Safety for children when driving a car

As road users, children need special protection. As a parent or accompanying adult, you are responsible for the safety of children traveling in the car.

The youngest and smallest passengers are at greatest risk in cars. For toddlers with insufficient securing, there is a considerable risk of skidding and injury during braking maneuvers and accidents. The risk of a child not wearing a seat belt being seriously injured or killed in a traffic accident is about seven times higher than that of an adult.

We have therefore put together the most important rules for driving with children:

Legal regulations for child safety

As with all occupants in the car, the same applies to Children must wear a seat belt. In addition, § 21 paragraph 1a of the Road Traffic Act (StVO) stipulates that Children up to the age of 12 or a height of 150 cm need a child seat. Drivers who take children with them without using a restraint not only endanger them to a great extent safety, but also risk Punish. Anyone who does not secure a child in a car by buckling up pays 40 euros and receives a point in Flensburg. If several minors are not secured, the fine increases to 50 euros. Anyone who does not use a restraint system properly pays a fine of 30 euros (1 child) or 35 euros (several children).

The placement of the seat is also relevant

Child seats may only be in the places that are with seat belts equipped, that is, suitable for the transportation of passengers. The manufacturer provides information about this in the operating instructions for your vehicle, which seats he recommends for child safety in the car. If the installation of child seats on the middle seat of the rear seat bench cannot be avoided for reasons of space, the legal regulation for securing the smallest passengers has priority over the manufacturer’s recommendation.

Which child seats are there and for which groups are they suitable?

When it comes to the division of child seat classes, it is not the size or the age that is important, but the weight of the child. There are the following levels:

Child seat classes particularity
Classes 0 (0-10 kg) The so-called baby seat is used for small children. This is always to be installed in the opposite direction of travel.
Class 0+ (10 – 13 kg)
Class I (9 – 18 kg, approx. Up to 4 years) In this weight class, systems with harness belts or impact protection systems are generally used.
Class II (15 – 25 kg, approx. 4 to 7 years) In these child seat classes there are primarily booster seats, often equipped with back support or sleep support. In contrast to classes I and II, i. d. Usually uses the vehicle’s normal three-point seat belts.
Class III (22-36 kg, approx. 6 to 12 years)

Next to the Weight but basically also belong to body proportions as well as the Child’s needs on the decision criteria when buying the right safety accessories.

Belts in the right place even for small people

When using child seats, make sure that The lap belt and shoulder belt run in the designated places. This is the only way you can, for example Cut the material on the neck or stomach prevent. It is therefore recommended that small people (under 150 cm) always have one Booster seat use, even if they are no longer legally obliged to do so due to their age. This does not necessarily have to be a child seat, but can e.g. B. can also be a simple pillow.

Until when should a baby car seat be used?

The change from a baby seat to a forward-facing seat should not be made too early. The basic rule of thumb applies: The shell can be used as long as the child’s head is completely in the solid shell, i.e. H. as long as it is adequately supported and protected. Since April 2009, all child seats have had to meet the test standard ECE R 44/04. Further information can be found in the main topic "Babayschalen".

By the way, there is prenatal security measures such as B. special belts or pillows for pregnant women. You can find information on this in the guide "Safety for pregnant women".

Additional safety measures for young inmates

In addition to using the correct child seat and properly buckling up all passengers, there are other important safety issues when there are children on board. Children’s health should be under love while driving no Circumstances are smoked. To avoid that the youngest passengers open the car door while driving is one Door locking required – Keyword parental controls.

Electric windows should be disabled or with a intact pinch protection be equipped. Otherwise there is a risk that young passengers could get their fingers caught in the windows or throw objects out of the window.

Risks for children in summer and winter

In summer it is recommended that children B. by blinds protect from direct sunlight. Sufficient drinking fluid should be on board considering the length of the route. Alternatively, replacements can be arranged for breaks. breaks are particularly useful on longer tours. The air conditioning should not be set too cold. If the temperature fluctuates too much between the interior of the car and the outside climate, there is a risk of nasty colds. Under no circumstances should children be left in the car in warm temperatures. The Risk of heat stroke is not to be underestimated.

The same applies to the risk of hypothermia on cold days. Care must be taken in winter, Children if possible without buckling up their thick anorak. On the one hand, as in summer, colds threaten. However, it is even more dangerous that due to thick clothing the Seat belts are often not tight enough. So-called belt loops are created. This means that the shoulder strap can slip off your shoulder or the lap belt can push into your stomach. The result is high loads on sensitive parts of the body and a high risk of injury. If the child freezes without a jacket, it is advisable to secure it correctly Spread blankets over the child.

Bored children in the car should be kept busy

Many parents let themselves be distract easily from their children at the wheel and that’s why children are among the most dangerous distractions in traffic. Even if they only look for few Turning away from the street for a few seconds to turn around towards your protégé threatens dangerous blind flights. It is therefore ideal if during a tour with small children next to the driver at least one second adult on board is. It is important that a. that all safety precautions – such as attaching a child seat and belt – and stowing items to be transported are properly carried out before departure.

How can I keep children in the car?

The little ones mostly don’t like to do without it stuffed animal, a teether or something familiar. In order to avoid that the carried objects land on the vehicle floor at regular intervals, it is advisable to do so to attach to the baby car seats.

