Mini Travellers – Family Travel & Family Holiday Tips
Blog Days Out Travel Tips

Are your car seats safe enough?

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?’

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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.

Update:

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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37 Comments

  • Reply
    Barjerow
    17th January 2015 at 1:58 pm

    That’s made me cry again. We really must check our car seats and fitting of them!!!!

    • Reply
      Dawn
      18th January 2015 at 9:15 pm

      Thank you x

  • Reply
    Fiona @ Free Range Chick
    17th January 2015 at 2:13 pm

    That video should be enough to shock parents into making the right decisions on car seats. Not enough is known in the UK about ERF. Dawn is tremendously courageous for sharing this story and I feel so incredibly sad for Lewis and his family. I shall be sharing this, as I feel passionately about this topic myself, already writing about it twice on my blog, which includes a review on one of Joie’s rear-facing car seats. Thanks to Katy at http://www.whatkatysaid.com/ for sharing this on her Facebook page.

    • Reply
      Mini Travellers
      17th January 2015 at 8:34 pm

      thank you so much for sharing.

    • Reply
      Dawn
      18th January 2015 at 9:12 pm

      Thanks and great to hear you’re rear facing for longer, so many rush to turn them around and into a big girls seat 🙁 x

    • Reply
      Dawn
      18th January 2015 at 9:14 pm

      Thanks and great to hear you’re continuing rear facing your little one, so many are eager to turn them around and into a big girls seat 🙁 x

  • Reply
    Sarah Chrisite
    17th January 2015 at 3:30 pm

    Wow what n incredibly powerful video when Jack was born I went to the car seat safety centre in Essex where they fir the correct car seat to your car, I couldn’t believe not all seats fit all cars properly, and not all parents know how to correctly fit a car seat x

    • Reply
      Mini Travellers
      17th January 2015 at 8:33 pm

      thanks for commenting

  • Reply
    Jenna
    17th January 2015 at 5:29 pm

    Me and a friend were discussing car seats the other week and saying what a complete and utter minefield it is. I will definitely be keeping Jasmine in a rear-facing car seat for as long as possibly.

    So sorry Lewis went through this but I admire his parents for spreading the word. I’m sure it will help many and may even save lives.

    Jenna at Tinyfootsteps xx

    • Reply
      Dawn
      18th January 2015 at 9:09 pm

      Thank you, glad to help x

  • Reply
    Katie LifeonVistaStreet Haydock
    17th January 2015 at 11:39 pm

    I had no idea of the impact that could be made on a ‘safe’ front facing car seat. Seriously reconsidering!
    Brilliant, brilliant post! xx

    • Reply
      Dawn
      18th January 2015 at 9:08 pm

      Thank you, glad to help x

  • Reply
    Dawn Craddock
    18th January 2015 at 7:22 am

    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!! 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 we were told at Halfords.
    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. I will try and add the links about the seats now.
    Dawn x

    • Reply
      Mini Travellers
      18th January 2015 at 7:24 am

      Dawn thank you so much for adding this. I had an email from a Mum this morning too about weight, so I’ll send this on!

    • Reply
      Dawn Craddock
      18th January 2015 at 7:47 am

      Your very welcome, I missed off thanks to you mini Travellers for helping me. Attatchments re seat details to follow later x

  • Reply
    Lesley Slater
    18th January 2015 at 9:39 am

    Thank you so much for this I have done my research for my 15 month old and we two were almost doing the usual thing of ‘upgrading’ to a grown up car seat. Thankfully I did my reading snd I have been trying to get the message out to everyone I know about rearward facing for longer and about older children having a five point harness. The laws need to be changed now. You are so brave and hsve an amazing boy. Huge well done for sharing your life with us. Also as a Midwife I want to be telling new parents about the best advice. x x x x

    • Reply
      Mini Travellers
      18th January 2015 at 4:49 pm

      thank you for your comments

    • Reply
      Dawn
      18th January 2015 at 9:07 pm

      Thank you Lesley x

  • Reply
    Lesley Slater
    18th January 2015 at 9:41 am

    Sorry for the typo
    too*

  • Reply
    Fran cole
    18th January 2015 at 4:28 pm

    Thankyou for sharing your story , I have now put my 6 year old son back in a five point harness rather than the high back booster with the lap belt , will share this post to get the word out x

    • Reply
      Mini Travellers
      18th January 2015 at 4:49 pm

      thanks Fran

    • Reply
      Dawn
      18th January 2015 at 9:06 pm

      Thanks Fran, just check the weight limits on the seat are ok for your sons current weight. X

  • Reply
    Katy {What Katy Said}
    18th January 2015 at 9:44 pm

    Have shared this on my FB page, so important for people to know x

    • Reply
      Dawn
      22nd January 2015 at 12:21 am

      Thanks Katie x

  • Reply
    Rach
    18th January 2015 at 10:12 pm

    its so important to get the right car seat but there are so much misleading information out there. The more aware we all are the safer our children will be.

    • Reply
      Dawn
      22nd January 2015 at 12:22 am

      Thank you Rach x

  • Reply
    Katie
    18th January 2015 at 10:18 pm

    Thank you for sharing this story.
    It’s so scary how quickly these things happen, like Dawn said even ‘just popping to the shops’ is enough time.
    I’m so glad Lewis is happy and living life to the fullest now.
    I wanted to keep our youngest rear facing for as long as possible but we hit the barrier of not being able to find a seat that would fit in our old car.

    • Reply
      Dawn
      22nd January 2015 at 12:25 am

      Thanks for the reply Katie, shame you couldn’t find a rear facing seat for you car, you’re right, they are hard to find and fit in certain cars, also cant have them if you have rear underfoot storage if they are isofix because they have a ‘leg’ on the floor base. Thanks x

  • Reply
    Heledd
    19th January 2015 at 8:49 pm

    Oh my goodness Lili has a booster seat and I’m totally shocked by these facts! Thank you so much for sharing this important post! I think every mother should watch that heartbreaking video.

    Thanks for linking up to #SundayStars xx

    • Reply
      Dawn
      22nd January 2015 at 12:27 am

      Thank you for your reply, glad to have highlighted the facts, its the unknown isn’t it that everybody needs to know Asap. Thanks x

  • Reply
    Serko
    21st January 2015 at 10:49 pm

    This message really needs to get out. I recommend everyone goes to a specialist car seat retailer to get the right training. We went to the in car safety centre in Milton Keynes and the service and advice we got was invaluable.

  • Reply
    Merlinda Little ( @pixiedusk)
    23rd January 2015 at 2:40 pm

    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

  • Reply
    Verily Victoria Vocalises
    24th January 2015 at 9:14 pm

    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

  • Reply
    KELLY
    22nd July 2015 at 8:48 am

    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??

    • Reply
      Mini Travellers
      22nd July 2015 at 5:47 pm

      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

  • Reply
    Cassandra Surette
    29th October 2015 at 10:20 am

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

  • Reply
    Tyler Car
    29th August 2016 at 4:54 pm

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

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