low sides so he may be happy to rear face.
They last up to age 6ish so you would get a couple more years before having to buy a high back booster.
Or just tell him it’s his new seat and this is the way it goes (rear) so there is no option! If he’s nearly 4 you could show him the videos of a FF crash v a RF crash so he can see and he may be happier to RF. Or whatever bribery methods,etc you usually use!
If you can get to the in car safety centre, they are really good. The Facebook group mentioned above is also good for giving you retailers in your area.
Thank you again. This is really helpful.
So I’m fairly sure DS won’t hit 18kg before he’s about 4.5 (and there seems little advantage to 5 point harness after that) which means I don’t necessarily need a 25kg one.
Am compiling myself a spreadsheet... but why is it so hard to find data on harness height?!
Apparently (after much googling) the max harness height on my Hauck is 36cm. The Joie Bold goes up to 48cm so miles of room. Have discounted the Elevate (even though it’s also high) as I want isofix once it’s in HBB mode.
Does anyone know what the max harness height is on the Britax Evolva SL or Advansafix III, or where I might find that info online? Have found one website suggesting 39cm for the Evolva but otherwise my Google-fu has failed me.
I’ve answered my own question via the FB group recommended above.
In case anyone else is wondering, the Advansafix top harness height is only 39cm, same as the Evolva. I like the look of it as a HBB but I think I might go for the Joie Bold to avoid having the same problem in one growth spurt’s time!
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