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Car seat advice please

(20 Posts)
SuzysZoo Fri 26-Feb-10 11:09:50

I am a mum of 9 month old twins and I have been asked to do some research on Stage 1 car seats for an article for our local NCT magazine. The main theme of my article will be that rear facing are safer (if indeed my further research leads me to conclude that).
I have a few questions that some of you may be able to help me with.
1. Has anyone got a child of two still in their baby rear-facing seat eg. up to weight 13kg. If so, does this still work for you?
2. Has anyone got two rear facing stage 1 seats across the back seat of their car? If so, would there be room for a third older child in the middle? If so, what is your make of car?
3. Does anyone know which cars have passenger seats that you can reverse? eg. Renault Espace I think does. Any others? Is it then possible to use a "forward facing" effectively as a rear - facing because the passenger seat is facing the rear?
4. Are the rear-facing seats easy to move around? If you have other children, you might want them to be able to sit in the back if younger children are not there, but is it really practical to remove a rear-facing seat for the odd short journey with older children only?

Thanks in advance for your replies.
Suzy

messymissy Fri 26-Feb-10 12:43:45

Had to get rid of the rear facing seat before dd was one as she was able to kick the back seat and press hard with her legs and MOVE the carseat, even though height and weight wise she could have stayed in it longer.
Had two carseats in Golf and Focus and neither would have made room for third child in the middle far too squashed and surely not safe for the middle child who could impact on the hard carseat if sideways collision.
Rear facing ok to move but heavy once the child is in it.

3. absolutely not without checking withthe car manufacturer. Sounds very dangersous. the cars with seats that swivel are designed to be swivled when stationery, as far as I know they are not designed for you to travel that way. Would have to check out locking mechanisms on the seat and position of side impact bars etc.

BertieBotts Fri 26-Feb-10 13:09:55

1. Not at age 2 yet, but DS is 17 months nearly and is still in his stage 0+ car seat. He weighs about 10.8kg so is well within the weight limit. His head is getting near the top but is not over it yet. Like messymissy's DD, he does kick the back seat and moves the carseat slightly but I am confident in the installation of the carseat and do not feel this is an issue. The biggest issue is that he is bored in the seat and cannot see out of the windows - I really feel the seat was designed for a younger child and does not cater for him as well. It does not help that he has occasionally travelled in a forward facing seat in friends' cars and so he knows what he is missing if that makes sense! I think that the Group 1 RF seats are higher up so that children can see out of the windows etc. Using the Group 0+ seat for as long as possible seems to make the most sense to me as it's the most practical seat - if the child is sleeping you can take them out of the car without waking them, sometimes, although I always put the seat in the car empty and then put DS in now he is heavier to carry in it.

3. I would definitely not do this - a FF seat is designed to take a frontal impact on the straps, not on the main body of the seat. It is only designed to take the force of a rear impact using the shell of the seat which is likely to be a much smaller impact.

Another point - have you thought about looking at FF seats with impact shields, like the Kiddy Infinity Pro? This is the decision I have made about which seat I am getting next for DS - the impact shield distributes the force of a crash better than a 5-point harness - I am not sure how well it compares to rear facing, but the seat is a lot more portable and universal, which is important for me as I don't drive and DS travels in different cars. It has very good side impact protection as well.

nicm Fri 26-Feb-10 13:16:45

I have a few questions that some of you may be able to help me with.
1. Has anyone got a child of two still in their baby rear-facing seat eg. up to weight 13kg. If so, does this still work for you?

hi yes i kept my mindee in the mc cabrio until she was 19 months, until i had the money for a new rf seat! not sure what weight she was but she fitted just fine. i also used the car seat for ds in emergencies and he would have been 13 kgs at least.

2. Has anyone got two rear facing stage 1 seats across the back seat of their car? If so, would there be room for a third older child in the middle? If so, what is your make of car?

i have 3 baby seats accross the back of my 5 door golf! shock i have a KISS behind the driver seat, a britax two way elite in the middle and a mc priori sps behind the passenger seat. these have been fitted by a car seat fitter(not halfords/mothercare) and i believe them to be safe.

