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Old 19.09.2011, 13:46
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Forward facing or rear facing baby car seat

I have to wrestle with my baby every time I want to put him in his rear-facing carseat. I believe the tears/drama/wrestling-with-my-octopus might end if I turn his carseat around so that he can see the outside world.

According to the TCS rep I spoke to today, there is no rear facing rule in Switzerland. In fact, he said that I could put the carseat in the front seat if there was no space in the back seat.

I am curious what other parents are doing with their carseats in Switzerland. Are your babies forward facing, or rear facing (and until what age).
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Old 19.09.2011, 13:50
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Re: Forward facing or rear facing baby car seat

How old is your baby? I kept mine in the rear-facing position until about 1, then switched to the 5 point one facing front. It's very confusing, some say keep the baby in the rear-facing one til their heads start coming to the top of it, or they are a certain weight (can't remember).
I sometimes shut the passenger airbag off and put the rear-facing seat beside me. Seeing me seemed to help.
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Old 19.09.2011, 13:53
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Re: Forward facing or rear facing baby car seat

Thanks for creating this thread.

I'm due to have my first baby next month, and I've also wondered what the laws are here, regarding placement of car seats. It was my understanding that they're usually placed rear-facing when in the backseat, but I think I would much prefer to be able to see my baby.

But one thing I do know is that you're only supposed to put a child in the front seat if you are able to turn off the passenger seat airbags. (Though someone please correct me if I'm wrong on that one).
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Old 19.09.2011, 13:56
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Re: Forward facing or rear facing baby car seat

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I have to wrestle with my baby every time I want to put him in his rear-facing carseat. I believe the tears/drama/wrestling-with-my-octopus might end if I turn his carseat around so that he can see the outside world.

According to the TCS rep I spoke to today, there is no rear facing rule in Switzerland. In fact, he said that I could put the carseat in the front seat if there was no space in the back seat.

I am curious what other parents are doing with their carseats in Switzerland. Are your babies forward facing, or rear facing (and until what age).
Rear facing until DS was tall and heavy enough to go in the forward facing seat, at about 12 months. He loved it and life is easier (for now).

Rear facing car seats/cradles in the passenger seat are dangerous and illegal if you cannot disable the passenger airbag(s). If you can disable them, be sure to re-arm them if your passenger is not in a baby seat. In other words, if you can help it, try not to do it.
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Old 19.09.2011, 13:58
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Re: Forward facing or rear facing baby car seat

Hi there, you may be invalidating your motor insurance if you turn off your airbags and subsequently have an accident. Check with them before doing anything!!
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Old 19.09.2011, 14:01
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Re: Forward facing or rear facing baby car seat

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Hi there, you may be invalidating your motor insurance if you turn off your airbags and subsequently have an accident. Check with them before doing anything!!
Didn't think of this. I wonder why it is even possible to switch them off then. What would be the reason?
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Old 19.09.2011, 14:06
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Re: Forward facing or rear facing baby car seat

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Didn't think of this. I wonder why it is even possible to switch them off then. What would be the reason?

the baby? just that reason
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Old 19.09.2011, 14:07
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Re: Forward facing or rear facing baby car seat

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Hi there, you may be invalidating your motor insurance if you turn off your airbags and subsequently have an accident. Check with them before doing anything!!
Given that it is (a) easy to insure cars that do not have passenger airbags to start with, and (b) it is illegal to have a child in a bckwards facing seat on the passenger seat with the passenger airbag not disabled, and that (c) for this very reason, newer cars come with a switch (usually key operated) to switch the passenger airbag off: No you don't.
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Old 19.09.2011, 14:12
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Re: Forward facing or rear facing baby car seat

Most first stage car seats are rear facing .. it is considered to be much safer which is why these type of seats dominate the market place. I believe they are still described as being Group 0 and Group 0+ - being the size that are suitable from newborn. Group 0+ are simply bigger so the baby can stay in them for longer (up until 13 kg).

As to the age at which you move them from rear facing to the next size car seat depends entirely on the baby's size. Certainly if their head is above the back of the seat, they are too big to be still in that seat, irrespective of their weight. Weight limits are always clearly marked on the seat as well.

If you want to move your baby before it clearly outgrows the carseat (and your case is a very good example .. some babys just love being able to see you as you drive and see what is going on better) then it is more a case of whether your baby is big enough to meet the size requirements for the front facing car seats in Group 1. You can I believe buy Group 1 car seats that are rear facing, but they are the exception. Apparently it is undeniable that rear facing is safer in the event of an accident .. but many children are just too grown up and aware to want to travel rear facing for very long.

There is an overlap between the the 2 groups (groups 0 and group 1) in size ranges. Some Group 1 seats though are more comfortable for younger babies (ie 1 year olds who still sleep alot) than others .. for example I would look for a good recline mechanism on the forward facing car seat.

I have occasionaly put my children in the front - in both rear and front facing car seats (without the airbag engaged) for ease .. particularly one occasion recently when I drove from Basel to Manchester with the then 1 year old. It was just too difficult to have him in the back seat. But on the whole I found I was way too distracted by my little bundles of joy to do this on anything more than a temporary basis!
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Old 19.09.2011, 14:13
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Re: Forward facing or rear facing baby car seat

rear-facing for an infant - you're supporting the head for a reason.

there is no reason to not put the rear-facing seat into the front passenger seat AS LONG AS THE AIRBAG CAN BE AND IS DISABLED.

There is absolutely no reason why insurance might be void should the airbag be disabled.
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Old 19.09.2011, 14:16
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Re: Forward facing or rear facing baby car seat

Just to clarify, does anyone know (from experience, etc.)...

