How do I secure my child in the car if it weighs more than 36 kg?? May it still sit in a follow seat?
As group 2/3 following seats (with backrest) is called the last level of child seats. children change into these seats before they no longer need a child seat. Most of them are approved in accordance with ECE R44/04, which actually limits their use to children with a body weight of 15 kg to 36 kg limited, because strictly speaking, these child car seats are only approved up to a maximum weight of 36 kg. This affects not only the seats with backrests, but also the seat cushions and the seat cover. booster seats.
Again and again, concerned parents ask us how they should secure a child who weighs more than 36 kg, but is still child seat obligation ig is. We would like to explain this in this article.
What do the road traffic regulations say about the safety of children over 36 kg??
In germany, the following applies to children up to 150 cm in height or a age of 11 the compulsory child seat. It ends, if the child is under 150 cm tall, with the 12. Birthday. This is precisely regulated in the road traffic regulations and applies for the first time to all children without exception. Only when a child reaches the 150 cm or the 12. If a child has reached the age of 18, it no longer needs a child seat by law:
§ 21 stvo passenger transport / child seat obligation:
(1a) 1 children up to 12 years of age. Children who are less than 150 cm tall may only ride in motor vehicles on seats for which safety belts are mandatory if they use restraint systems for children that are [. ] are suitable for the child.
That means: purely legally MUST your child – even if it is heavier than 36 kilograms – continues to sit in a child seat.
compulsory child seat versus approval of the child seat
Anyone who takes their child seat with them without child seat in the car, risks a fine, in the worst case, however, the health or even the life of his child. In order not to endanger your child, you should always use a well-fitting booster seat with backrest use!
But what happens if the child still needs a child seat, i.e. a group 2/3 booster seat, but it already has the same weight? above the 36 kg lies? Are you still allowed to use the seat then or does the child have to drive without a child seat, even if it would still need a child car seat according to the child seat obligation??
The answer to this question is simple, because the road traffic regulations are clear on this point: you must it is also mandatory to use a child seat for a child weighing more than 36 kg! As long as your son or daughter is not yet 150 cm tall or has not yet reached the age of 12. If your child has reached the age of 18, he or she is subject to the compulsory child seat. This is legally binding!
In addition, it is also safer for your child to use a child seat above the 36 kilogram limit.
It is also safe for children weighing more than 36 kg to sit in a child seat
We have explained the legal side. However, there is a catch: the approval of the child seats – because no child seat that is approved according to the UN ECE R 44 standard is approved for a weight greater than 36 kg. booster seats, which we generally do not recommend because of their lack of side protection, are also limited at this point.
In order to clarify the question of whether a child seat that is approved up to 36 kg is also safe beyond this age, we must first take a look at the following points, How a booster seat works.
How does the booster seat protect your child?
Child seats of group 2/3 make sure your child increases sitting in the car. This influences and improves the belt routing of the 3-point car belt, which is tailored to the size of an average adult. The backrest and the headrest of the booster seat protect your child in the event of a side impact. The belt routing of a booster seat with backrest is optimized not only at the pelvic belt but also at the shoulder belt. Its backrest and headrest protect the child even if it is side impact effective. All this can not offer a simple seat cushion. We deliberately sell child seats with backrests without exception, because these booster seats are much safer than a simple booster cushion.
It is not the booster seat but the car seat belt that holds the child in place
In a follow-on seat of group 2/3, your child is strapped in together with his or her child seat using the vehicle seat belt. This holds your child in the seat in the event of an accident. The additional attachment of a booster seat to the isofix system increases the stability of the child seat when cornering, but your child will still be held in place by the car seat belt even when the child seat is installed in the isofix system. The car seat belt is for a significantly higher weight designed, it must withstand more than a ton of tensile load. The following seat in itself has no holding effect.
The limitation to a weight of 36 kg comes alone by the admission according to ECE R44/04, which specifies this limit, and by the weight of the test dummy used in the tests.
A booster seat limited to 36 kg is safe even for heavier children
Considering these facts, we, as well as the experts of the ADAC, the accident research of the insurers, the experts of the Landesverkehrswacht and the federal ministry of transport and digital infrastructure, come to the conclusion that from a purely technical point of view, a group 2/3 child seat can also be used with a weight of over 36 kg.
