The law alone relating to car seats is confusing, especially with the staggered introduction of I-Size and laws that change depending on the country you are in (the rest of Europe being way ahead when it comes to car seat safety)
Things have changed so much in just a few years that the car seat that was perfectly ok for your now 7 year old, is banished to the tip, branded dangerous and never to be used again!
From 9kg, in the UK at the moment, you can choose to turn your child forward facing. I researched this a lot, and decided that for safety and peace of mind, (and following on from the laws in France, which I also researched,baring in mind we used to live there) we would follow the new guidelines,(soon to be laws) and get a car seat that would rear face until Sebastien turns 4 years old.
This is the car seat we chose: Maxi Cosi Pearl
I am so glad we did! Here’s our story;
A few days ago, my son and I were travelling to our old house to finish cleaning, when we were hit by a van doing 40+mph. The impact has potentially written off my car, and I needed an ambulance, a spinal board and hospital treatment. I have damage to my hip and lower back, whiplash, and multiple bruises, including a sprained ankle/foot.
Sebastien on the other hand is absolutely fine. Nothing. Not a scratch. Not even any tenderness/bruising or anything. I really think (know!) this is all down to the car seat he was in. Yes, as mentioned above, at 15 months old, (13kg, and nearly 30″ long), Sebastien is still rear facing. The paramedics even said “oh thank goodness, he’s rear facing, that’s the safest way he can travel”. I know that RF car seats can be more expensive, but please, consider keeping them rear facing for just a little longer. I hate to be the preachy mama that tells you what could have been a horror story, but please. Do your research. It could save your baby from serious injury, or even death.
I know there will be many of you that read this and think “your baby has obviously always travelled well”
No. No he hasn’t. Not in the slightest. For the first few months, any car journey would be chorused by full on screaming sobs. The screaming “no body loves me I’ve been abandoned completely heartbreaking sobs” There were days where he cried so much that I cried too, there were days where he would arch his back and refuse to be buckled in, and there were 6 hour journeys to North Wales where he screamed non stop, regardless of how many stops/nappy changes/boob feeds he had en route. I heard it would all change as soon as he was Forward Facing, and could see the road. But we couldn’t do this for another 3.5 years! No way. It would be easier to become a hermit than brave another journey!
Our simple fix? A mirror, that looks like a giant snuggly Panda, purchased for the bargain price of £15 at the London Baby Show.
It looks like this;
Since the introduction of the mirror, he has travelled a lot better. That, and probably being a little bit older.
Here’s a few pictures of the aftermath of our crash.
Thank you for reading!
Ps: header photo is Sebastien happily painting the box his new car seat arrived in today! All car seats must be replaced after a crash.
How scary for you all! Pleased to hear your little boy is absolutely fine and I hope you recover swiftly. xx
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Thank you Helen. I’m still really shook up! I drove for the first time the other day, and ended up pulling over just because there was traffic behind me (hard to avoid in Surrey!) I also took a loooong detour purely so I didn’t have to drive the bit of the road where the crash happened. ! I was a very confident driver until the other day! Now I feel like a newbie behind the wheel again. Xx