Evenflo Sureride

We’ve been road testing this seat and have found the following things:

It fits newborns well.
It can fit an average sized 4 year old boy rear facing
It’s so easy to install, this includes small cars and even leather seats
The sides are lovely and deep
No complaints of discomfort
So easy to swap between cars
No tether when rear facing


P
rem doll (36cm) too small. Newborn doll (46cm) good fit


4
 year old REAR FACING 4th slot from bottom (this slot can be used either rear, or forward facing). 2 slots still to go above his shoulders and last image shows the left over webbing when harness is done up at the 3rd slots with same child in the seat.

Chicco Keyfit

This post entails a review done by New Zealand Child Restraints on the Chicco Keyfit infant capsule, dated May, 2010. To see a larger image, click on the photo

Basic seat facts:

Chicco Keyfit (AU)


Rear facing only – to 9kg
Maximum height – 70cm
Standard – 5 Ticks (Australian)
Lifespan – 10 years

The Seat:
3 – height slots – 18, 24, and 29 cm
1 – buckle slot – 10cm
Width – 44cm
Shoulder width – 21.5cm
Leg width – 25cm

Internal:
Bum to top  - 48cm
Bum to legs – 34cm

Includes/excludes
No chest clip
There is no locking clip with this car seat (not required, however it pays to know how to use one).
Push in lever to adjust harness.
Angle indicator only on base
EPS foam under seat cover behind the child’s head and back.

The Base:
Width – 38cm
Length – 50cm
Angle adjustment – 18 to 25cm
Total width on base – 44cm
Total length on base – 66cm

- 5 angle “clicks”/adjustments, between 18cm (not at all adjusted) to 25cm when fully adjusted.
- Angle adjuster on base, both sides, fluid level indicator.
- The base has sliding lock-off clips for the sash portion of the belt only. The base does not have isofix attachments.
- Easy to adjust base by depressing a button, though this does require two hands to complete.

  

 About the Chicco Keyfit

Chicco offers a trusted brand name that has been globally known for many years. The seat differs from the American model with a lower weight limit and less permitted user height. The seat also has the addition of the required stabilising bar and top tether strap as is required on all rear facing seats meeting the Australian safety standard (AS/NZS 1754).

The handle has a rubber central grip so you’re unlikely to risk slippage while carrying your baby in the seat.

The base offers a useful storage pocket where you can safety stow away the instruction manual, tether strap (when not in use) or even a spare nappy and dummy for emergencies when out and about with your baby.

This seat meets the Australian standards and cannot be compared to the American model as each vary in many ways.

Pros:

- Wide canopy with additional pop out extension to offer increased sun cover. Canopy is also easy to remove and replace.
- Buckle engages individually and an audible ”click”  is heard when both tongues are engaged successfully.

Cons:
- There is no indicator on the handle to visually see if the handle has clicked correctly into place.
- Can only be installed with base.
- Recline adjuster on base is a spirit level style liquid gauge.
- If rocked vigorously the seat may tip too far forward for a younger infant, caution this motion and watch when older children are present. (Shown in image below).

Underside of seat

Rear of seat showing release handle and tether slot

Storage pocket on base

Buckle on infant

No cover on

Chicco side on

 

 

Images used on this page are our  own or are stock photos, please do not use without permission. admin@childrestraints.co.nz

Safety 1st Onboard 35

This post entails a review done by New Zealand Child Restraints on the Safety 1st Onboard 35 infant capsule, dated Jan. 2012. To see a larger image, click on the photo.

Safety 1st Onboard 35

Basic seat facts:
Rear facing only – 1.8 to 15.9kg
Maximum height – 81cm
Standard – NZS 1754 (New Zealand) also FMVS 213 (American)
Lifespan – 6 years (expires end of 2017, stated on seat and base).

The Seat:
4 – height slots – 14, 19, 24 and 30cm
3 – buckle slot – 8, 11 and 16cm
Width – 44cm
Shoulder width – 26cm
Leg width – 25cm

Internal:
Bum to top  - 52cm
Bum to legs – 34cm

Includes/excludes
Chest clip – yes, smaller than used on larger car seats.
There is a locking clip with this car seat.
Push in lever to adjust harness.
There are indicators on the handle to visually see if the handle has clicked correctly into place, green = good, grey = not good.
Angle indicator on side of seat, different angle depending on child’s weight, <4.9kg and 4.9-15.9kg.
Non-slip tracks under the car seat.
EPS foam under seat cover surrounding the child’s head and back.

