Car Seats: Sitting Comfortably and Safely

I’ve been meaning to write this post for ages and intended to do shortly after I wrote the post about my Babystyle Oyster pushchair back in August, however due to feeling horrendous with this pregnancy I just never got round to it but after recent chats with other bloggers about how much I love my Britax car seats I just had to get round to sharing my thoughts with everyone properly.

When I was pregnant with my daughter one of my most important purchase decisions was the car seat. I was so aware of the need for my little precious bundle to be safe, comfortable and secure.

According to ROSPA (The Royal Society for Prevention of Accidents) “most accidents involving children and cars occur when a child is travelling in a car that crashes or is hit by car as a pedestrian or cyclist.”

Apparently every year approximately 15 children between the ages of 0 and 11 are killed whilst travelling in cars and approximately 225 are seriously injured and 5,000 slightly injured. (taken from http://www.childcarseats.org.uk/carrying_safely/casualty_statistics.htm) However statistics do seem to be improving over the years in the UK and I think this is largely down to more road safety awareness and new car seat legislation. In recent years UK law changed to now require children to have a child seat or correct restraint until they are either 135cm or 12 years old (whichever comes first) in order to improve child safety when travelling in vehicles.

With different stage car seats and rear / forward facing car seats there’s a wealth of choice and some complex decisions to be made by parents. There are so many different brands too, all with various innovative designs and unique selling points. When I was making my choice I was so aware of the safety aspect that I actually paid for a subscription to the Which? website and looked up their guide to the best car seats out there.

There were a number of brands in the top 15 / 20 listed. However I had heard of the Britax brand and saw that they rated highly in the Which? test. I knew I wanted an ISOFIX car seat and was also buying the lightweight Babystyle Oyster pushchair and was aware that the Britax Baby Safe seats attached to the chassis of the Oyster without requiring any adaptors etc. So with this in mind and the fact that the Britax seats ranked highly in the review my decision was made.

I bought the Britax Baby Safe Plus SHR II with ISOFIX base and it was so simple to use and convenient.

car seat

The Baby Safe Plus SHR II has side impact protection and a 5-point safety harness that is easily adjusted with one simple pull. It has chest pads on the straps for added comfort for your child and can be installed using an ISOFIX base or a 3-point seat belt. The carry handle is adjustable to different positions and the headrest and shoulder strap height can be easily adjusted from the front with no faffing around behind the seat.

I loved the easy release button and the fact that I could simply and quickly lift the car seat out and with it’s integrated adaptors I could simply place it on my pram chassis and then in turn lift it off and place it in the car again.

The only thing I found I would have liked was a head hugger for my little girl. She was soooo small and her head flopped around all over in the first few weeks. If I was ever out with hubby I would sit in the back with her just to try and support her head a little but if out on my own I had no choice. Other than that I really can’t fault this car seat!

I was so impressed that when it came to buying the next seat up for my daughter I again checked out the ratings and saw Britax still rated highly so for me it was a no brainer, Britax it was.

We needed two seats with me being back at work and us having two cars so I opted for the Britax Safefix Plus car seat in Cowmooflage and hubby got the Safefix Plus TT.

car seat

car seat

The Safefix Plus TT car seat fixes to the car using ISOFIX, which has arms that retract to provide secure installation and indicators to confirm the hooks are engaged. It also has a 5 point safety harness with chest pads, again with single one pull adjustment, which can again be adjusted with the head rest as your child grows in one simple movement from the front of the seat. Great safety features include side impact protection and what Britax call a Pivot Link System which reduces the child’s forward movement in the car and therefore the risk of impact / injury. Just watching the video on this sold me immediately! Another nifty feature is a simple recline feature should your child wish to sleep

(The Safefix Plus has all the same features but with the ISOFIX foot.)

The seats have once again been great. The only ever so slight issue for me is the weight, but we bought two so we didn’t have to move them. I’ve only discovered how heavy they are for me on the odd occasion that I have had to  move them between vehicles. However I can’t see that you would expect any more when you get to this level car seat (especially with good safety features). Plus I am disabled so struggle with anything heavy anyway! I also struggled a tiny bit with the retractable ISOFIX arms on my version, the release pull didn’t seem to work as well as on my husband’s and I found it hard to get the seat positioned and anchored again if I have had to remove it for any reason. However on my hubby’s it’s been fine so I don’t know if this is just a blip on mine, I think it probably is. Overall it doesn’t affect the quality and performance of the seat on a day to day basis and I have been very satisfied. I even recommended to my parents so there’s now FOUR Britax car seats in our family!!!

I am pleased with the decisions we have made, however like I have said it can be a tough choice and everyone has different requirements. There is a debate as to whether we should adopt the avenue of having rear facing child car seats until children are 4 years old as in some Scandanavian countries. Now this is a whole other topic to touch on (should you wish to read more you can do so here) and you will also find a wealth of information online just by googling! However if you do want to do your own research to find the car seat that best suits you then I would recommend the Which? website, it played a huge role in helping me and my husband to make our decision and it also had some comments regarding rear facing seats for older children too.

Safe Travelling!

x

Disclaimer: No product was supplied or payment made for this post, this is an independent blog post based on my own opinions.

Comments

  1. We opted for a rear facing seat the baby safe Izi we travelled some distance to purchase the seat and to have instruction in the correct fitting of the seat. It was expensive but we love the seat and am so Pleased with our choice. Like you, i researched all options as well as joining Which, and feel that rear facing is the only way. I’ll be returning and purchading another rear facing seat for our new addition when the tome comes x

    • Thanks for sharing. As mentioned I was going to touch on rear facing but think it deserves a post of its own in its own right as there’s so much research and info into it. Perhaps you could help with this having one yourself? Fancy a moment in the spotlight??? :-)

Trackbacks

  1. [...] week is National Road Safety Week (19th – 25th November 2012). You will have seen my recent post Sitting Comfortably and Safely, in which I discussed the reasons for choosing my Britax child car seats. In this post I mentioned [...]

  2. [...] my little girl is currently using. you can find my thoughts and review on our Britax car seats here. I bought the Babystyle Oyster travel system for my little girl  as it was very lightweight [...]

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