Child seats in the car: everything you need to know

Safety for children What you need to know about child seats

  • Holger Holzer
  • spot Press

Child seats for toddlers are usually aligned against the direction of travel.

Düsseldorf The selection is huge, but the comparability is low. A safe car seat for new parents is one of the most important purchases. But what should you pay attention to when choosing and using it? Answers to the most pressing questions.

What should you pay attention to when buying a child seat?
Test reports from car magazines, car clubs or the Stiftung Warentest offer good orientation. As a rule, expensive branded products perform best there, but cheap seats from the hardware store often reveal defects. Those who have to save can often find a good solution in discounted discontinued models from brand manufacturers. However, the best seat doesn’t help if it doesn’t fit in your own car. The vehicle should therefore always be taken with you to try it on.

Up to what age should children sit backwards??
Children should be secured in a rear-facing seat up to the age of three or four, according to car manufacturer Volvo. This is safer for the toddler, since it protects his sensitive neck better. Because the forces that act on the neck in the event of a frontal crash – the most common and often the most serious form of accident – when the head is thrown forward, can withstand an adult, usually not a small child. Figures from Volvo accident research from Sweden, where children often sit backwards up to the age of three or four, demonstrate the benefits. In the new child seats according to the European i-Size standard, the little ones always sit backwards up to the age of 15 months, in the trade there are also rear-facing child seats for older people.

What is the advantage of Isofix?
Most cars of the past ten years have Isofix eyelets on board, new cars anyway. It is a simple locking system for child seats, in which the seat clicks into two metal loops on the seat. This is quick and easy, operating errors are almost impossible. When fastening with a belt, on the other hand, there are sources of error, for example because the belt is twisted or not tightened enough.

Can I also buy a used seat??
You should only buy a used seat if it is undamaged, the ADAC recommends: The seat body may e.g. no cracks, deformations or breaks. Belts must not be cracked or frayed, the buckles must snap into place. The operating instructions must also be available. A used seat should also have the test standard ECE R 44/03 or ECE R 44/04. Tip: buy from a circle of friends so that unusual wear can be better questioned.

Up to what age need Children a seat?
In Germany, the StVO stipulates in § 21 that children up to the age of 12, who are smaller than 1.50 meters, must use a seat.

A thick pillow is also sufficient as a base?
No, because in the event of an impact, the pillow can slip, causing the child to slip out from under the seat belt and injure himself. In addition, a professional booster seat ensures that the belt is guided in such a way that it does not injure the child – for example, a high lap belt can cause serious abdominal injuries.


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