Toddlers > Traveling with children: How should they go in the car depending on their age?

Children must be in safety seats until they are twelve years old or until they reach 36kgs and must be in the back seats.

Apr 4, 2019

Holy Week is just around the corner and you have probably already planned your family vacation. If you travel with children, you will surely have taken everything you need so that your child does not miss anything during the trip: a good variety of change clothes, all kinds of jars, their favorite toys … However, the most important is your safety, and that happens by wearing a suitable chair. But are you clear about how children should go in the car depending on their age? Today we highlight an issue as important as the safety of children on the road. Take note!

Which position is the correct one? Which chair should we use according to weight and age? Can I take the child in the front seat? Surely more than once you have done one or several of these questions when traveling with children. And it is normal, taking into account that fines for not wearing a suitable chair or carrying at least no chair are synonymous with 200 euros and three points. However, the worst consequence of committing any of this imprudence is the risk that the child runs before a possible accident. And is that, according to studies of the DGT, the correct use of child restraint systems reduces between 50% and 80% the risk of injury in case of an accident.

With this data, it is vital to ensure that the child is well placed in the car.

Children must be in safety seats until they are twelve years old or until they reach 36kgs and must be in the back seats.

How should children travel by car?

As fundamental rules, children must go with a safety seat until they are twelve or until they reach 36kgs and have to go in the back seats. However, the car seat will be different depending on the age of the child, but above all, its weight, since it is the weight that determines the resistance that the child seat must offer. For example, if the child weighs a lot, in case of an accident the structure of the chair may not support the effort and break.

In response to this, we have the following classification of chairs:

Group 0 (up to 15 months or 10kg)

Babies should use a carrycot or approved cuckoo that should always be placed in the rear seats of the car and countermarch. As a fixation, it must consist of two bands of restraint in the body of the baby; It must also be secured to the seat through the Isofix anchor system or through the two seat belts.

 Group 0+ (up to 18 months or 13 kg)

The next type of child car seats is Group 0+ and is “maxi-cosi” type. In this case, and exceptionally, the chair can be placed in the front seat, as long as the passenger seat airbag is deactivated. However, it is advisable to go in the back seats and placed in the opposite direction to the march.

This type of child restraint system is also attached to the seats through the Isofix anchor or the seat belt.

Regarding the central closure, it should be in the baby’s thorax. Not in the neck or abdomen.

Group I (up to 4 years or 18 kg)

As the child grows older, he needs larger and heavier chairs but they can use them for longer.

This type of chairs can be used in the direction of the march or against, however, it is advisable that children continue to countermarch until they are four years old.

Group II (up to 7 years old or up to 25kg)

From 15 to 25 kilos, or between 3 and seven years, children must use Group II chairs. These consist of a cushion and a backrest on which the child sits fastening the seat belt of the vehicle. This type of chairs “elevates” its occupant so that the seat belt of the car fits correctly, passing through the most resistant areas of the child’s anatomy (hips, sternum, and clavicle).

Group III (up to 12 years old or up to 36 kg)

When the child exceeds 20 kilos of weight it is time to change chairs. In this last phase of child restraint systems, we find a cushion that may or may not have support.

As in the previous group, the child is placed on the child seat and the seat belt of the vehicle is fastened.

Other safety measures when traveling with a child in a car

In addition to carrying the right chair, it is essential to follow other indications that also help to make the trip with children as safe as possible. Keep in mind the following indications:

  • Always adjust the harnesses or belts to the child’s body, without gaps.
  • For older children, it is advisable to use chairs with backrest at least up to 135 centimeters in height, as it provides more protection against side impacts, and improve the effectiveness of the seat belt.
  • Never travel with loose objects, or put luggage or pets in the vehicle next to the small ones because, in case of braking or impact, they can be dismissed and cause serious injuries to the child.
  • In the event of an accident, and whenever possible, the child must be removed from the accident-ridden car in its child restraint system, and never in his arms, except imminent risks.