3. Does anyone know which cars have passenger seats that you can reverse? eg. Renault Espace I think does. Any others? Is it then possible to use a "forward facing" effectively as a rear - facing because the passenger seat is facing the rear?

i have been told on the rf website that this is not safe. i believe this to be true as car seats should only be used the way they have been tested, eg ff seats used ff, etc.

4. Are the rear-facing seats easy to move around? If you have other children, you might want them to be able to sit in the back if younger children are not there, but is it really practical to remove a rear-facing seat for the odd short journey with older children only?

i have now been using rf seats for a year and have in the past used the ff seats for childminding. i find it no easier or harder than any group 1 car seat around. they are harder than the baby carry seats but then so is the mc priori and it is ff group 1. however, we move ds' car seat around every weekend and it isn't a problem. the twe has tether straps so we just leave extra tether straps in the cars we use all the time, eg dps and gps. the KISS doens't have tether straps and is isofix so it's just a matter of clipping onto the isofix, lowering the foot prop and it's done although this seat is heavier than the twe.

if i were you i would post this on www.rearfacing.co.uk and you should get loads of replies!

hth

nicm Fri 26-Feb-10 13:19:42

oh yes and they can see out in rf group 1's as this is often another argument. i have taken the headrests off and they can see really well out the back and the sides and normally have 'entertainers' in traffic/at lights as they are facing the driver behind!

BertieBotts Fri 26-Feb-10 21:30:52

bump for you

Loopymumsy Fri 26-Feb-10 22:03:13

Message withdrawn

moomaa Fri 26-Feb-10 22:16:01

1. Has anyone got a child of two still in their baby rear-facing seat eg. up to weight 13kg. If so, does this still work for you?

Had DD in until about 14/15 months and she was small side of average, can't imagine her in it now (20 months).

2. Has anyone got two rear facing stage 1 seats across the back seat of their car? If so, would there be room for a third older child in the middle? If so, what is your make of car?

My friend has Mazda 5 and two rear facers(I think 5, one that is small 7 seater) and no room for a third older child in the middle. I have one rf, one ff and can sit an older person (me normally) in the middle and there is more room on the rf side because there is nothing against your shoulder. I have Toyota Verso.

4. Are the rear-facing seats easy to move around? If you have other children, you might want them to be able to sit in the back if younger children are not there, but is it really practical to remove a rear-facing seat for the odd short journey with older children only?

IMO no, and I do move my ff (Maxi Cosi Priorifix) around, but wouldn't want to move my rf around. It would be possible but a royal pain in the butt.

poorbuthappy Fri 26-Feb-10 22:22:18

1. Just moved the twins into the next stage car seats because their heads popped over the top of the rear facing...they are 15 months.

2. our VW Touran takes 2 stage 0 or stage 1 behind each front seat plus a high back booster seat for dd1 (5). Pain the arse to get everyone in? Yes...but they fit and they are safe.

4. How do you get to carnagie hall??? Practice... the first time will take you 20 mins. 2 weeks later and you will do it with your eyes shut in the pouring rain without getting any seats wet. grin

Can't answer number 3, but I am going with the no opinion its not safe...

thisisyesterday Fri 26-Feb-10 22:30:52

stage 1 is infant carriers isn't it? it's just another name for group 0 and group 0+??

or do you mean rear-facing group 1 seats? (9m-4yr approx?)

if the latter then here are my answers:

1.) no.

2.) yes. I have a volvo v70 with a besafe izi combi behind the passenger seat, a britax 2 way elite in the middle, and a britax adventure (highback booster) behind the driver seat. we didn't put the rear-facing ones on each side because ds1 would never have been able to get into the middle seat.

3) no, using a forward facing seat in a rear-facing position does not equal it as it has not been manufactured or tested to be used in such a position

4.) the seats are easy enough to move around. some are bigger and heavier to move (the besafe for example, as it has the back brace). the 2 way elite is very light and very easy to install though

Cutsey Tue 02-Mar-10 21:10:41

With rear-facing seats what you need to bear in mind is that the reserach this whole thing was based on was only to do with collisions from the front.
Most crashes in the UK are from the side - in fact 70% are fromt the side and with mums it's usually on short journeys. So the whole thing about everbody using rear-facing seats even when their babies are 2 years old isn't really all that convincing, cos if you're hit from teh side you won'ty be any better protected. I think in Sweden and Norway where those seats are very normal you need to bear in mind that they have far fewer people driving about in close proximity and much less crowded roads. On longer journeys if there's a collision then, front impact is of course very important.
That same research showed that 'impact shield' seats are second safest after rear-facing in terms of front impacts. In fact from the side they are safest of all. Harness and buckle systems - the usual set up for Group 1 seats - came out much lower down in third place.

