Child seat in the car: regulations, function, instructions

fines catalog: children transported in the car without a suitable seat

violation fine in euro points in flensburg
a child transported in a car without a child seat 30
several children transported in the car without a child car seat 35
transporting a child in a car without any safety device (disregarding the child seat and seat belt regulations) 60 1
several children transported in the car without any safety device (disregard of the child seat and seat belt obligation) 70 1

Up to what age do children have to use a special car seat??

Whether it’s a short trip to the nearest supermarket or a drive of several hours on the autobahn – whenever they having a child in the car with you, you should make sure that this is sufficiently secured. One of these is to ensure that the child is wearing a seat belt. On the other hand, they are also obliged to keep the child in the car to be transported in a suitable child car seat.

But what makes a child seat like this? Which legal requirements must be observed? Up to which age resp. Up to what body size the child must use a car seat for children? We answer these and other questions in the following guidebook.

what is the purpose of a child car seat?

In germany compulsory seat belts for all occupants of a motor vehicle. this makes sense, because safety belts prevent you or your passengers from being thrown through or even out of the car in the event of rear-end collisions, abrupt changes of direction or sharp braking maneuvers. So seat belts minimize injuries and save lives. However, their dimensions are designed for the body size of adults. Children are usually too small to be adequately restrained by a seat belt, because they are slipping under the belt can. Or they suffer injuries from the belt during a sharp braking maneuver because it does not go over their shoulder but their neck.

The child seat ensures that the seat belt fits properly

The child seat ensures that the seat belt is properly fastened.

For this reason, the car must be equipped with a at least one child booster seat to the use, if you are on the way with your offspring. This ensures that the safety belt fits properly. Depending on the age and size of the child, the child safety seat must meet certain requirements that set by the legislator are.

According to the german traffic safety council (DVR), unsecured children must be a seven times higher risk, that they are seriously injured or even killed in an accident.

What does the law say about the child seat for the car?

the legal regulations concerning child safety seats can be found mainly in § 21 of the road traffic regulations (stvo). According to this, all children the 12. have not yet reached the age of 18 and are smaller than 150 cm are transported in a "restraint system" – i.e. a child seat.

Conversely, this means that children without a booster seat in the car, as soon as

  • 12 years old or
  • Have reached a height of 1.50 m.

Babies are allowed transported exclusively in a baby car seat must always be placed backwards in the car. Only when the little ones’ heads reach the edge of these child seat shells can you switch to a child seat.

Video: the most important facts about the compulsory child seat

Bus and cab: is a child seat compulsory here too??

In large buses with a total weight of more than 3.5 tons there is no compulsory child seat. In smaller ones, however.

You do not have to use a child seat in a coach

A child safety seat does not have to be used in a tour bus.

But how does it look in the cab? Must a child seat be used on the car seat as well? In principle, yes, but there are limitations to this obligation. for example, a cab driver is not required to carry one age-appropriate child car seat for each group at all times. This would be alone not feasible due to lack of space. Therefore, in a cab, only child seats with an approved body weight of 9 kg or more must be used for a maximum of two children be provided.

If you are traveling with more children or if the weight class of the seat does not correspond to that of your child, in this case you may actually do without the child seat and the offspring can be legally transported without it. However, keep in mind that your children without sufficient security ride in a cab.

where in the car the child seat must be placed?

Regarding the position of the restraint there are no legal requirements. So it is up to you whether you transport the child seat in the front on the front passenger seat or in the back on the back seat. It is crucial that the appropriate seat in the car has a seat belt.

nevertheless, you should keep a few things in mind, when it comes to positioning a baby seat or booster seat in the car:

  • Baby car seats may only against the direction of travel transported. If you place them in the passenger seat, it is imperative that to deactivate the passenger airbag. Depending on the vehicle model, you can do this yourself or only have it done in a workshop.
  • Car seats for toddlers or older children can be placed in the passenger seat facing the direction of travel. In this case the passenger seat in the rearmost position and straighten the backrest.
  • For some vehicle models, the manufacturer prohibits the use of a child seat basically the transport of child seats in the passenger seat. Pay attention to the corresponding instructions in the user manual of your car.

The legal requirements for the child seat

Child seat: what size should it be?

Child seat: what size must it have?

"which child seat is the best?" this question is asked by many parents, who for your offspring a suitable safety want to buy. However, it is difficult to give a general answer to this question, as there are many different models on the market that are meet different requirements. For some parents, a child seat that grows with the child is important so that they do not have to buy a new one as soon as the child becomes too big for the old one. Others insist that their toddler should be a car seat with backrest sits, because so the head is better protected.

