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Totally confuddled about car seats

(6 Posts)
Elbekind Thu 07-Jul-16 22:18:21

Hi everyone, please prepare yourself for a bit of a boring one here!
I am about to have my pre-reg inspection to become a childminder. I have two families lined up already, both good friends of mine. One family has Child A who is 27 months but very small for her age, with very narrow shoulders and not very tall. The other family has Child B, who is almost 3, is average height, well built and looks like your average three year old.
I have a 5-door Peugeot 2008. It can only fit two car seats in the back row. At the moment Child A is in a carseat like this one: www.mothercare.com/Britax-Prince-Group-1-Car-Seat---Black-Thunder/610942,default,pd.html
The car seat is behind me in the car. My seat is very far forward as that's how I like to drive, however whilst in the seat her feet are still pressing against the back of my seat. That is my first question: Surely it cannot be safe to have her feet like this? It appears that if I were to be in an accident, the impact would break her legs! I don't see how anyone else could not have this problem, as like I said the child is not very tall.
Otherwise, Child A is comfortable and happy in this car seat and it is ideal as she regularly falls asleep on car journeys and this seat reclines.
I have also tried Child A in a car seat like this: www.mothercare.com/Mothercare-Malmo-Highback-Booster-Car-Seat/395356,default,pd.html
It has the insert inside it, the straps are as low as possible and so is the head rest. Well, she looks ridiculous in it. The straps are very bulky and near her neck rather than her chest. The head rest is way above her head and the straps do not tighten enough for me to feel like she is actually safely strapped in. Also she cannot fall asleep in this seat, and it is too low for her to look in the window. That brings me on to the second question: Is this seat still safe for her, even if it appears too big? She is the correct age, height and weight.
Child B sits in the second car seat and is perfectly happy, looks completely comfortable and can see out the window. Also the straps are tight enough for her to look safe, so no problem there.
My third question is that I am hoping to take on a third child once I start childminding. However, I can only fit two car seats in the back of my car. This Child C will be a similar age or younger to Child A and B and so will need to be in one of the car seats above. To my understanding, but please correct me if I'm wrong, the first car seat shown cannot go in the front of my car. That means that Child A cannot go in the front seat, so has to have her legs squashed or look unsafe in a too-big carseat. Child C or B will have to go in the front seat. Why is it unsafe to carry a forward-facing child in the front seat? My air bag is switched off (you manually turn it off with your key, it's not a button or anything so little chance of it actually activating). Can I carry a child in the front seat? How would you feel if your childminder put your child in the front seat? It is only for the occasional day out and possibly the school or nursery run, so no long distances. Ideally I would ask a parent if they minded, but if they do mind, I can't really offer an alternative solution and by asking I am also suggesting that I think it is an unsafe thing to do.
I hope you have managed to get through all that and understand what I am actually asking.
Any help would be greatly appreciated... I can't seem to get my head around how it will work. Thanks smile

Flacidunicorn Thu 07-Jul-16 22:24:38

The first one looks fine for a front seat?

I believe you can put any car eat in the front, even rear facing as long as you turn the air bag off.

If you are struggling with it all, go to halfords, i believe they will help you choose and show you how to fit them in the car.

www.halfords.com/kids-zone/car-seats

lookbeforeyouleap Thu 07-Jul-16 22:29:08

There is a 'car seat advice for mummies and daddies' page on Facebook that gives great advice and is run by trained experts. Highly recommend asking them for help.

AppleMagic Thu 07-Jul-16 22:37:30

I wouldn't be happy with my 3 year old travelling in the front.

With child A's car seat, have you lowered the straps? It's suitable from 9 months so it makes no sense that it would be too big for a 2 yr old.

AndNowItsSeven Thu 07-Jul-16 22:42:03

The second car seat is too big it might legally be ok but I wouldn't put a child that small in it. The first seat is much better.

Elbekind Tue 12-Jul-16 13:23:20

Thanks everyone for the replies.
Yes I have lowered the straps and headrest as low as the seat allows. I know that it sounds off but honest... I have worked with children for the past 10 years and can't believe I am so stumped with an appropriate carseat for this child!
I went to Mothercare yesterday and met a lovely lady who explained the situation with both carseats:
With the 123 carseat, the reason it is too big is simply because Child A is very slim and the carseat obviously hasn't taken this into account.
With the group 1 carseat, the seat just isn't ideal for my car. I have now been directed to the correct carseat (this one, if anyone is interested: www.britax.co.uk/car-seats/eclipse/ ) and her legs are nowhere near the back of my seat and she fits absolutely fine!

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