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Advice on infant car seats please!

(37 Posts)
swji1 Sun 04-Sep-16 19:19:28

hello! My DS and family are visiting us in the UK for Christmas smile with our twin GD and GS. They will be 2.5 years by then. We plan to rent a car but we're told that it would be far cheaper to buy 2 car seats for the twins rather than rent them for 3 weeks at £10 per day each! I'm thinking of getting the £40 car seats from Halfords as they say they fit them free of charge. I'd then sell them when they go home as we have no grandhchildren here. It seems a good deal - what would other grans do? Any advice on this or any other toddler items gratefully received!

Wobblybits Sun 04-Sep-16 19:26:15

try eBay, our daughter just sold hers on there. But make sure they are to current regulations.They are easy to fit, either iso fix or simpler seat belt fixing.

Wobblybits Sun 04-Sep-16 19:36:22

Also the £40 seats on halfords are for babies. Child seat start at around £70 each ;-

tanith Sun 04-Sep-16 19:37:18

As long as the seats you choose are of good quality I would go with the Halfords idea. We had the same problem when our son visited this year , he ordered one from Amazon an isofix and we had the Devils own job to fit it although I will say I think isofix type are safer than the seat belt type fitting. We have kept it as they will no doubt be visiting again . It will be much easier for you to get Halfords to fit it.

SueDonim Sun 04-Sep-16 20:18:38

Don't buy from eBay unless you're certain they're brand new. Anything used could have been involved in an accident and then fail catastrophically if you had an accident.

We've done the same as you, bought seats for our GC visiting from America. We haven't sold them on as they've been used on repeat visits and by our other GC.

Thingmajig Sun 04-Sep-16 21:32:13

I would check what the parents are happy with too. Our DGD is rear facing till 4, or whenever she outgrows the car seat so we've had to have the same in our car. Could you possibly borrow them for the duration??? Charity shop? Local sales on Facebook?

For toddler beds, apparently the blow-up ones are brilliant and come with wee sleeping bags too so no actual bedding is needed.

Maybe visit some charity shops and get some toys too. We picked up a perfect wee Fisher Price pram complete with dolly for £4 and it cost £40 new. You can always return them after the kids go home as you have no more locally. smile

Grannyknot Sun 04-Sep-16 21:48:48

swji1 - hello and welcome to GN if you're new.

I'd also check to see if there's a Facebook Mums group local to you, (usually listed by postcode). I'm on one and buying and selling of "as new" stuff goes on every day, including car seats. And as sales are Mum to Mum (or Gran) people are aware to specify "smoke and pet free home, no accidents" etc.

I know my grandson also will be in a rear facing seat until age 4, poor little thing gets car sick too.

SloeGinny Sun 04-Sep-16 21:59:39

There are groups for each age/weight range, so you need to know what your grandchildren's weights are. We've just bought 123 seats with isofix fixing for our grandchildren, they will do them from now (aged 1 and 3) until they are 12 years old apparently. They were £79 each from kiddicare, whose service was excellent. The isofix system is standard on modern cars and makes the seats really easy to get in and out.

Personally, I wouldn't risk my grandchildren by buying such safety-critical equipment second hand, unless it was from someone I knew and trusted.

kittylester Mon 05-Sep-16 07:30:13

Really good advice from Sloeginny! Just what I was going to say!

Grannyknot Mon 05-Sep-16 07:54:42

unless it was from someone I knew and trusted ...and/or you had an experienced, fussy mechanically minded grandad who could carefully check it over!

Our local FB buy-and-sell group is highly reputable. I guess it depends on where you live.

Of course the little blighters learn to undo the buckles, so that's another thing to worry about!

PamelaJ1 Mon 05-Sep-16 08:16:36

I have a car seat for my GS that I lend to my friend when her Aussie GD comes to stay.
I then use DD's seat for the few occasions that I need it(he's at school now)
Obviously I wouldn't offer it if it was'dodgy'. Don't you know anyone like me!

Auntieflo Mon 05-Sep-16 08:29:44

Just to say that our charity shop does not accept/sell car seats because of the risk that they may have been in an accident/damaged.

kittylester Mon 05-Sep-16 13:39:33

We have an informal 'borrowers' group in the village and have most kit amongst us. The most popular items are stairgates as they work for dogs too. In fact, the stairgates are mine and I don't know who has them currently!confused

SueDonim Mon 05-Sep-16 14:34:10

Even checking over a used car seat isn't safe. If a seat has been involved in an accident the plastic can have minute, invisible-to-the-naked-eye stress cracks in it which will fracture in the event of another crash.

I'd put safety first and buy new, then you know your GC will be safe.

swji1 Mon 05-Sep-16 16:58:20

Thanks for all this advice - it is really useful as other grans mentions things I had not thought about. I have been on GN a couple of times before but am not a 'regular' contributor though I read it every day. I find it so helpful on occasions when I am feeling sorry for myself as I am a long distance Gran sad. I will definitely check with DS and DiL before getting anything at all (I have learnt to do this anyway over the past two years!). I doubt if I can keep any car seats we buy as it is unlikely they will be back in the UK for several years but you never know.

NfkDumpling Mon 05-Sep-16 17:14:44

The local Mumsnet suggestion is a good one. Car seats are a devil that get rid of as they can't be sold in charity shops, second hand shops or auctions. Even our local women's refuge turned mine down. I had two baby seats in excellent condition and ended up leaving them at a church bring and buy in the free take as seen section.

They can be bought at car boot sales, but that's a rather dodgey route whereas buying on Mumsnet usually means a trip to the mum to collect them, which gives a better idea of whether they're trustworthy. I got a good child seat this way for £20 having gone to the house with excuses of 'it's not quite what I was looking for' ready on my tongue just in case!

Floradora9 Tue 06-Sep-16 14:46:14

We bought two seats from cost £113 for two with isofix which is not so difficult to fit really and the safest method of keeping the children safe. A small price to pay for grandchildren's safety.

Granarchist Tue 06-Sep-16 17:06:18

good quality second hand car seats for babies are easy and cheap to acquire (I got one for £1 on ebay) because babies grow out of them so quickly. (Please don't scream about possible damage to them - if you remove the cover it is obvious if the plastic is cracked anywhere - just do your homework) but with 21/2 yr olds second hand seats will be difficult as they dont grow out of them for ages and they are pretty revolting by then anyway. I bet there are other grandparents around who could lend you seats, I have a booster seat that I am continually lending out. So if you cant borrow I think Halfords is the answer - but personally I would get ones that can fit to seatbelts - isofix are the ulitmate but the joy off being to swap them from car to car is very very useful. I know we are concerned about child safety but if you look at the actual statistics child car passengers are very safe these days and common sense should prevail.

Wobblybits Tue 06-Sep-16 17:11:22

I think the seats that utilise the cars own seat belts are safer. Using ISO fix just gives an extra potential point of failure. The car seat belts are checked for safety at each MOT, ISO anchor points are not.

Granarchist Tue 06-Sep-16 17:32:58

Wobblybits - that is very interesting. I was unaware of that. We learn something new each day. Thank you.

tanith Tue 06-Sep-16 17:51:19

*Wobblybits^ ISO fix anchor points are an integral part of the cars framework and are part of the car from manufacture. They are are recognised International Standard in many parts of the World including the EU. I don't see how you can think a seat belt system is safer.

Wobblybits Tue 06-Sep-16 18:11:26

It's the fact that ISO fix anchor point are simply just two components welded to the floor pan of the car, welds can fail and these are not tested as part of the MOT. In addition it relies on the integrity of the ISO fix mechanism in the child seat, which again is not tested in the MOT, thirdly it relies on the user correctly engaging the seat into the ISO fix point, again another point of potential failure. For a larger child a seat that utilises the built in seat belts, which are tested and rated for the weight of an adult are IMO safer. ( I do have an engineering degree and am qualified to have this opinion)

Maggiemaybe Tue 06-Sep-16 18:14:56

No screaming, Granarchist, but I would never buy a second-hand car seat. Check out the ROSPA website:

^A child car seat that was in a car when it was involved in a collision should be replaced, even if there is no visible damage.
It may have been weakened to such an extent that it will not provide the same level of protection in another accident.^

Maggiemaybe Tue 06-Sep-16 18:15:57

Hmm, not sure why my italics haven't happened there!

Wobblybits Tue 06-Sep-16 18:19:37

I do agree that damage due to misuse or accident may not be obvious, second hand seat should only be bought from a know reliable source where you are sure that the seat is perfect.

Regarding ISO fix, every time the seat is put into the car there is the potential for the locking system to not engage properly, the built in seat belts do not suffer that problem.