Working with Parents

My experiences of advising parents on child safety

Group 1,2,3 combination car seats

on May 9, 2013

WEIGHT: 9kg – 36kg

With harness: 9kg – 18kg

as high back booster: 15kg – 36kg

OUTGROWN: 12 years old, 4’5” (4’9” in the rest of Europe – go figure…?) or 36kg.  If your child is over 36kg BUT under 4’5”, it is safest for them to continue using the booster.

Direction of travel:  Forward.  (The Klippan Triofix is extended rear facing, it converts to a high back booster to 36kg)

VARIATIONS:  Some group 1,2,3 impact shield seats are available

WHAT IS A GROUP 1,2,3 CAR SEAT?

A group 1,2,3 car seat is a combination car seat that will accommodate a child from outgrowing the infant seat until they no longer need a car or booster seat.

(An infant group 0+ seat is outgrown at 13kg/top of head level with the top of seat.  Keep your child rear facing for as long as possible for maximum protection.  A group 1,2,3 seat can be used from 9kg, but that is no reason to move your child front facing before they have outgrown the rear facing seat)

WHAT ARE THE PRO’S?

– Presents value for money lasting until a child no longer needs a car or booster seat

WHAT ARE THE CON’S?

– The seat has to last 10 or 11 years, legislation may change in that time that the seat may not be able to meet.  E.G: A Nania car seat will struggle to pass a side impact test, which will be mandatory by 2018 in crash testing.

– Most are very upright, which would be very unsuitable for a child under 2.

– If a recline option is present it is normally a vague tilt at best and often has to be set before fitment – so cannot be done on the move (The Cybex Pallas is an exception, the Britax Xtensafix will be too on it’s release)

– The seat must cover a very wide age range, which reduces the safety offered, as well as comfort.  A younger child will need a well padded seat to fully support their body, which 1,2,3 seats struggle to offer.

WHY BUY ONE?  WHO ARE THEY GOOD FOR?

Yes, there are quite a few cons to group 1,2,3 seats – but they are a very good buy for some families.

– Grandparents car (short, irregular trips – not everyday motorway trips)

– For children who travel infrequently and on short journey’s

– If a toddler seems “too big” for a group 1 seat.  (A 2 year old has rarely outgrown a group 1 seat, despite parents concerns!)

– If a younger child is moving up to an older siblings group 1 seat, the older sibling can have a group 1,2,3 seat to convert to the booster when the harness is outgrown

– If a child has outgrown the group 1 seat by height, but the parents wish to keep the child in a harness to 18kg

-Great buy for childminders or grandparents needing the seat to accommodate a few children of varying ages (not at the same time, of course!!)

WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR

– A recline/tilt if the child still sleeps.  They can be ‘barely there’ but it is better than bolt upright.

– Side Impact Protection – look for deep, padded side wings, not slight curves to the sides that some cheaper seats have which won’t offer as much protection

– A seat that is easy to convert to the next stage

– Build Quality: The Graco Nautilus has a far better, solid build quality than a supermarket/baby shop own brand seat.  Look out for this!  The seat must last a long time, so the materials ideally need to be very good quality.  You can clearly see the difference in quality in the following pictures:

Chester Zoo 046 DSCF0671

As always, when buying a child seat ensure it fits your car and child, and is fitted and used correctly on every single journey!

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