1. For a newborn/infant, is it legal for me to have the infant car seat facing EITHER forward or backward in the back seat?

2. For a newborn/infant, is it legal for me to have the infant car seat facing EITHER forward or backward in the front seat?

3. And should I always have the airbags turned off, regardless of whether they are facing forward or backward in the front seat?

Sorry, I just want to be sure that I understand correctly.
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Old 19.09.2011, 14:17
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Re: Forward facing or rear facing baby car seat

Oops, sorry. I see that many of my questions above were already answered while I was writing...
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Old 19.09.2011, 14:22
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Re: Forward facing or rear facing baby car seat

Regarding the insurance issue, I can only go by the advice in the UK. Here is a link from a child safety website. Scroll down to the heading "Disconnecting and Switching off airbags"

http://www.childcarseats.org.uk/choosing/airbags.htm

I think if you had an accident and the insurer asked whether you had disabled the airbags, they would argue that this had in some way caused any injuries sustained and therefore that their own liability would be reduced.
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Old 19.09.2011, 14:22
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Re: Forward facing or rear facing baby car seat

This can always be a controversial topic. I will share with you how I came to the decision to use a rear facing care seat until the age of 5. When we decided to look for a new car seat after our Little ones feet started to hang out the Maxi Cosi even though he was only 7 months I headed for the English Forum. Have a look and there are lots of links.

One of them supplied the TCS test results http://www.tcs.ch/main/de/home/auto_moto/tests/kindersitze.html
At the same time on one of the baby forums I frequented a fellow forum member put up a link to a You tube clip put together by a grandfather about his grandson. It is not an easy video to watch!! (search 'front facing or rear facing?'. It is the forth one down by timikazimmer if you wish to watch it). The link is horrible to watch as a parent and was exactly what made me decide then and there to use a rear facing car seat. I checked with the TCS test results and they had the BeSafe iZI Comfort car seat in the top 5 for safely. The BeSafe range is from Sweden and rear facing car seats. I was even happier when I found it was available at 4mybaby.ch.

A mutual friend told me you can always find a reason as to what you choose is better than what we use if you have all the time in the world. To be honest. I just happened to have fallen upon this link which is what made my mind up. I can never guarantee that we will ONLY have forward facing car accidents, or that we will ever have one. It is just what helped me at the time make my mind up.

Airbags: Our car specifies in the manual that the airbag must be turned off when a car seat is in the front seat. Due to the impact of the airbag it will dislodge the bucket seat. Or if the baby is forward facing in the bucket seat it could suffocate them. I think it actually has a sticker on the side of the maxi Cosi too that states this.

Last edited by goshiki; 19.09.2011 at 14:26. Reason: Added info on airbags
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Old 19.09.2011, 14:24
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Re: Forward facing or rear facing baby car seat

If you have a car seat that fits into a dedicated base (something like the Maxi Cosi CabrioFix and Easy Fit base), then you don't have to put the baby into the seat when the seat is already in the car. You just fit the baby and seat into the dock and this usually only requires one hand. They can fit to isofix (rear only as far as I know) or seat-belts (rear or front), and are rear-facing. They made life so much easier, and once the base is securely fixed in place you know that the chair is properly attached from the red/green indicators on the side of the base.

The bases hold their value very well. We bought a second-hand base and after about a year sold it for almost what we paid for it.
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Old 19.09.2011, 14:25
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Re: Forward facing or rear facing baby car seat

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Regarding the insurance issue, I can only go by the advice in the UK. Here is a link from a child safety website. Scroll down to the heading "Disconnecting and Switching off airbags"

http://www.childcarseats.org.uk/choosing/airbags.htm

I think if you had an accident and the insurer asked whether you had disabled the airbags, they would argue that this had in some way caused any injuries sustained and therefore that their own liability would be reduced.
Car insurance in Switzerland is rather different from car insurance in the UK.
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Old 19.09.2011, 14:26
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Re: Forward facing or rear facing baby car seat

A Swedish friend told me that rear facing are the norm there until about 4 years old ... she was very surprised to see that they are so rarely used here (and in the UK) .. statistically I believe the case is very clear that we all, not just children, would be safer travelling in rear facing seats (perhaps with the exception of the driver )
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Old 19.09.2011, 14:26
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Re: Forward facing or rear facing baby car seat

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If you have a car seat that fits into a dedicated base (something like the Maxi Cosi CabrioFix and Easy Fit base), then you don't have to put the baby into the seat when the seat is already in the car. You just fit the baby and seat into the dock and this usually only requires one hand. They can fit to isofix (rear only as far as I know) or seat-belts (rear or front), and are rear-facing. They made life so much easier, and once the base is securely fixed in place you know that the chair is properly attached from the red/green indicators on the side of the base.

The bases hold their value very well. We bought a second-hand base and after about a year sold it for almost what we paid for it.
We have one of these too, they are excellent!
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Old 19.09.2011, 14:30
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Re: Forward facing or rear facing baby car seat

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Car insurance in Switzerland is rather different from car insurance in the UK.
Point noted thanks, guess I am just over cautious about these things!
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Old 19.09.2011, 14:41
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Re: Forward facing or rear facing baby car seat

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A Swedish friend told me that rear facing are the norm there until about 4 years old ... she was very surprised to see that they are so rarely used here (and in the UK) .. statistically I believe the case is very clear that we all, not just children, would be safer travelling in rear facing seats (perhaps with the exception of the driver )
So I guess there must be tons of data to point to whether there are more injuries to children between the ages of about 1-4 in other countries vs Sweden. Controlling for other factors as well.
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