Advanced search

From pushchairs to vacuum cleaners, we've tested hundreds of products in real homes with real families. Head over to Mumsnet Reviews to find out which ones came out on top.

Why are NZ car seats so different from UK?

(9 Posts)
bobbybob Sat 25-Jun-05 08:37:44

In NZ you have to tether your car seat to the car, so they are probably more safe than UK (except for isofix). Then it seems as soon as your kid hits 2 years and weighs 15kgs they get a piece of moulded polysterene called a booster seat which is just used with the seatbelt and not tethered to anything. It just seems a ridiculous jump, and they look so flimsy, so I had a look at the Mumsnet recommendations and they all look like a big version of a seat for up to 18kg, much more substantial. Why the difference, we have the same cars, more or less the same speed limits...

I'm keeping him in his up to 18kg seat as long as possible, but some of his friends are already 18kg and in the flimsy ones.

misdee Sat 25-Jun-05 08:40:27

get a britax elite sent over if u can. uses 5 point harness untill they are apprx 6years old,

eidsvold Sat 25-Jun-05 09:14:49

We have a Britax elite (I think) for dd1 and it is legal in Australia as she is 14 kgs. This is a 5 harness one that is fixed with the seat belt but not bolted on to the anchor points in the back dash. Dd2's carseat is up to 18kgs - it is a safe'n'sound one that is bolted down and converts from rear facing to forward facing etc.

something like this


they must sell safe'n'sound or the equivalent in NZ.

eidsvold Sat 25-Jun-05 09:15:20

dd1's goes up to the 26kgs.

bobbybob Sat 25-Jun-05 09:25:33

I have seen a couple of boosters which are forward facing with harness from 8kg to 18kg, and then with seatbelt from 14kg-26kg. They are expensive and seem to be for people having 2 babies close together, so that the second baby can have the rear/forward facing car seat, whilst the first is still too small for a booster. As ds is already 14kg I would like more value than just taking him to 18kg with a harness, so misdees suggestion is a good one as the harness will go until 6 years.

He will probably get too tall for it, before he gets too heavy.

KiwiKate Sat 25-Jun-05 09:37:11

Hi BobbyBob (We've chatted on another thread). I'm glad to see other parents taking car seat issues so seriously.

Farmers, Baby Factory and Baby City in NZ all have Safe n Sound car seats for children up to 25kg (Farmers has some really good prices, probably based on superior buying power). These use tether & bolt just like the ones for smaller babies, and also have the 5 point harness. IN fact the one we have can go from infant (rearward facing) up to 25kg (becomes forward facing at some stage, can't remember exactly when. It has sitting and reclining positions (great for toddlers to fall asleep in).

There is also a brand that looks more like the foam rubber booster seat (but with the 5-point harness) in that it does not have the "wing" type sides of "baby" car seats. I considered buying this for my DS, but am so glad I did not. We were involved in a collision where another driver fell asleep at the wheel and hit our car side-on. The "wing" sides protected DS, who I am convinced might have had a neck or back injury without this feature. DS was in a Safe n Sound car-seat as described above, and was unharmed by the accident (thank God). Although he is heavy enough by the regulations to travel in one of those-foam rubber type seats, if he had been in one of those he would proabably have been injured.

Our second baby is due in Sept, and we'll be getting another Safe n Sound car seat for him/her.

Baby Factory & Baby City also have other makes doing a similar job. The flimsy foam rubber types are also available from these stores (and places like the Warehouse etc), and I agree make me very concerned about safety.

If you go in to the shops mentioned above, the staff are usually able to advise what weight is the maximum for the different types of car-seats. They can also advise on various features (saves you from trying to come to grips with manuals of 20 different types of car seats on display). When I was hunting for a car seat I took a pen and notebook, because most seats have different specifications, and I found it good to be able to compare the safety features that I considered not-negotiable. It was a bit time consuming, but very worthwhile.

Some of the Safe n Sounds have a great feature of a push-button retracting mechanism for tightening the staps (good for when you've just taken off a bulky jacket and need to quickly adjust the straps to the right length). We chose this feature mainly because the grandparents could not figure out how to adjust the straps on some of the other types of seats.

hope this helps. Let us know how you go.

bobbybob Sat 25-Jun-05 20:36:08

I have a safe and sound birth to 18kg seat at the moment. The safe and sound toddler seat in our local Farmers with the shoulder straps only has the shoulder straps to be used up until 18kg (although you can wear with seatbelt until 26kg), and does not have a tether, am I looking at the wrong one? It was made out of more plasticy material though, rather than polystrene.

I still don't understand why there isn't something more substantial for heavy or tall 2 year olds, as all the posters in Farmers say age 3 for a booster seat. Ds's head will be in the wrong place long before age 3 and he is not particularly tall.

eidsvold Sun 26-Jun-05 00:59:25

bobbybob - if you click on the link I posted and then click on the second car seat - they also say that the harness is compatible to 18kg but then further down they talk about a protector child safety harness - which fits children up to 32kg. Maybe you could contact safe'n'sound and discuss it with them. The catalogue is from an aussie store... not sure if you have the same one.... Babies Galore(?)

KiwiKate Sun 26-Jun-05 05:24:09

You can go to the following website (sorry don't know how to do a link) : for details about a booster seat that teathers, and has a 5-point harness. This one is available at Baby Factory in NZ.

Maxi Rider Amigo Booster Seat
Product No.34062296

Deluxe convertible booster with a high back


Weight Range: 8kg up to 26kg

Age Range: 6 months up to 7 years

2-in-1 converts from forward-facing child seat into a booster seat

Tether strap attaches to anchor point

Recline mechanism

Wide, comfortable seat

Contoured side wings

Elevates child for a better view and the proper use of car's seat belt

Head pillow

Seat belt locator

Machine washable cover, removable for easy cleaning

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: