Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Rearward facing Car seats are safer

Well, i knew all along that rearward facing car seats for toddlers were available.
When my son grew out of his infant car seat (Maxi cosi cabriofix - winner on WHICH test)
we bought the Britax Evolva 123 thinking its one of the best car seats available in the UK - hoping that for our next child rearward facing car seats would be available up to 4 years of age.
Well.... my friend Ann has been in touch with Britax and this is what she said:

You sell a car seat that is suitable from birth to 4 years. I am not sure about the specifics of it, but I think it says something like rear facing up to 13kgs then you turn it forward facing. Its a fantastic idea as it is two car seats in one - but what I would like to know is that if it HAS to go forward facing once the child is 13kgs or if that is just optional? I realise you should not turn it forward facing before then but that is not what I am asking. Because I would like to keep my child rear facing for as long as possible as this is safest - so is that car seat alright to keep rear facing for longer? I can not see mechanically why it wouldnt be acceptable to keep it rear facing even up to the 4 year weight limit the car seat has but I thought I would just ask. Thank you! :)

The reply she got was this:

Thank you for your e mail.
The First Class si seat which is our combination seat is rearward until maximum weight of 13kg and no more, the seat is crash tested up to 13kg rearward facing, as all the infant carriers. Under no circumstances can the seat be used rearward beyond this weight as we are governed by the European Safety Regulations (UK) and all current seats must comply to this. However, there is a seat on the market which is a Swedish seat that is used rearward up to 4 years of age. The Swedish law stipulates all children up to 4 years of age must remain rearward. This seat can legally be used within the UK and you can view and purchase direct from one of our agents, their contact details are below:

In Car Safety Unit 5,
Erica Road,
Stacey Bushes Trading Centre
Stacey Bushes, Milton Keynes
MK12 6HS> Telephone 01908 220909

Fax 01908 317536
E-Mail info@incarsafetycentre.co.uk
Opening Hours 9:30 - 5:00 Mon - Fri> 9:30 - 4:00 Saturday
Closed Bank Holidays and Sundays

I hope this is helpful to you
Mandy Hutchence
Customer Services

I am glad i have found somewhere in England that will sell rearward facing car seats for children up to the age of four (or 55 pounds, 25 kilos) the website I am getting mine from now is http://www.incarsafetycentre.co.uk/ although there are some other places available too.

To find out more go to http://www.rearfacing.co.uk/ - they have links to other retailers in the UK and also show video footage of crash tests on rearward and forward facing car seats.

This video on youtube is quite good aswell:

Now... my personal opinion on this (and I'm sure a lot of parents will agree) is that you cannot put a price on the most precious thing in your life - your children. While these car seats might be more expensive I do think they are worth it. Not a single child was killed in Sweden in a rearward facing car seat betwenn 2006 and 2007. 27 children were killed in the UK in forward facing car seats when they COULD have been in rearward facing car seats. IF parents in the UK would be aware that this is an option.

Take your time to have a look at the links in this entry and make a difference to the law by signing this petition:


You can also write to your local MP and most of all TELL ALL THE MUMS YOU KNOW - tell them how they can make a difference and tell them that we are left in the dark - but we can change that.

Here's to hoping that someday this will change.

along with breastfeeding rates
and along with longer maternity leave
and along with better health care - with health care "professionals" who know what they are on about
and along with more people being aware of the options of Home birth....
i could go on....
enough for today x

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