oh we have a astra so its quite big (boot not big enough though lol) we got it just before Mckenzie was born. I didn't know about ERF tbn before Mc was born so I didn't check anything about the car for car seats
I know what you mean about feeling apanic coming on, I didnt know about ERF until after I had turned my 3rd son FF and after I found out I went through the thought process of "my husband has been driving for 25 years, his never had so much as a scrape we will be fine" but then every time I got in the car and another car came too close or as we have to drive down lots of narrow country lanes and sometimes people dont stop or slow down to pass at the right places and he'd have to break a bit harder than usual I'd start panicking.
Your LO has been rear facing for alot longer than most babies! I think the biggest danger of FF is when people turn their LOs at the absolute earliest possible opportunity, and they really don't have strong enough necks to travel that way. A girl I know turned her LO at 5.5 months, because he met the weight requirements.
I'm also in the situation of FFing before I'd like. My LO is still in his infant carrier at the mo (he's a dot-about 9.3kg and his head is still a couple of inches from the top of the seat, but he's strong enough now to move it if he kicks back off the seat, so its days are numbered!) so pretty soon we'll turn him round. Me and OH don't have a car, so the seat is kept in my parent's car. I can't justify the price of an ERF seat for how often we use a car. We might look into the britax first class, but I don't think it fits securely in my dad's car. Sometimes you just have to do the best you can in the circumstances. I totally understand your worries though
i turned my little girl at about 11 months, she was about 19lbs i think i just couldn't bare it in her infant carrier anymore she was to big for it she'd scream as soon as she went in it because of how scrunched up she was, i travel most of the time on my own as OH works and i couldn't turn around to see to her without stopping which sometimes isn't possible so i turned her, noticed a difference straight away and i don't feel guilty she's still safe.
i had a crash about 3 weeks ago a forward impact crash and got hit from behind to, my LO was not injured (obviously I'm not saying that it couldn't have been worse because god forbid it could have) but the FF car seat did the job
YES i know how you feel, i have the britax first class too and planned on keeping him RF until he reached 13kg which wouldnt be for ages yet but the last week i would say everytime we put him in it he has been sobbing his heart out, real tears and everything so i got on the scales with him and he was just about 20lbs so i switched him FF and he has been fine since. I still feel unsure and guilty as does OH as he keeps reminding me but i know that if he continued crying everytime when i was on my own driving id be more likely to crash in the first place.
I ummmed and ahhhhhd over this for AGES. Did loads of research, watched all the videos etc. and was convinced we'd go ERF. When it came down to it though we found that our car, despite looking huge (Audi A4 estate) didn't have much space in the back at all and an ERF would mean the front passenger seat was un-useable. Our car doesn't have isofix or the possibility to fix isofix so an ERF would have to be strapped in which would be REALLY difficult for DH as he uses the car for work every day. The only option was a new car. But because the car has such great boot space and basically fits all of DH's requirements it really wasn't that simple. DH said that when it came down to it if we needed to sell the car and buy a new one to fit an ERF we could for LO's sake but when I weighed up all the above I decided to do more research into the safety of car seats in general and found that whilst most of the well-known ERF seats are definitely 500% safer in a front collision, they didn't meet safety standards for rear impacts and side impacts as much as the best FF ones. So, yes I wanted LO to be 500% safer but how could I guarantee that if we did have a serious collision it would be a head-on one?
I then looked at why FF ones are 500% less safe than ERF and it seems like most safety research shows that it's because of the way the harness straps LOs to the seat leaving their necks at risk of the full force of a head-on collision and the horrible outcome we've all heard of. However... impact shields, on GOOD quality seats that pass all safety standards really help to reduce that risk. Because the LO's body isn't strapped down flat against the back of the seat with a harness it is able to lunge forward with their head/neck in a head-on collision into the impact shield which absorbs a HUGE amount of pressure drastically reducing the risk of neck breakage.
No, it's not 5 times safer in a head-on collision like a ERF one is, but it is 2 times safer which is double the safety of standard FF seats. And it is safer in a side-on collision and a rear collision than any of the ERF ones I was looking at are, so I feel I've done the best I can having weighed up all options.
We keep car journeys with LO to a minimum and drive as safely as we can. Do all the research you can and do whatever you feels is the safest option for you. x
JULY 2011: Update Regarding Rear Facing Stage 2 (Group 1) Car Seats.
For some time there has been a "campaign" in the U.K. for parents to adopt rear facing seats normally originating from Scandinavia. In some extreme cases the campaigners have even alleged the UK government & suppliers dont want to improve kids safety and are obstructive in promoting rear facing. (Editors personal note.........can I suggest you guys go look at the use of Fire ******ents in nursery products.........now there is a real story!). But back to car seats.
Experts are very divided on the benefits of these seats.
Here are the two views:-
1.Eurotest crash test results confirm that rear facing group 1 car seats are little safer than some impact shield seats (such as those from Kiddy, Cybex and Jane). At the time of writing Which? magazine has made 4 of the 5 models tested as "Dont Buys" often citing poor side impact results
2.Claims that group 1 rear facing seats are "5 times safer" are therefore highly controversial.
3.Some argue that Scandinavian accident statistics are better than ours purely because of the size & brands of cars that they drive.
4.Many users find it significantly more difficult to fit a rear facing stage 2 seat than a forward facing seat.
5.If sold second hand the risks of these seats being fitted in a dangerous manner are considerable.
6.Unless you have a very large car these seats are likely to impact on either the drivers seat or the front passengers seat.
7.Some reports suggest that children do not enjoy traveling in these type of seats.
8.They are expensive & sometimes difficult to move from car to car.
9.Rear facing seats are NOT tested in high speed REAR impact crash tests. (A rear impact in these seats is the same as a head on accident in a front facing seat).
10.Only "specialist fitters" are trained to fit these seats and research clearly shows that parents have problems fitting car seats.
1.The BMJ has issued a report confirming they believe rear facing stage 2 seats offer better protection.
2.The Hatfield rail crash proved that rear facing was safer (the most serious injuries occured to those forward facing).
3.Most experts do agree the principal of rear facing is safer but only in a head on crash scenario. In consequence parents should try to keep a child rear facing as long as practically possible when using an infant carrier.
4.In May 2011 Which? made two Besafe models a "Best Buy" (most other brands remain "Dont Buys). Editors note: if you are considering rear facing, Besafe would appear to be the best brand available at this time.
5.Some experienced Road Safety Officers hold strong views that rear facing group 1 seats are better.
6.It is much easier to "load" a child in a rear facing seat.
7.Because these seats are normally fitted at independent shops the chances that the instilation will be correct is very high.
UPDATE: We now have a page on this website dedicated to the rear facing car seat debate.
There is a comment somewhere that the ERFing seats get better results in crash tests because dummies don't have eyes. That a FFing seat with an adjustable head rest that enables kids to see out without leaning forward or twisting themselves will actually be much better in a crash.
TBH I found that website when researching infant seats, which links infant seats to SIDS of which virtually nothing gets mentioned of it on here, hence I find much that is said about ERF to be little more than scare mongering.
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