Expert opinions on the subject
Dr. Gerd muller, senior engineer, department of motor vehicles at the Technical university of Berlin, says:
"child seats of class 2/3 are approved up to a child weight of 36kg and tested accordingly. This is because the legal approval (ECE-R 44) defines exactly this limit. However, there is absolutely no reason to assume that such a child seat would fail in its protective effect if a heavier child were to sit in it [. ] from a safety point of view it is also essential that the said children are secured in a child seat in the car."
the federal ministry of transport and digital infrastructure writes to us on the subject:
"the actual restraint of the child in class III systems according to UNECE regulation number 44 is provided by the vehicle’s own belt". When using booster seats with or without backrests, care should be taken to use suitable materials, especially for children weighing more than 36 kg. [….] in order to obtain information regarding the suitability of a child restraint system approved according to UNECE regulation number 44 for the transport of heavy children, parents must contact the respective manufacturer."
What the child seat manufacturers say on the subject
Manufacturers’ statements on this subject vary widely. While some, in response to our inquiry, also approve their child seats for use by children who weigh more than 36 kg, others keep the option of a case-by-case decision open, and still others rule out this use completely.
A manufacturer that officially allows children weighing more than 36 kg to be transported in its group 2/3 child seats is britax roman. However, it is worthwhile to describe your own situation to all other child seat manufacturers and to ask whether your child is allowed to use its booster seat above 36 kg.
We have child seat manufacturer asked for an opinion and received the following responses:
Avova told us about this:
"The star (fix) is approved according to R 129, for this the body height of 100 – 150 cm is decisive. If a child weighs more than 36 kg, this is no problem for our star-fix, as the star-fix is very robust and the child is held in place with the vehicle belt. The 36 kg comes from the heaviest dummy used to test child seats in this category."
as of june 2021: avova has announced that it will revise the outline so that customers are no longer confused by the indication of the weight limit.
These are the ways you can safely transport your child who weighs more than 36 kg
But how can you transport your child, who weighs more than 36 kilograms, safely and in compliance with the law??
Possibility 1: continue to use your group 2/3 child seat
The simplest variant is to use your child seat, which is only allowed up to 36 kg, also beyond the 36 kilograms. According to the road traffic regulations, you are even obliged to do so, so you are acting in this case legally compliant.
Option 2: use a child seat approved according to R 129
An alternative is that you use a follow seat approved according to ECE R129 ("i-size"). Within this registration standard, seats are not classified by weight, but by size. For example, the new booster seats are approved from a height of 100 cm, – and this is usually independent of the weight of the child.
Hint: nevertheless please pay attention to the information on the approval label and in the instructions for the child seat – with the avionaut max space, there is now a child seat on the market that complies with UNECE R 129, which is additional to the size limitation also a limitation by weight (15 to 36 kg) has.
This means that with a child seat approved up to 150 cm according to UN ECE R129, you are generally within the legal requirements and also within the registration regulations, as these child seats, with rare exceptions, no longer have a weight limit.
Your child no longer fits into a group 3 child seat?
Depending on how your child is built, it may no longer fit optimally or even at all in its child seat.
Group 2/3 child seats are available in different variants and designs. Some are narrower and some are wider, many grow in width as the child grows. That is: just because your child no longer fits in its own seat, fortunately, does not mean that it can no longer sit comfortably in any subsequent seat. It is therefore essential that you try out different child seats – preferably on site in a specialist shop.
We have never had a situation where we could not fit a child seat. However, if this is indeed the case for your child, there is still one last possibility: exemption from the child seat obligation.
possibility 3: the exemption from the child seat obligation
In the event that a child is unable to fit into a group 3 child seat due to its weight or stature, please. The statur can no longer find a suitable child seat, is it possible to apply for an exemption from the child seat obligation at the responsible road traffic authority?.
Please always keep in mind: this means that your child has to give up an important safety aspect in the car and so is no longer optimally protected in the event of an accident! Therefore, this should always be the very last option.
"there is the possibility to apply for an exemption from the "child seat obligation". According to § 46 paragraph 1 number 5a of the road traffic regulations (stvo), the road traffic authorities can approve exceptions to the prohibition on the unauthorized carriage of persons (§ 21 stvo Personenbeforderung) in certain individual cases. However, such an exemption may only be granted in particularly urgent cases. Strict requirements must be met to prove urgency."
Source: federal ministry of transport and digital infrastructure:
Even if your child weighs over 36 kg, it can still ride safely in the car. Choose a well-fitting child seat and consult with the child seat manufacturer, if necessary.
Contact us if you have any questions or if you have problems finding a well-fitting child seat for your child – we will be happy to help you!