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Are your car seats safe enough?

Are your car seats safe enough?

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This blog is about family holidays and days out with your children. It is about having fun and spending time with your little ones. It is usually just about smiley faces and sunshine and snow.  However as lots of us will drive to those days out, with our children in car seats in the front or back of the car, this post is about being safe getting to those days out.  It is about asking yourself the question ‘Are your car seats safe enough?’

In recent years car safety and that of our children in those cars has become paramount. Gone are the days of transporting 7 kids in the back of a Vauxhall Viva because that Mum or Dad was the only one with a car. If you were born in the seventies or earlier, I’m sure you will remember sleeping in the back of the car, or sitting in the boot because the back seats were full. Travelling in the front footwell was not unknown, and in reality seat belts were not often worn by children as many cars didn’t even have seat belts in the back.

These days most parents know that their children should be in car seats, in fact it is the law. However this is a post about the importance of a choosing the right car seat; about a five point harness and about keeping you children in rear facing car seats longer.  This is not a sponsored post, this is a post because a family friend knows all too well about the dangers of a car seat that might not be as good as it could be for your child.  This is a post about raising awareness of what can happen, and what you can do about it.

This video created by Dawn in conjunction with some other very special people, says it much better than I ever could! Please watch this video and share.  Let’s help Dawn get the message out.


Since posting this we have had a great response to the post and Dawn has answered a few questions that have been posed:

Hi everyone and thank you for reading the blog and sharing and your kind words. I am Lewis & Rachel’ s mum, Dawn. I’ll try and keep this brief! I just want to let you all know the car seat I now have for Lewis & Rachel is the Diono Ranier Glacier, imported from USA. I have the Radian XTSL in a second car but the Diono is the newer version and is the highest weight limit in any extended five point harness seat up to 90lbs (40.8 KGs) which is the average weight of an 11 year old child!!

[Please Note we contacted Diono and they advised that they can not recommend importing any Diono car seats from the US. The Radian and Rainier are currently approved only for America (and countries which have adopted their standards). American and European regulations and cars differ quite significantly. ]

Lewis is now 10 years and is happily riding safely in his five point harness car seat. I will attach photos of the seat features rather than go on about it, you can see for yourselves the difference in comparison to British cars seats the only options you are given in this country to protect’ our children and babies. I know a lot of it is lack of information, that is purely why Lewis was in a high back booster when he was five, those are our UK current guidelines and laws, we were advised he should be in it and he was in a good one.

Click on the image below for a downloadable pdf for further information:

Screen Shot 2015-01-18 at 17.26.41

Still I see children, toddlers and babies in loose straps, loose fitted seats and it kills me. This does nothing at all in a crash situation, my mums car was stood still waiting to turn at lights and a speeding car ran the red light and hit at an impact of roughly 40-60 mph, the impact threw Lewis forward in the seat like you see on the video, his head hit the drivers seat because the shoulder seat belt did not hold him, luckily his spinal cord did not snap at the neck we would have lost him instantly, but he had a bleed on the brain and was almost induced into a coma in A&E, the lap belt of the seat belt cut into his abdomen severing his spinal cord paralysing him instantly and permanently. Sorry to be graffic but these are the facts you need to hear, if nothing else, tighten your car seats, pull the straps TIGHT and check before every journey.

Do not think I’m only nipping to the shop, they will be ok. Lewis and Rachel were only going to Heaton Park on that day.
And please don’t feel sorry for him now, he is an amazing boy, he has an amazing life. He plays Wheelchair Basketball and last summer represented the North West in the under 15’s National Championships at Stoke Mandeville Stadium and his team won Gold against Northern Ireland 🙂 He is lined up to be part of Team GB for Boston 2024 when he will be 19yrs old at the Paralympics. he along with Rachel are the happiest most inspiring children alive, nothing stops him, he does a whole lot more, and as a family we are doing great.

So thank you everyone and please help to share the word.

Dawn x

image (1)


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Tyler Car

Monday 29th of August 2016

Nice tips. I will try these tips to keep my babies safe while traveling.

Cassandra Surette

Thursday 29th of October 2015

This is a really important issue! Great post with lots of good tips and advice!


Wednesday 22nd of July 2015

I am totally paranoid about car seat safety. I have a son age 3.5yrs and weighs 15kg. He is currently using the Besafe Izi Combi still in rear facing mode. I am in complete panic about what to do when he reaches the weight limit of 18kg. We do have a forward facing in the grandparents car (Kiddy Guardian Pro2) with impact shield as I saw it as a compromise to what is available in the UK.

I love the idea of having a forward facing (when he reaches 18kg!) with harness as the UK seats do not allow this, they have to only use the 3 point seatbelt from 18kg.

My questions about the Diono Rainier...... I see that Diono's response was what would be expected ie they cannot 'recommend' that the seat is imported to the UK. However, is there any penalty for doing so? Would it be stopped at customs?

Also, about the chest clip, I have read that the chest clip can be dangerous in itself due to applying pressure onto the internal organs and ribs (probably due to the clip being incorrectly positioned). Hence the UK seats do not have the chest clip. So I was thinking I could remove the chest clip. But then I read that the USA & UK seats are manufactured differently in that the UK straps are positioned closer together with a longer buckle strap so that the clip is not required. Therefore this tells me that removing the chest clip from a USA seat may cause a dangerous situation.

Is that as clear as mud??

Mini Travellers

Wednesday 22nd of July 2015

Hi Kelly, thanks for your comment. All I can say about importing is that Dawn has done so, but I can't really comment I'm afraid on anything else about doing so. It is incredibly tricky situation and in my view practically impossible to know what is perfectly right for your child. It sounds as though you are making some very sensible decisions though and considering all the options. Karen

Verily Victoria Vocalises

Saturday 24th of January 2015

An important post and such a great and important video. So many parents do not have the information to hand to much a decision. It makes so much sense - these fragile bodies just don't have the capacity to sustain the kind of impact that adults do. The law needs to be changed. Thank you for linking to #PoCoLo x

Merlinda Little ( @pixiedusk)

Friday 23rd of January 2015

Amazing post and we recently bought our son car seat and we really asked the lady in charge so many questions before we bought the one that is right. I am so glad to have read this too its really informative & its really important to reach as many parents #pocolo

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