I’m quite sticky about car safety, it irritates me to see people who don’t seem to care enough about their children to actually ensure they are safely restrained in the car. I did quite a bit of research and it is safer for your child to stay rear-facing in the car long past the currently recommended 9kg/1year mark. Moo is not exactly a big girl and until last month she fitted in her infant seat very comfortably. At 18 months now, she only just manages to get to 10kg on the scale (and that’s with clothes on!). Anyway, in Sweden, rear-facing car seats are common for children up to the age of at least 4yrs old. Several European countries have more rigid regulations about keeping your child rear-facing for at least 2 years and the USA is following suit. Unfortunately in South Africa, you have a very limited choice of car seats in the major shops, none of them cater for rear-facing beyond 10 – 13kg. Luckily for us, there are a few options if you are willing to do some homework.
1) Import on from http://www.carseat.se (I know several people who have done this with great success and relative ease)
2) Buy from http://www.rearfacing.co.za (they stock a range called BeSafe, one of which offers extended rear-facing passed 2 years)
3) Buy a car seat from Volvo, which is what we did. The Volvo seat is a Britax Multi-Tech, only re-branded with a Volvo colours. It can safely secure your child rear-facing up to 25kg (aprox 5yrs). It can also be used forward facing up to 25kg using a harness and then convert to a booster eat when your child reaches the required weight and height. It cost about the same as a decent forward facing car seat found in major baby shops in SA, but offers just SO much more. And when I look at the condition of cheaper branded car seats after several years use compared to top range car seats after the same amount of use, the cheap ones just don’t cope.
Moo LOVES her new car seat 🙂