Children want one thing above all: to discover the world. Car trips are particularly exciting for the little ones. However, due to their low body weight, children are particularly prone to sustaining serious injuries in accidents if they are not adequately secured. Therefore, they also need a suitable child seat.
As adults, we are responsible for ensuring that our children are not harmed while driving. Accordingly, children must be secured in the car. In this article you will learn:
Kids on board! How to ensure child safety in the car
Child seats protect our children while driving, but seat belts in cars are designed for adults. They cannot adequately protect children, so a child seat is also compulsory. Since children are also not yet able to protect themselves adequately and do not yet understand the need for security, parents have a responsibility here. You have to protect your offspring with a baby seat or a car seat while driving. Anyone who takes their child with them in the car without a suitable child seat must expect a fine.
Where can children sit in the car?
In general, children are also allowed to sit in the front passenger seat, provided they are adequately secured with a child seat and belt. However, the safest place for children is the middle seat in the back seat. Your child doesn’t necessarily have to sit in the middle of the car.
The right child seat is important to ensure child safety in the car. In the case of rear-facing child seats on the front passenger seat, the airbag must be deactivated. Because airbags triggered could seriously injure or even kill the little ones.
Incidentally, children are not allowed to ride on their parents’ lap or be held in their arms in the car. That is too risky, and if an accident occurs, it can result in very serious injuries.
From when and until when does my child need a child seat?
Both age limit and height vary from country to country but according to experts every child up to the age of 12 or up to the height of 150 cm requires a child seat. As a parent, you can also decide individually whether your child should travel in a child seat. This is useful, for example, if your child is already 12 years old but has not yet reached 150 cm height.
Often the seat belt cannot be put on optimally, and it is still advisable to use a child seat. Note: Child seats are compulsory for both short and long car journeys. Accordingly, it also applies if you just want to quickly go shopping with your child in the neighbouring town.
Choosing the right child seat
The choice of the right child seat depends on age and size: a baby seat should be used for babies in their first year of life. Children up to two years of age are best protected in rear-facing child seats, so-called reboarders. Rear-facing child seats can be used up to around the child’s fourth birthday. With rear-facing child seats on the front passenger seat, you must make sure that the airbag is switched off.
The right child seat must offer enough space for the child and at the same time provide support. It is best to try the seat before buying. Booster seats and child seats with backrests offer the best protection. Booster seats without a backrest are also permitted, but do not offer side impact protection. Booster seats without a backrest must therefore have a pronounced belt hook. Otherwise, the lap belt sliding up can lead to serious injuries.
Here are some things to watch out for when buckling up your child:
- The seat belt should be tight but not too tight.
- The seat belt must not cut into the neck.
- Three-point belts should run across the middle of the child’s shoulder.
- Pelvic belts must not be too far over the pelvis so that the child cannot injure themselves in the abdominal area.
- After moving forward, the belt should roll up again.
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Fastening the child seat in the car
How can I adjust the child seats correctly? The easiest way is to have someone explain to you how to install and adjust the child seat in your car when you buy it. However, the manufacturers always provide instructions for assembling the child seat. Normally, the seat is installed once in the car and remains there permanently.
Child seats with seat belt holders are also easy to use. In the case of baby carriers, it is generally important that the carrying handle clicks into place correctly so that the little ones do not injure themselves. Other child seats must also lock properly in the car to avoid injuries.
Children up to the age of 12 are only allowed to ride in the car with a child seat. Unless they have already reached a height of 150 cm before their 12th birthday. In addition, the children must be properly buckled up. If the worried parents do not adhere to these rules, they will have to expect a fine.
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