Whether it is a baby car seat or a booster seat, the child seat must always be meet the current european test criteria. You can recognize this by the fact that the child seat has an appropriate test seal. Since the 8. april 2008, only child seats that comply with the test standards ECE R44-03, ECE R44-04 or ECE-R 129 have been tested. only if you find one of these numbers on the test seal, you are allowed to use the child seat.

The weight classes according to ECE regulation no. 44

The ECE regulation no. 44 divides child seats into different groups, which are also stated on the test seals become. they represent the weight classes and indicate, for which body weight the respective child seat is suitable.

  • Group 0: from birth to 10 kg
  • Group 0+: from birth to 13 kg
  • Group 1: from 9 to 18 kg
  • Group 2: from 15 to 25 kg
  • Group 3: from 22 to 36 kg

Groups 0 and 0+ refer to infant carriers, whereas group 1 child seats are suitable for children from 9 months to about 4 years of age. Older children should be transported in group 2 and 3 seats. Here you can see, the advantages of child seats that grow with the child: they cover several groups. Some models can actually be from 1. Up to the age of 12. Year of life use.

If your child is not yet 12 years old and smaller than 1.50 m, but already weighs more than 36 kg, they can usually nevertheless still a child seat of the group 3 use. if in doubt, contact the manufacturer.

UN R129 – the alternative to ECE-R 44

When buying a child seat, make sure it has the appropriate test mark

Make sure the child seat has the appropriate test seal.

In July 2013, parallel to the test standard ECE-R 44 the ECE/UN regulation nr. 129 in force, which is expected to replace the former in the long term.

it also divides child safety seats into categories, but these are based on not by weight, but by body size of the child:

  • Class Q0: up to 60 cm
  • Class Q1: from 60 to 75 cm
  • Class Q1.5: from 75 to 87 cm
  • Class Q3: from 87 to 105 cm
  • Class Q6: from 105 to 125 cm
  • Class Q10: from 125 cm

Is a child seat from abroad also allowed in germany?

In germany, you may only transport your offspring in a child seat that has one of the above-mentioned ECE test seals. As this is valid in the whole EU, it is usually not a problem if you use buying a child seat in a european country.

However, the situation is different when the child seat does not come from an EU country, but z. B. From china or the USA. Since other test criteria apply in these countries, these seats are not permitted here in germany – even if they are demonstrably are just as safe as child seats with the ECE seal of approval.

If you use a child seat from a non-european country in germany, you must with a fine of 25 euro calculate. on top of that there can be problems with the insurance, should something happen to the child in an accident. In the worst case, it refuses to pay, because your child not secured according to legal requirements have.

Child seat in the car: helpful tips

So far we have explained which legal requirements when it comes to child seats, you need to consider: how long the child must use the seat, where it may be placed and which test seals it must have in order to be approved for use in germany. But probably you still wonder, which child seat to buy. To make your decision easier, we would like to conclude by giving you a few helpful hints.

A child seat without backrest should have guide horns

A child seat without backrest should have guide horns.

  • Especially for small children a child seat with stable side parts to. These provide additional protection for the head.
  • In the case of a car booster seat without backrest if the harness is inadequate, the child can slip sideways out of the safety harness should it tip to one side while sleeping.
  • booster seats may only in conjunction with a 3-point safety belt are used.
  • If the child seat does not have a backrest, it should at least be over sog. Have guide horns. They ensure that the safety belt fits your child’s body perfectly. Otherwise, it may happen that the booster seat in an accident slipping out from under your child. It is then no longer adequately secured by the seat belt and can cause serious injury.
  • Many child safety seats now have the so-called. Isofix system. It is an alternative to the seat belt, which is secured by two metal brackets, which are permanently installed in the vehicle, and corresponding hooks on the child seat. The seat can be much easier and more comfortable to secure and fewer mistakes can happen during installation. However, before you decide to buy a child seat with isofix, you should make sure that your car is designed for is.
  • Although the topic of safety is basically the last thing you should save on, you can a comprehensive price comparison well worth it. because the most expensive child seat is not always the best one.
  • If you decide to, to buy a used child seat, you should make sure it’s not too old and, most importantly, accident-free. Damage that impairs function does not necessarily have to be visible. therefore, it is best to buy the child seat only if you know the previous owner well.
  • Try the child seat with your child in your own car out before you buy it. Only then can you be sure that everything fits.

FAQ: child seat

If your child has reached the age of 12. If the child has not yet reached the age of 150 cm and is smaller than 150 cm, it is worth buying a used child seat. On the other hand, if it has already reached the required age or height, the child seat requirement does not apply.

No, there are no such regulations. You can transport the child seat on any seat of the vehicle.

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