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My name is Charlene, I’m a mum of 3 children aged 7, 5 and 3. When my eldest was 9 months old I was becoming familiar with extended rear facing, heard of the benefits but didn’t know that much about it.
I did some more research and we decided that was the path we wanted to take for our child. We went to a few baby shops that were insisting that forward facing in a harness or even with a shield would be appropriate for her at just 9 months of age. They didn’t stock any rear facing seats. So I had to travel to find her a seat we wanted. We ended up going with a joie I-anchor and that set up our love and passion for rear facing. Someone went on to crash into the left side of our vehicle, as they pulled out of a junction when driving home from dropping off Daddy at work. Did you know that the majority of crashes occur when you’re closest to home? They’re not common to occur on the motorway which people are led to believe. So we had the i-anchor replaced for a Joie stages Isofix. Which served us well. Typically she was high centiles, so, therefore, outgrew this quite rapidly with the 18kg harness limit. So we invested in a 25kg ERF Diono Radian 5. The two seats were used for our two children and then when our third very rapidly outgrew the I-size pebble plus at 7 months of age, we needed to move children around a bit. We didn’t have the funds to purchase a second 25kg ERF seat at the time. But our eldest was now 4 years 9 months old, she was also around 22kg. So we felt she was okay to move into a high back booster. She hated the transition after the first 1-2 “exciting” trips of going forward facing and soon requested to go back in her old seat.
We only had to use the car, in turn, the car seat, approx 6-10 times throughout that year. Lockdown meant we didn’t go out that much. Fast forward to now. We have a 135cm 7.5yo who is 29.5kg in weight and legally allowed to travel without any form of a child car seat. However, we will be keeping her in a HBB until 150cm. She is loving the new Avionaut Maxspace Comfort + system. She loves the ergonomic lumbar and neck support cushions, as well as the extra padding at the base of the seat. Then our younger two are currently using a mix of the Britax Maxway Plus, the Diono Radian 5 and the Axkid Minikid 2.
The reason I started this business is that I found myself helping people educate themselves on extended rear facing, I found myself helping with fit checks and seat installs and I loved it. I have a passion to ensure children are as safe as they can be whilst on the road and I enjoy helping people. Following my previous experience with child care and level 3 diploma in early years. I aim to use this experience to support parents/ carers to work with their children, meet their needs and keep them as safe as possible.
I am here to support you to find the child car seat that’s going to work best for you and keep your child safely rear facing for as long as possible, I can work with you on a one-to-one basis, be it in person in a face to face appointment, or online purchase with a video call for installation and fitting support. I am here for you. Should you have any questions, feel free to pop me an email or a message and I will get back to you as soon as possible. If I don’t stock a seat that’s going to meet your needs, I’ll happily direct you to an independent retailer whom I know and trust to help you. This community is and should always be to ensure that children’s safety on the roads is of paramount importance.
Many thanks for reading.
Charlene at Saunders & Smalls Car Seats :)