Good luck with it.

nicm Tue 02-Mar-10 22:50:29

cutesy do you have a link to the report...i'd like to read it-mostly about the side impacts.

lynwea Wed 03-Mar-10 12:44:10

Hi
I am currently a student studying marketing as part of my Product Design Engineering degree at Glasgow University. We are researching the possibilty of a new car seat for a 3-12 year old.
I would very much appreciate if you could spend 2 minutes filling out my short survey.

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/C65X559

Kind regards,
Lynsey

nicm Wed 03-Mar-10 15:43:24

sorry cutsey!! it was late blush

nicm Wed 03-Mar-10 15:43:50

oh and done the survey!

giddly Wed 03-Mar-10 15:54:53

Cutsie - your point that they may not be better protected in a side colision is true, but the worst crashes with the greatest impact (i.e. with two moving vehicles) will normally be head on. It's not just the number of colisions but the severity.Providing rear facing seats do not offer a lower level of side impact protection (and I've never seen anywhere that theydo) they surely the advantages still stand?
In answer to OPs other questions:
1. I had DD2 (fairly small but not tiny) in rear facing stage 0 until 18 months - was safe and fine
WE have 2 rear facers in a Peugeot 206 and VW Touran - couldn't get a third seat in either.
Don't know about the others

TruthSweet Wed 03-Mar-10 22:36:06

1. Has anyone got a child of two still in their baby rear-facing seat eg. up to weight 13kg. If so, does this still work for you?

DD2 (27 m/o) is in a Britax Nordic Secura which is 9-25kg but would have out grown her stage 0+ seat by 18m/o by height but not weight (she's 13kg now).

2. Has anyone got two rear facing stage 1 seats across the back seat of their car? If so, would there be room for a third older child in the middle? If so, what is your make of car?

We have 3 rear facing seats - Nordic Secura, First Class, Two Way Elite - in a Mazda Premacy. When DD1 outgrows TWE we will keep two rear facers next to each other so that she can use a high back booster on drivers side.

3. Does anyone know which cars have passenger seats that you can reverse? eg. Renault Espace I think does. Any others? Is it then possible to use a "forward facing" effectively as a rear - facing because the passenger seat is facing the rear?

Not safe as crash forces are completely different forward/rear facing and you shouldn't use a child car seat against manf. instructions.

4. Are the rear-facing seats easy to move around? If you have other children, you might want them to be able to sit in the back if younger children are not there, but is it really practical to remove a rear-facing seat for the odd short journey with older children only?

You shouldn't have an older child in the front i.e. if they need a booster/under 12 they need to be in the back.

That aside DH often has to remove all three child seats AND the car seats themselves to cart stuff around sites. He still gets them installed and safe before home time wink

SuzysZoo Thu 04-Mar-10 09:16:53

Thanks for all your replies everyone. Cutsey I would be very interested in the source of your comment re side facing seats and the "pad" design - can you let me know what it is please? So far my research has led me to the following conclusions.

1. Keep your baby rear facing in their baby seat until they outgrow it, NOT until they are 9kg.

2. The safest place in the car is middle rear (if you have one) followed by passenger side rear.

3. If you have a child in the front seat turn the air bag off if you can or if not, at least sit them as far back as possible by sliding the seat back.

4. Consider whether you are really giving your child a "treat" by letting them sit in the front seat (yes, I have done this too but I will now reconsider this).

The source for all this info is ESSEX CAR SAFETY CENTRE.

nicm Thu 04-Mar-10 14:29:33

suzyszoo, the front airbag thing and pushing the seat back as far as possible is only applicable for ff seats! UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES should a rf seat be with a frontal airbag.

SuzysZoo Thu 04-Mar-10 21:43:17

Yes absolutely - just to make that very clear, it is NEVER SAFE FOR A REAR FACING SEAT TO BE IN THE FRONT IF THERE IS AN OPERATIONAL AIR BAG.

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