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Car seats

To think forward facing car seats can't be unsafe?

42 replies

pinkyp · 28/08/2011 16:39

My sil was telling me the benefits of extended rear facing and how dangerous forward facing is. Surely if this was true then they'd be more popular over here? She also said in Sweden they have extended rear facing and have very fewer deaths (child) because of this. Dh says most people drive volvos in Sweden (one of the safest cars you can get). I'm not convinced there that great. Can anyone advice me?

OP posts:
OrganicFreeRangeBoys · 28/08/2011 16:46

I have a 28month old and an 11 month old both in rear facing car seats.

It is proven to be 5x safer than forward facing.

There's lots of video's on YouTube to show the differences on the force of the neck/head/spine facingboth directions.

It is now also recommended that you keep children rear facing until they are at least 2yrs old.

Mine will stay rear facing until they reach the limit of their seats at around 4/5yrs old.

When it comes to children, I'll always buy the safest thing possible and car seat safety is something I refuse to compromise on.

pinkyp · 28/08/2011 16:48

I'm guessing you have bought the safest car around then? If safety is your number 1 priority? Why are they not popular over here? In mothercare / halfords I didn't see any. I'm guessing these cost alot more than normal too?

OP posts:
HarrietJones · 28/08/2011 16:50

Mothercare/halfirds don't sell them.

FF isn't unsafe but ERF is safer.

diddl · 28/08/2011 16:52

Why would it follow that they would be more popular over here?

If parents aren´t (for example) reading the same stuff as in Sweden, they are surely happy enough with the way things are?

OrganicFreeRangeBoys · 28/08/2011 16:57

No I haven't got the safest car possible!

We all have budgets to work to and we buy the best we can afford.

But budget doesn't come into it when buying car seats to me. Rear facing is proven to be safer so why would I go against that?

My kids rear facing in a Peugeot 206 are probably less likely to get seriously injured in a frontal collision than a child in a forward facing seat in a... Oh I don't know... Insert name of safet possible car here.

When I asked mothercare why they didn't sell them I got told that rear facing seats are bland, plain colours and British parents wanted bright patterned car seats. Where they got this info I have no idea.

ProcrastinatorGeneral · 28/08/2011 16:57

Forward facing is more popular, certainly. Popular doesn't always equate to 'best' though. There have been recent studies like this one from the BMJ that explain why rear facing is the safer option.

gailpottertilsleyplatt · 28/08/2011 16:58

Did you know there is a Car Seat topic. That is where this thread belongs.

RowanMumsnet · 28/08/2011 17:01

Hello there,

We're going to move this thread to the Car Seats topic.


OrganicFreeRangeBoys · 28/08/2011 17:05

Oh dear!

It was a perfectly valid AIBU!

If we're moving this one to the "relevant" topic maybe we should move all the other AIBU threads to the relevant topics too?

pinkyp · 28/08/2011 17:08

But this is a aibu / debate not just a car seat q.

OP posts:
ChippingIn · 28/08/2011 17:09

Oh for crying out loud.

There will be nothing left in AIBU other than MIL threads - maybe we should have a MIL topic and be done with AIBU.

ChunkyPickle · 28/08/2011 17:13

I have a seat that can be used both ways, but if I use it rear facing, there's no where for my one-year-old's legs to go (well, unless he sits cross legged)

How do you get round this? Do ERF car seats have more space? Surely no matter what you do the actual car seat gets in the way so the child will have to sit cross-legged or crouched?

worldgonecrazy · 28/08/2011 17:14

I struggled to find rear facing in any of the mainstream shops and found various excuses. I guess the truth of the matter is that a lot of British parents don't even know they exist or that they are available. I can't see many parents choosing forward facing if there was an affordable rearfacing seat next to it with the "5 x safer" on a dangly label. I had never heard of extended rearfacing until I started looking into purchasing the safest seat possible. Now that Which have named two extended rear facing seats as best buys I am hopeful that the word will spread and British parents will be able to make an informed choice about seats.

