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Cybex Pallas not safe?

42 replies

Terra1 · 25/01/2011 21:32

We've been using the Cybex Pallas for a month with our 2-year-old and she's escaped by wriggling out 4 times, mid driving! Absolutely shocking! Mamas and Papas who we bought it from (also Cybex's representative) have been exremely disappointing and refuse to believe us because no one else has reported their toddler can escape from the seat. Has anyone had a similar problem?
(By the way, although fitting this car seat is very straightforward, we have been to our local council's in-car safety unit to make sure we do fit it correctly and we do.)

OP posts:
sazm · 25/01/2011 21:37

how is she escaping?
i thought the idea behind these seats is that they cant slide under the impact cushion and cant reach the buckle??

Terra1 · 26/01/2011 09:00

She manages to wriggle out from the top. First she turns to her side, sticks one knee behind the cushion, then both legs up and she's free!
New on mumsnet. Have I posted my question in the right place? :)

OP posts:
duchesse · 26/01/2011 09:15

Do you have the straps done up tight enough, Terra? I would imagine that every child seat sold in the UK would have to comply by strict UK safety standards and they are stringent, so the only thing I can think is that the straps are not snug enough against her shoulders.

Terra1 · 26/01/2011 09:41

Thanks Duchesse. The Cybex Pallas has no straps. It has a protective cushion/shield at the front (strapped in place via the belt). It's this cushion that holds the child in place.
Do you think it's acceptable for a 24-month-old toddler to be able to escape completely out of her car seat and have a free run of the rear seat mid driving? I tried to argue with Mamas and Papas that such a car seat is not fit for purpose. Their answer was that there is nothing wrong with it if my child is clever enough to escape and I should tell her she shouldn't do it!!! So, according to them, at the age of 24 months, the onus is on the child to be able to understand she is not to do something, otherwise, well, she'll have to go without protection in the event of a crash. Also they won't believe me because in the 18 months they've been selling this car seat, no one has apparently reported a similar complaint.
Has anyone had their child escape from a Cybex Pallas?

OP posts:
duchesse · 26/01/2011 09:52

Sorry. didn't realise it was strap-free!! Just had a look at it online and it looks crazy. I've had 4 babies now and every one of them would have bouncing around the car from that seat. A chunky child might conceivably not be able to get out of it. I agree with you, I do not think it is fit for purpose. I suggest you contact the trading standards authority about it if you are getting no satisfaction from M&P.

If this review is not you then you are not alone with this problem.

duchesse · 26/01/2011 09:59

So does the car seat belt go across the child or secure only the seat? I don't understand from the product description. If they are strapped in with the car seat belt, I would tend to agree with M&P that you need to make sure that she knows that she must not wriggle out from behind the belt- non-negotiable. If she is NT she is certainly old enough to understand. When my older children were this age we had some Britax freeways that used the car's seat belt to secure the child and although it took a few goes to get them to understand, persistence (along with threats of putting them back in the baby seat) paid off and they gave in and stayed behind the straps.

Terra1 · 26/01/2011 10:17

The belt goes across the cushion, not the child.
I'll look into trading standards, thanks!

OP posts:
blueberryboybaitonSafari · 26/01/2011 10:27

Terra - we have one of these and a 28mo DD and hse has never escaped - she once tried - I saw her trying and stopped the car as soon as was safe and yelled the loudest yell she has ever heard from me I shouted to 'sit back down it was dangerous'. she freaked stopped climbing and has never tried again. When she was sitting safely and I had redone the belt I explained that car seat had to be on or there would be a policeman who would shout louder than mummy, car seats are for sitting not climbing. Never had an issue again.

differentnameforthis · 26/01/2011 10:40

There is NO way I would use that! That huge seat isn't even attached to the seat of the car! The only thing stopping it moving is the seat belt that goes through the cushion!

I thought it was compulsory to have babies & toddlers in a 5 point?

blueberryboybaitonSafari · 26/01/2011 10:47

Different - these carseats have actually tested to be safer than traditional 5 point harness seats when correctly fitted. have a look at video which compares 5 point harnesses and the kiddy infinity (almost exactly the same as the cybex)

Terra1 · 26/01/2011 10:51

Thank you blueberryboybaitonSafari! We have tried so hard to convince her and she mostly does stay put, but she's recently started having tantrums, and when she's having one, she wants out and now she knows how to get out, very little can stop her...

OP posts:
sazm · 26/01/2011 13:56

thats shocking really isnt it,that she can escape so easily,i was looking at one of these types for my lo as he could be doing with moving upa group,i think i will stick with a 5 point harness after reading this.

lenats31 · 26/01/2011 17:46

When those cushion seats were introduced on the European market. This is what I was afraid of. This AND being thrown from the seat in a frontal impact as they rotate over the top of the chusion.


sazm · 26/01/2011 19:19

maybe something to do with the shape of the impact cushion???
everyone seems to rave about the kiddy comfort one.

