Quality of carseats...

Discussion in 'Ask a Mum!' started by jazzmum2be, Jan 30, 2009.

  1. jazzmum2be

    jazzmum2be Well-Known Member

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    I would of thought all carseats have to go through the same safety checks right?
    So whats so great about a really expensive carseat to a £30 one?
    Has anyone got any reccomendations?
    I need to get one but if the cheapy ones are just as good then ill be better of getting a cheaper one?
     
  2. chrest

    chrest Well-Known Member

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    I asked the same question to the assistant in Mothercare, as I need a light carseat (cheaper carseats are lighter) as I dont have much strength in my arms, and she said that all carseats have to pass the same safety tests so they are all as safe as each other. She said the expensive ones have more accessories (ie sunhood), are heavier and of course have a brand name.

    Yet when I spoke to my sister (mum of 3) she said she has done loads of researching on the internet and there is safer carseats. I decided not to look to deeply into it as I worry at the best of times.

    I have looked around and decided on a Britax Rock a Tot are it is the lightest brand name I can find (that is only 0.4kg heavier than mothercare own brand) and price ranges between £50-60. Bargain I say, for a brand name! :)
     
  3. lea m

    lea m Well-Known Member

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    I had a rock a tot for my first and it was great! But he did grow out of it by 7 months! :x
    I think they are like everything else! They have to pass a bare minimum standard, but others rate higher as they pass other tests and such! KWIM?
     
  4. Suzie and Faith

    Suzie and Faith Well-Known Member

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    I asked the same in babies r us a few days ago and was told that they all pass the same safety test but you pay extra for brand name, quality of materials (i.e. fabric) and accessories, and things like how far they recline etc.

    I was buying a 9month - 4 years one. I played around with them all and I looked at ridiculously expensive ones and the cheap £30 one and the cheaper ones felt more, plasticy. Because that age seat reclines the button/lever to recline it was flimsy and harder to pull on the cheaper ones. and they felt slightly cheaper to the touch.

    In the end we spent £79.99 (plus £10 off with a voucher) and we were very happy with the britax we got.

    Bes thing is to go and have a play and a feel of them and see what you think xx
     
  5. mudgey

    mudgey Well-Known Member

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    Ive got the Rock a tot for my bubba and obviously havent used it yet but I LOVE the fact its so light!! And I might sound mental but I really love the fabric on it too :lol:

    Ive used loads of different car seats as a nanny and the one thing I would definitely say is check the weight of the thing!! Ive used some that Ive seriously struggled to lift even with 2hands once the baby is in them!! Obviously it needs to fit your car and not all seats fit all cars so that is very important to check but most places will happily try it before you buy. Other than that I wouldnt worry too much, Id probably spend slightly more if it was going to be used everyday and less if you rarely go in the car but as others said I dont think there is that much difference.

    I personally wouldnt pay extra for all the extra bits such as sunshades or rain covers either, Ive been a nanny for 13years and Ive never used any of the extra features, they're a waste of money. Your baby is unlikely to be carried around outside in a car seat for long enough for you to need them.
     
  6. Kittykins

    Kittykins Well-Known Member

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    Have a look on Which?, or look at the mag this month - they've just run a test on carseats. (website costs £1 for trial sub, you should be able to see the mag in your local library, or else have a look in WHSmiths)

    There IS a difference. They've even got a video showing the different seats in a car crash. In one of the crashes, the crash test dummy came right out of the carseat... They list about 30 best buys and a few Do Not Buys. The worst ones are those with no side impact protection - they all pass the British standards test, which only tests head-on collisions, but if someone came out of a side road and hit the car sideways on, some of the seats offer no protection at all. Other seats don't give the baby much support so his head/neck rolls around too much.



    As for the extra bits such as sunshades or raincovers, it really depends on how you use the carseat. If you're using it just as a carseat, then you probably won't use them at all. If you've bought a travel system, especially one in which the seat clips straight onto the chassis (a couple of the M&P ones, a Silver Cross one, a Quinny and a couple of others I've seen), then you might well need them. We've bought a travel system with the intention of taking just the carseat and the chassis when we visit friends, and using the carseat as pram/pushchair whilst the baby's small.
     
  7. daftscotslass

    daftscotslass Well-Known Member

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    Ditto to the post above. It's really quite scary when you see. Definitely don't buy a cheaper one without having found somewhere that's tested it independently.
     
  8. NickyB

    NickyB Well-Known Member

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    Wow, sounds like Which is worth a look for anyone.

    Don't buy M&P's IMO.
     
  9. Kittykins

    Kittykins Well-Known Member

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    We bought the M&P pro-sleep... it was a Which? Best Buy, rated really highly in their tests. As did the Primo Viaggio.

    (Primo Viaggio used to get bad press - they issued a new model last summer (I think), which is the Isofix compatible one, and which has won quite a few awards, as well as being rated Best Buy. The new model has better head support for the baby, and excellent side protection - it was the lack of head support that seemed to be the main complaint before. You can also buy head hugger inserts if your baby's particularly small)

    However, the M&P pro-tour was a Do Not Buy.


    Just goes to show it's the model not the brand...
     
  10. daftscotslass

    daftscotslass Well-Known Member

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    Another thing to watch for is that in Which reviews the safest option is usually when Isofix is used so check for alternatives if you don't have isofix which is what we did for our Group 1 seat.

    I've heard of a few people recently who've still had problems with the Viaggio with the baby's head flopping forward as in the base it's very upright. I found similar with our Graco seat and to be honest it's not something padding could sort - we had to install it without the base, just with the seatbelt. This is definitely something to look at when you're trying seats out in your car.
     
  11. kalia

    kalia Well-Known Member

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    To pass the safety test a bar is put 550mm in front of the car seat (I forget how far) and if the crash dummy's head hits it in a head on crash at 30 mph it fails, if it doesn't (and doesn't slip or let the baby hit any other part of the car) it passes. http://www.rearfacing.co.uk/facts.php

    Better quality (note I say that rather than 'brand name' or 'more expensive') car seats give better protection from side impact and in faster crashes. http://www.thebabywebsite.com/article.8 ... arning.htm They also allow babies to breath more easily - oxygen saturation rates can be low in some infant carriers and there are suggestions that this is a big contributor to SIDS. http://www.carseatinfo.co.uk/index.cfm? ... pid=292366

    ETA: Do remember when you ask in Mothercare or Toys R Us you are talking to sales people whose job it is to sell you something. I used to work at Toys R Us and I can say that for the year I worked in the baby section, although they did train me on car seats, I was completely oblivious to the safety tests that had to be done and that they could be inadequate. I also didn't know about oxygen levels (except for pushchairs as if the incline is more than 15% it can't be sold from birth, it is 3 months plus). I clearly remember one day when I was selling bikes trying to explain to a family that the bike they wanted to buy their child was unsafe as it was too big (he couldn't get his toes to the ground on both sides at the same time :roll: ) A manager heard and I was given into trouble later and told that if someone wants to buy something I should let them. So what was the point of calling me a 'product advisor' and training me on bike safety if all I was was a sales person :evil:
     

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