The Base:
Width – 44cm
Length – 56cm
Angle adjustment – 23 and 28cm
Total width on base – 44cm
Total length on base – 64cm
Width between belt slots – 22cm.

- There are no built in lock-off clips on the base for use when installing with the vehicle seat belt, the base though has isofix attachments.The base has a pocket for the isofix attachments to reside when not in use.
- The base is fiddly to adjust and has only two adjustment levels.

 About the Safety 1st Onboard 35.

The Safety 1st Onboard 35 offers the highest weight limit of any capsule sold in New Zealand and as such it also offers increased leg room so older baby’s are also comfortable. It’s important to note here that it is okay for your infants feet to touch the rear of the vehicle seat.

The seat has really low height slots so will fit pretty much all newborns, even premmie babies. As shown in the images below the harness fits well height wise on our 36cm premmie doll, although the harness cannot be pulled evenly tight over the dolls body, there is an excess of about 3cm of webbing.

Top harness slots will allow use beyond 12 months of age, with some 2 year old children managing to fit well in both the harness and the seat shell.

We liked how the chest clip was smaller than the clip found on Safety 1st convertible car seats, so it fits small infants well and helps to keep the harness over their wee shoulders.

The seat is straight forward to install, but lacks features such as base lock-offs that would make the install even easier. The low slot height and multiple crotch strap slots means even the smallest of infants can fit well.

Pros:

- Handle can be at any position when used in the car.
- Headrest can be removed without removing the harness from the slots.
- Seat can be used with, or without base, using a lap or full lap and sash seat belt, or isofix (you must use only one method and never combine the two).
- Fits well in smaller cars.

Cons:
-Thin canopy, does not cover much of the child when fully extended.
- Continuous-loop harness, this means that under the child’s bottom the harness runs as one piece, in some cases this may cause one harness side to pull through longer than the other side, to remedy the other side needs to be pushed/pulled to the opposite side and made equal again.
- Feature wise the seat lacks in comfort trimmings like rubberised handle grip, and infant padding is minimal like that found on the air model (pictured below).

 

 

 

 

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Images used on this page are our own, stock photos, or images used with parents permission. Please do not use without permission. admin@childrestraints.co.nz

 

Keeping Infants Warm In Car Seats

A few days ago an image was bought to our attention.

This image shows an infant placed into a capsule whilst swaddled under the harness, with a Houdini Stop used on the harness to stop the straps from falling off the infants shoulders.

 

It is vital that we clarify a few things here,

1: The Houdini Stop has been tested under Australian Standards, in conjunction with a forward facing dummy, and the clip did not affect the harness in anyway. During one test the Stop broke apart, see point 2 for an explanation. The Houdini Stop is an aftermarket product and is sold as one. The intention of the Houdini Stop is to prevent children from getting their arms out of the harness and to keep them in their seat. The Stop should be used until the behaviour (that is getting arms out of the harness straps) stops and then removed from the harness.

2. Chest clips are designed and tested to act as pre-tensioners. Their primary purpose is to position the harness straps over the child’s body and keep them in place while the seat is in use. During an impact the chest clip may break apart, this is not uncommon and until then the device has done its job. This is the same with the Houdini Stop.

3. Swaddling. Many parents with young infants are taught to swaddle their infant to help their baby sleep, as swaddling is said to keep the infant from sudden jerks that may wake them unexpectedly. Swaddling when in their cot, or stroller is fine,  however, it is best that infants be placed into their car seat normally with blankets then placed over top of the child over top of the harness. The blanket can be tucked in over the child preventing them from startling and jerking themselves awake.

The images below show how to correctly place your baby into their car seat with a blanket placed securely over the child without affecting the harness. The image with the sheep skin under the infants head was done by medical professionals and only sits under the infants head. Other images show methods that do not affect the use of the car seat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Images used with permission. Do not use these images elsewhere unless you are the original owner.

Rear Facing Myths

There are quite a few reasons why people don’t keep children rear facing past the legal minimum (Australia) of 6 months. Many parents don’t know how much safer it is but some also rely on myths to turn their child forward facing. A few of the common ones are:

• My child’s legs are touching the vehicle seat which is dangerous:
Research has shown this is not the case. It’s not dangerous to have long legs or let them touch the seat. Forward-facing children are not exempt from lower extremity injuries either. In fact, the most common injury for a forward-facing child is lower limb injuries. Rear-facing children rarely sustain leg injuries as the collision forces are moving their legs away from the vehicle seat. In addition to this belief, a broken leg is easier to repair than other broken bones.