Giggleshb · 01/08/2013 10:53

Hi, we purchased the Pallas last year and my 18 month old pushes the seat belt out of the cushion and escapes whilst driving s I have now had to purchase another car sea. I complained to mamas and papas and they said my child is obviously Houdini as they have never heard of it before. They said they recommend this seat to people if there child escapes from a 5 point harness. I'm fuming....... The car seat cost me over £200 and it is not fit for purpose.

Nadalsballs · 03/08/2013 22:31

I'm interested to find out more about this. We have the kiddy fix guardian pro and although my Dc has never escaped I'm worried that she can. Also, someone said they weren't very safe if the car rolls. Is this true?

AmandinePoulain · 04/08/2013 09:45

This link from Britax is why I will keep dd2 harnessed into her seat until she's ready for a HBB. It's the main reason I won't even consider buying a Cybex Sirona - as well as stories I've read on here about escapees!

HystericalParoxysm · 04/08/2013 09:55

I don't believe any seat with a shield is safe. How can they be if you cant adjust them to fit the child? Our crash testing criteria in this country are awful anyway so I wouldn't take any notice of whether its crash tested or not. I would return the seat, with a fight if necessary, as its clearly not fit for purpose. Then I'd buy a Britax, preferably rear facing.

Nadalsballs · 04/08/2013 10:02

Playing devils advocate (I just want to get to the bottom of this), the response from other manufacturers are that roll over collisions are rare in comparison to front and back impact collisions and in these cases 5 point harnesses are less safe. It's so confusing with so many different regulatory and test bodies involved. It's so hard to know who's right!

gallicgirl · 04/08/2013 10:05

You can adjust the cushion to fit the child. We have this seat and although DD has tried, she's never escaped. Is the cushion fitted snugly enough?

As for the safety testing, it gets top marks all over Europe, particularly in Germany. The concept is perfectly safe and less likely to result in a significant injury than a 5 point harness.

HystericalParoxysm · 04/08/2013 22:06

The concept might be safe, but in this case it clearly isn't!

DoubleDelightTwins · 21/08/2013 15:31

Hi, I've just joined. The same thing happened to me this morning on our way to nursery and I'm still in shock! One of my twin daughters (just turned 2 years old) escaped by doing exactly the same - by wiggling out of gap between seat and cushion. She stood on the vacant seat next to her with a huge smile and tried to climb over to boot. I was still driving then and there was no where to stop for another 3 minutes.

So when I go in to pick them up in 1 hour time, I need to walk to the nursery with an empty double buggy, and then, push the buggy with 2 passengers up the hill (poor me).

We are now considering to buy new car seats - yes, we need to buy 2, as the other quieter twin wouldn't tolerate that her twin sister gets brand new seat, but not her. I'm really annoyed that Which? gave this car seat as 'Best Buy'.

BranchingOut · 21/08/2013 15:45

We have a Kiddy and have been really happy with it.

Two ideas:

Is there a bum cushion that is used to raise them up when they are little but may now need to be removed?

I know that you probably are, but be sure that you get the seat tightly fitted using the bottom half of the belt to get the tension, before looping the top half back through.

For what it is worth, I have seen other children wriggle free from 5pt harness seats just by shrinking their shoulders inwards and putting their arms through.

sleeplessinderbyshire · 22/08/2013 09:43

we have 2 kiddy seats (one in each car) and have always been happy with them. my DD1 (aged 4) usually moans that the cushion is "squidging my insides too tight" so no way she could possibly escape. She went through a dreadful phase of pulling her arms out of the strap in our besafe izi combi but never ever tried to get out of the kiddy which is why we bought another one for her when DD2 needed the besafe rather than a harnessed seat. Are you sure you are pulling it properly tight with the seatbelt? I'm aware I see loads of children with 5 point harnesses that are way too loose so I think as a nation we don't strap our children in tightly as a rule.

DoubleDelightTwins · 22/08/2013 21:48

Hello again. Thanks for your messages.

We have changed the cushion setting to be more tighter, but she still escaped. We will try to tighten the seat belt better and see if she could escape... Kiddy seats are similar to Cybex, so we are not sure if it is worth trying Kiddy seats. She regularly escapes from buggy strap, too, so we are not sure if 5 point harness car seat is the answer.

Once the weather gets colder, she can travel in thick coats, so that might work.

Ps. Talking of escaping, she escaped through a thin gap in our garden gate. Everyone was amazed that her head went through it... We now have an ugly plastic net all over our garden gate.

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