Working with Parents

My experiences of advising parents on child safety

A 3 year old took us to Chester Zoo!

on November 5, 2012

Thumbs up for Dinosaurs!


So on Sunday we took this lovely little girl out to Chester Zoo!  My partner and I were quite terrified as it was the first time we’d taken her out and also the first time her parents had let her go for the day with someone who wasn’t family.  Thankfully she was good as gold and is such a credit to her parents =)

I had quite a job deciding what child seat we were going to use.  Her mum and dad have the Nania group 1,2,3 (after she destroyed her group 1 seat – I’ve never seen anything like it!) tangent.. anyway, I really dislike the fit of the Nania seats so knew I would want to use something else.  I’m very pro extended rear facing so that was considered for quite some time.  Here’s a list of my reasons for using one, and why we decided not to:


– Safer in a frontal impact

– She can see more

Why we (I) decided against:

– She has been front facing since outgrowing the infant carrier, I worried about her then travelling rear facing again and refusing point blank to get in car.

– She is a big 3 1/2.  Now I know something like the Multi-Tech goes to 25kg/55lbs but she will be in a High Back Booster soon (Britax Kid and Cybex Solution) Again, a worry was there about switching her between the booster and rear facing at a later date.  I wouldn’t personally use the Multi Tech as a high back booster and I hate the side impact protection, or lack of it, on the Two – Way Elite.

– The seat will be used once as a harnessed seat and for about 15 minutes (yes, I am aware you can crash in that time) But I also wanted something that would last and be a good quality next stage seat.

– I was very concerned about offending her parents – I’d already refused to use their car seat so I really didn’t want them to be offended that I’d ‘decided’ on rear facing!

– The one all rear facing enthusiasts will kill me for – her legs!  Yes, I was concerned about the whole legs scenario.  Mainly stemming from the fact she was so used to front facing that she’d definitely notice the reduction in leg room.

Looking back at these reasons they all seem pretty weak!

We used a Britax Evolva, and although on the whole I was pleased with it and feel confident about the protection it would offer a big 3.5yr old if the worst would happen, I really wish I’d have gone with an extended rear facing seat!  Here’s Why:

1) Safer – I was a nervous wreck the whole journey and felt quite…. guilty, for having her front facing.

2) The seat was in a Ford Focus and the back doors are quite small (I found!)  It was difficult getting her in and out of the seat in the little gap!  I feel this would have been easier with a rear facer as I wouldn’t be fighting to fit between the door and car.

3) I couldn’t interact with her (partner was driving) I kept having to twist round, which would put me in danger as my seat belt was then not on correctly.  If we had put her rear facing I could have sat in the back and spoke to her face to face.

4) The Legs…………


Not actually an issue here as she decided to criss cross them!

5) Because I fitted the seat correctly, and it was in tight, the harness was REALLY difficult to tighten.

6) It was too upright, she really didn’t look comfortable when she fell asleep and we couldn’t use the recline mode as the seat belt was then too short to secure the seat.


Next time I have a feeling I’ll be insisting on a Britax Multi-Tech, if she isn’t in a High Back Booster by then!  She only has 1 height adjustment left here.

(Take Note – We took her jacket off in the car as it didn’t fit under the harness properly!)

Overall a brilliant day and I really enjoyed Chester Zoo!  Bloody expensive though!  What’s that all about?


£26 for 2 adults, 1 child (half price going with my friend for members day – thanks Jen!)

£22 for dinner (1 Tuna Sandwich, 2 baguettes, 2 pieces of cake and 2 coffee’s – I shared cake with Jess and we took organic flavoured water for her… lardy daaaa)

£5 Face Paint

The only thing that was really reasonable was the cost of the souvenir, We bought her a dinosaur toy that only cost £6!!

I wonder what adventures we can have next!!  Phil has flatly refused the safari park 😦 booo! All suggestions welcome!


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