• All rear facing children get car sick:
Not true. It is likely that if your child is car sick while rear-facing, they will be when forward-facing too. When a child sits rear facing in a car they are seated in towards the centre of the car and as such are less likely to experience motion sickness the same as a forward facing child.

• My child can’t see out the window while rear facing:
This may be true while in a capsule, but once your child has moved up to a rear-facing convertible car seat they will be able to see just fine. In fact, they can see more things and for longer, as instead of things moving very fast past their window, they are seeing things out the back window (which is also bigger!).

• Children hate to sit rear facing:
Not true. A child who has been sitting forward-facing for a while and is then turned back around might complain. A child who has been sitting rear-facing since the beginning rarely complains as they don’t know any different. One forward facing trip is unlikely to make them want to convert to forward facing for good, so if you have to turn then for one trip do not fret and return to rear facing when next possible.

• I have to turn my child forward facing at 6 months, it’s the law:
There are laws saying how long parents must keep children rear-facing, but this is a bare minimum! A child should sit rear-facing for as long as possible, until their seat is outgrown rear-facing by height or weight. For Australian car seats this is usually 12kgs*, which will get most toddlers to 12 months old and many beyond!

My 6 month old has a strong neck so I can turn her forward facing:
Not a good idea. A rear-facing child is 500% safer than forward-facing. It may seem like the neck is strong but a collision with a child who is forward-facing puts tremendous force on the child’s head, neck and spine. Think about your child’s head size in relation to the rest of their body – it is a large proportion; around 25% of their total body mass under 4 years of age. Even adults are safer rear-facing, but the practicalities of driving don’t allow it. Example: An 8 month old 8kg baby has a head mass of ~2kg. When rear facing the seat  shell cradles the infants head. When forward facing only the child’s body is secured by the harness, the 2kg head is not supported within the shell as it lunges forward during a forward facing impact.

• My seat says I can forward face at 8kg so that’s what I’m going to do:
Not a good idea. Forward-facing seats are tested with a 22kg dummy, not an 8kg dummy, so we really don’t know how safe an 8kg baby in a forward-facing seat is.

Rear facing is uncomfortable for my child:
Older rear facing children often sit with bent legs which is not uncomfortable. Notice how children sit when they play, almost never with legs straight out. It’s very rare hearing a child complain about leg problems while rear facing. Also, think about how we as adults sit. We rarely sit with our legs dangling as its uncomfortable. It’s more comfortable to rest our feet on something. Forward-facing children’s legs dangle every car trip and older children are more likely to complain of leg pains when forward facing and unable to touch the foot well of the car.

• My child screams every time I put them in the car:
It is very likely this is unrelated to being rear-facing. More commonly it’s that the seat is uncomfortable, too reclined/upright, or they are bored.

So if you’re thinking about turning your child’s seat around for any of the above reasons please reconsider.

* Some capsules only rear-face to 9kg, while some convertible seats only rear face to 10kg. Always refer back to your manual.
Please note: New Zealand has no “law” on the age of which a child should ride rear facing, the current recommendation is for a minimum of 2 years, however if your seat allows it (based on your child’s weight and height) you can continue to safely continue rear facing beyond this recommendation.

Authors name withheld by request (Australia)

Graco Logico S

This post entails a review done by New Zealand Child Restraints on the Graco Logico S infant capsule, dated Feb. 2008. To see a larger image, click on the photo.

Graco Logico S

Basic seat facts:
Rear facing only – to 13kg
Maximum height – 81cm
Standard – UK ECE44.03 (European)
Lifespan – 6 years

The Seat:
3 – height slots – 17, 22 and 27 cm
1 – buckle slot – 13cm
Width – 48cm
Shoulder width – 26cm
Leg width – 25cm

Internal:
Bum to top  - 45cm
Bum to legs – 30cm

Includes/excludes
No chest clip
There is no locking clip with this car seat (not required, however it pays to know how to use one).
Push in lever to adjust harness.
Angle indicator wheel on side of seat, orange = incorrect. Solid/same colour = correct.
EPS foam under seat cover surrounding the child’s head and back.

