84 children died on german roads in 2015. In the tables of the Federal statistical office, a low number compared to previous years. in 1978, just under 1,000 people died in road traffic accidents.450 adolescents. The trend is positive – at least when viewed solely in terms of the statistics. But behind every underage traffic fatality is a personal story of suffering – especially for parents and siblings. Reasons for the significant decline in the number of accidents and the number of children. The number of injured and killed children is high. Increasingly better safety technology in motor vehicles is part of this.
Who wants to feel uncomfortable in the car? Appropriate child seats offer comfortable solutions with good safety features. But the child seat also makes its contribution. Although small children tend to find it annoying, it has become an important safety feature that protects the next generation. Because the safety devices in the car – such as the seat belt or front and side airbags – often only take effect when the passengers reach a certain size. For the child seat to meet the requirements placed on it, various features must be right. And of course, the choice has become so large in recent years that many parents are quickly overwhelmed – and become confused in view of the different categories and designs. What should the right child seat look like??
The fines according to the stvo
The safety of children in road traffic is of particular interest to society. Legislation cannot regulate all aspects – for example, by making helmets compulsory on bicycles. However, as soon as parents take their children in the car, the legislator’s requirements take effect, which are intended to ensure a high level of safety.
The decisive factor here is the road traffic regulations – stvo for short. Via § 21 stvo, the legislator prescribes in detail up to which age children are to be carried in a child seat. Age and body size are the key factors here.
If the child has not yet reached the height of 1.50 meters, it is only allowed in so-called restraint systems. This applies until the child reaches the age of 12. The child has not yet reached the age of 18. Only from this age limit/body size may children be secured in the seats only with the safety item.
By the way: if parents are caught by the police during a traffic check with improperly secured children in the vehicle, a fine and possibly even points in the traffic offender’s record will be due. A distinction is made here between:
- Not secured according to regulations (with a belt, but not a child seat) – 30 euros
- No security – 60 euro
The latter violation also results in a point in flensburg. If the violation affects more than one child, the fine can be even higher. How exactly do restraint systems have to be designed so that parents behave in accordance with the rules in road traffic??
What should a good child seat have?
How parents recognize a good child seat? There is no general answer to this question. Background: not only the seat is decisive, but also the type of vehicle and the personal preferences of the child.
Safety and comfort do not have to be mutually exclusive when it comes to child seats. Both are very important for the little ones in the car. But what exactly do parents have to look out for when buying a restraint??
Experts – such as those from the DVR – see child safety seats with a catching body as an adequate solution in terms of safety. However, not every child agrees with the catch body, which fixes the upper body. belt systems are better accepted by some children.
From the parents’ point of view, the test criteria for a child seat should include the following aspects:
The first two aspects naturally come to the fore here. Safety is the essential element. The following factors, for example, contribute to this:
- The seat in the car
- Protection in the event of a side impact
- The risk of injury in a frontal crash
Appropriate child seats are available, for example, from vertbaudet.De offered. Many of the seats presented there have been subjected to appropriate tests.
Important: the operation of the restraint must be easy for the parents, but should avoid that the offspring can loosen the belt system or the catch itself.
In terms of ergonomics, seat position and padding play a role. The aim here is to ensure that children can make themselves comfortable in their car seats on longer journeys and still travel safely.
Baby car seat to booster seat: the different safety solutions:
The decision in favor of a child seat is influenced by the weight and size of the child. The problem: today there are several standards, which does not really make it easier for parents to choose the right restraint.
For years, parents have been guided by the ECE-R 44 standard, the classification of which is essentially based on the weight of the child. The four classes cover the range from under 13 kilograms to 36 kilograms.
ECE-R 44 classes at a glance:
- Class 0+ – under 13 kilograms
- Class I – 9 to 18 kilograms
- Class II – 15 to 25 kilograms
- Class III – 22 to 36 kilograms
Seats are available on the market that can cover two or three classes. The increasingly widespread ECE-R 129 standard is aimed at the physical size of the child and includes a total of six classes. Class Q0 covers children under 60 centimeters, while class Q10 is suitable for older children over 125 centimeters.
Tip: child seats for infants/toddlers up to 15 months of age are installed against the direction of travel and are generally referred to as baby seats. The restraint systems may only be installed in a forward-facing position once the child seat has been upgraded to class I.
For larger children weighing around 15 kilograms or more, parents may opt for a booster seat in accordance with ECE-R 44. However, the side impact protection is significantly reduced in this case. This is where alternatives come into play – such as booster seats with a backrest.
Conclusion: always buckle up children safely in the car
Fortunately, the number of children killed in road accidents has continued to fall in recent years. This is also a merit of child seats. The latter are prescribed by the stvo. Parents who fail to do so risk a fine, points – and the safety of their own children. But it is not enough to buy just any child seat. In the interest of safety, it must be a matter of choosing the right model. The current standard ECE-R 44 is increasingly being replaced by the ECE/UN regulation no. 129 (isize). Of course, this development does not make the purchase decision any easier. The best thing for parents is to let their offspring try it out – and then decide for or against a child seat.