ProcrastinatorGeneral · 28/08/2011 17:53

To be fair, for most people the main reason they buy forward facing is going to be cost. A rear facing one for the older child is going to cost at least two hundred and fifty pounds. Lots of people I know just head to mother care/toysrus and buy the cheapest one for the job. Harsh, but true in an awful lot of cases.

HoneyPablo · 28/08/2011 17:55

Why, Rowan, why?

RowanMumsnet · 28/08/2011 18:37


Sorry to cause a kerfuffle. We're doing our best to keep non-AIBUs out of AIBU. It's increasingly the case that people post in AIBU because they know they'll get a lot of responses there, which means that it's in danger of becoming a nonsensical odds-and-ends sort of topic.

This thread was reported to us as belonging in the 'Car seats' topic, and after reading the OP we agreed.

By the way, lively debates can take place under every topic, not just in AIBU!


CokeFan · 28/08/2011 18:39

ChunkyPickle - our britax two way elite has two rear facing settings. For younger/smaller children, the seat is sort of braced between the back of the front seat and the front of the back seat (so not much legroom). The other setting, for bigger children, involves folding out a plastic arm from under the carseat. In this position there's a gap for their legs off the front of the carseat. I'm not explaining it very well but it does seem to work. Dd is 3 next week and just about to go onto the bigger setting (she's not particularly tall and her legs are quite short anyway).

We bought a RF seat because I believe they're safer in the event of an accident. The "safest car" issue is surely much more complex because you also have to consider how safe the car is to drive (brakes etc.) as well as how it behaves in an accident. If you were really going to extremes you could try to employ the "safest driver" to drive you around on only the "safest" roads.

Twe cost £200 18 months ago. Dd was about 16 months old when we started using it and I expect it will last rf until she's about 4 then ff until she's 6. I don't know whether any other places sell it now but at the time only the in car safety centre in milton keynes sold them, although I believe they are made in the uk. It was our choice because rf seats often take up more space in the car, some make the front passenger seat unusable depending on the size of the car/passenger.

ChippingIn · 28/08/2011 18:43

Rowan - if you go back and read the other thread, even the ones kicking off about AIBU don't think this one should have been moved!

This is an AIBU - it's not a question about which car seats fit in x car, or which car seats last longer (or whatever else is discussed there).

This was a good general discussion and should have stayed in AIBU. Of course lively debate can be had in most of the topics, but this was a good general debate for those of us not interested in the usual stuff posted under 'Car Seats'.

sleepevader · 28/08/2011 18:47

The reason they aren't widely available is because of Market demand.

It's classic supply and demand. The retailers don't Market them well either.

One retailer within a 2 hour journey radius and that only sells one type of erf seat. Sadly it won't fit one of our cars due to the storage boxes and the fact it has a prop.

Yet a perfectly good seat in the britax two way elite isnt marketed in this country- just exported ...... Why?!!!

IthinkIamUndecided · 28/08/2011 18:48

There are just too many topics on the MN board.

sleepevader · 28/08/2011 18:49

I would like this to have stayed in aibu in order to reach a wider audience who may have benefited from the reading thread.
Maybe it could be moved back?

Ladymuck · 28/08/2011 18:58

Well if safety is the key consideration, then actually all passenger seats, whether for children or adults, should be rear-facing. If safety, rather than comfort, is the primary focus, then surely safety campaigners should focus on this change.

Mentile · 28/08/2011 19:07

Ladymuck is that true? All my passenger seats can turn to face the rear of the vehicle. Would all my passengers be safer that way? I thought in children it was due to the head vs rest of body proportions that rf is safer?

CokeFan · 28/08/2011 19:08

I get carsick if I sit in the back of a car, never mind facing backwards as well. I think it's ok for dd because she's never faced forwards. I wouldn't attempt to put an older child rf unless they were used to it though.

Adults/larger children are more comfortable facing forwards because they can see out of the windscreen. At 3 year old size I don't think it matters which way you face - you're only going to be able to see out of the side windows because you're not that tall.

CokeFan · 28/08/2011 19:09

Safest seats on an aeroplane are supposed to be the rf ones. Slightly different crash scenario though...

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