For the “bigger little ones” there are numerous entertainment options to shorten the car journey. Popular are e.g. B .:

  • Music or audio books
  • coloring books
  • Games like the magic cube or the card game Schwarzer Peter
  • Quartets

Modern media also offer good options to keep young inmates busy. So z. B. Tablets or small format DVD player Attach to the backrests of the front seats using appropriate brackets.

Travel games and puzzles are timeless "I can see what you can not see" or license plate read. These offer the advantage that the children can look ahead while driving.

Prevent motion sickness

The view in the direction of travel is particularly important for those passengers who are quickly under the so-called travel sickness Suffer. Fall under this term Symptoms such as nausea, dizziness and vomiting. The following tricks help i. d. R. doing the symptoms prevent:

  • Fresh air – ventilate regularly and take breaks on longer journeys
  • Keep the inside temperature as cool as possible
  • do not put too warm clothes on the children
  • Avoid odors in the interior
  • no greasy or sweet foods are enough, water instead of cola or soda
  • no loud music
  • do not smoke!
  • additionally support the child’s head, e.g. B. with a small pillow
  • attach a sun visor to the side window to direct your gaze forward
  • steady pace – avoid quick starts or heavy braking. In addition, winding country roads and switchbacks should be avoided.

The administration of travel medicine As with antihistamines, you should always check with your family doctor and only consider them if you have multiple symptoms. Travel chewing gum or ginger preparations may represent alternatives.

Waterproof burp bags, wet wipes and interchangeable clothes should be packed in case the countermeasures are unsuccessful. In young children, you should pay attention to restlessness, pallor and sweating. Better take a rest than not enough. By the way, children can fight their motion sickness most effectively by: sleep while driving.

Which car or segment fits best for which child’s age?

There is no such thing as the “right recommendation” for the perfect family car. Popular models due to their generous space, the following vehicle classes:

Safety equipment and Isofix is ​​important

In principle, it is recommended to use a special attention to the safety equipment of the models. It is worth z. B. to check whether the vehicle has a so-called Isofix child seat attachment from the factory for easy installation and removal of seating systems. If child seats are already available, determine whether they can be used in the vehicle. If possible, take existing accessories with you to select the car.

Vehicles should have performed well in the crash test

Other criteria when buying the car are the Childproof lock and pinch protection for window regulators. It is also interesting which airbags and safety systems are part of the equipment and how the vehicle performs in terms of child safety in the Euro NCAP crash test. In addition to the NCAP, other test results from test organizations such as the ADAC may be consulted.

For the transport of baby car seats, it is important to find out whether the child is Simply switch the front passenger airbag on and off leaves. To attach the shells to the rear seat, it is important that the distance to the front seat is large enough and the straps are long enough. The bowl must not be too steep. There should be a minimum distance of 55 cm between the child’s head and the front seat.

With one or two children, there are already attractive models in the small car segment or the compact class. However, many vehicles in these segments are less suitable for transporting large baby seats and seats. The small vehicle types are also rather unsuitable if longer car trips with the family are planned. The higher vehicle classes score here i. d. R. with larger trunk volume such as more comfort and storage space inside the car. Spacious vehicle classes such as station wagons and SUVs are also recommended for the safe accommodation of more than two children. In addition to the space required for the restraint systems, it must be taken into account that older children need more legroom and often have a greater urge to move.

Popular family cars from customers include: Skoda Octavia Kombi, Ford Kuga, Mazda CX-5, Opel Mokka, VW Tiguan and Skoda Yeti.

Which interior materials are (not) suitable for children?

As far as the materials in the interior of the car are concerned, it is important to ensure that these sufficiently hard-wearing and robust are. An important criterion is the care of the surfaces. Because especially with children who eat and drink in the car or getting in with dirty clothes, stains are likely.

Leather or fabric covers in the family car?

If Leather or fabric covers The right choice for seats when driving with children is often discussed in Internet forums. Basically, leather provides the advantage of improved hygiene compared to fabric covers with appropriate care. Because leather is easier to clean. Liquids, for example, penetrate more into fabrics. However, leather is sensitive to sharp edges. So z. B. Scratches or cuts when incorrectly attaching child seats or through sharp objects such as crayons. This can be remedied under certain circumstances Blankets or protective covers create. The same applies to the coolness of the leather in winter or the heat in summer. For reasons of cost, many drivers choose Alcantara, a high-quality microfiber instead of full leather. Whether fabric, leather or Alcantara: The Choosing the materials for the seats in the car remains a question of money and just as much a matter of taste. Because with appropriate resources, the seats should be maintained regardless of the covering material.

Fairing made of plastic rather than carbon

For hygienic reasons, the side panels inside the car are i. d. R. a resistant plastic with a fabric cover preferable. The plastic can be easily washed off with a damp cloth.

Since carbon has often been criticized as a building material in vehicle bodies in the past, it may be recommended as a precautionary measure Family car not a car with carbon elements to choose. Some scientists believe that the hydrocarbon reinforced plastic releases harmful pollutants in accidents. In particular, smoke, dust and splinters with the composite should be dangerous and should not be inhaled or touched. This problem, should it be clearly confirmed for vehicles with carbon elements, would pose a safety risk especially for children.

Your safety when driving is important to us

Here you will find further information on various topics related to your safety in the car:


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Christina Cherry
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