The Base:
Width – 44cm
Length – 62cm
Foot length – 45.5 to 62cm
Angle adjustment – 18 to 25cm
Total width on base – 48cm 
Total length on base – 72cm

- Comes with a support foot to stop over rotation during an accident, the foot pops the end of the base facing the front of the car and rests on the foot well of the vehicle.
- Leg folds under base when not in use (must be out when used in the car).
- There is a built in lock-off clip on the base for use when installing with the vehicle seat belt, the base does not have isofix** attachments.
- There is no angle indicator on the base and the angle can be adjusted with a simple turn dial, the adjust is indefinite. Turn to the left (anti clockwise) to  decrease the angle and to the right (clockwise) to increase the angle.

   

 About the Graco Logico S

The Logico S is a great infant capsule that encapsulates the child inside the deep walls to offer them true side impact protection. The seat is large in size, and heavy to carry (we did not manage to get this measurement) but offers fine craftsmanship as the handle has a rubber central grip so you’re unlikely to risk slippage while carrying your baby in the seat.
The base of the capsule sees a slot for the instruction manual and the lower areas of the harness are covered by a plastic yolk so they do not come into contact with the ground, or get caught up on the seat when adjusting the harness, especially when installed on the base.

The seat sits inside the entire base when installed in the car. The built in lock offs make installing the seat a breeze.
The seat is easy to remove from the base as you pull up on the handle covering the back top end of the car seat and simply place the capsule onto the base and hear a “click” to re-engage the seat onto the base.

Pros:

- Very deep side wings to encapsulate the infant.
- Quick and easy to install both with, and without the base.
- Can be installed with, or without base (must install correctly) - See UK Capsule Install **
- Generous large canopy that can be folded over towards the child’s feet to block out the sun from all angles.

Cons:
- There is no indicator on the handle to visually see if the handle has clicked correctly into place.
- No anti slip tracks on under side of the seat.
- Puzzle buckle requires user holds both clips together to engage buckle.
- Harness needs to be undone from the shoulder slots to remove the headrest insert (I believe this is no longer a problem in current models).

Graco uncovered

Graco uncovered

Graco side on

 

 

Graco base lock off

Graco base lock off

Infant in seat
Buckle

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Images used on this page are our  own or are stock photos, please do not use without permission. admin@childrestraints.co.nz

Rear facing is safe even for older children

Rear facing is safest for children until at least 2 years of age.

There is no reason to turn them after this age unless of course they either, exceed the weight limit of the car seat (as stated by the manufacturer and varies between each), or the top of their head is within 2.5cm or 1 inch the top of the seat shell, this means hard shell above their head.

Some seats however allow the child to use the seat rear facing until their head is level with the top sides, or their shoulders are 2.5cm over the top most slot, again this depends on the manufacturer and it pays to read your manual carefully, and if you’re still not sure check with a registered child restraint technician. It’s best to check with the store members too, as not all staff members are qualified to give this information and may be urged to up-sell the most expensive seat, this may not allow your child as long in the seat rear facing.

In New Zealand you can have seat seats that allow your child to remain rear facing until up to 25kgs, and a standing height around 112cm. After which time you can turn the seat to a forward facing position in a seat with a harness they can use until a weight range between 18-36kg, again depending on the manufacturer and the standards that seat is tested under.

The Australian seats now have height only markers where the child’s shoulder must be under a line for rear facing, under another for harness mode and over another when they’re tall enough to use a booster seat. It is important to note that these seats are still tested to 12kg rear facing, 22kg forward facing and 32kg as a booster seat.

Reasons people are often lead to believing that they need to turn their child incorrectly are mentioned below:

  • Rear facing child’s feet touching the back of the vehicle seat. This is not a safety issue at all, the important thing to remember here is that children under three years old tend to have more bones that are forming together and in the gaps is soft cartilage that is capable of flexing without injury, unlike adults who would see broken bones and tissue damage. Also young children have a sense of security in feeling support beneath their feet, this is referred to as “grounding” and why some children become unsettled when placed in strollers and chairs where their feet cannot reach the foot rest.
  • They look uncomfortable and cannot see. Most children can see and have a great view out the side windows when they’re smaller, and once they’re bigger they can see out the back window as well. If they are uncomfortable check their seat does not have any protrusions and talk and sing to your child, knowing you are near is soothing.
  • It’s easier to get them in and out of a forward facing seat. As they get bigger they can climb in to the seat themselves and older children even like being able to help do up their own belts.

It’s ok to rear face beyond 2 years of age, and there are ways to make it fun and enjoyable for everyone.