Safely in your car

Why do I have to fasten my baby?

In Germany it is - for a good reason - legally required that buckle up drivers and all passengers. But children also have special safety rules. Up to the age of 12, the child must be seated in a so-called restraint - depending on his size and weight in a child seat, a baby seat or an attached infant carrier. It is not only forbidden, but also extremely dangerous to keep the baby on the lap while driving.

No one can arrest or protect a child in an accident. Such recklessness can be fatal. Children can also be seriously injured if they are strapped into a car seat that does not fit their height and weight. Because the risk of injury increases with loose or incorrectly seated straps. The children slip out. This can lead to severe bruises and bruises. Some children are even strangled by the belt. Unfortunately the fact is: the older the child, the less attention is paid to a proper security in the car. Many parents even leave their larger offspring without a car seat. With fatal consequences: Every year about 100 children die as passengers in a traffic accident. Correctly strapped children have statistically seen in a crash, a seven-fold higher chance of getting away with it.

Why is not the normal three-point adult belt sufficient?

Your newborn or little baby can not even hold his head and it can not sit upright. You must therefore transport it lying and protect your head well.

But the straps are too high even for larger babies and small children. They usually run close to the neck and upper part of the abdomen. In addition, the hard buckle is on the pelvic bone. Such a wrong-fitting harness can seriously injure or even strangle your child in the event of an accident.

What car seat should I buy?

In Germany, approved baby seats or child seats must comply with certain guidelines and standards. The official approval is provided by an ECE test sticker. This ECE standard mark reveals a Europe-wide standardized child seat. In addition, the brand, model, test standard and the weight class are listed.

Pay attention to the official seal of approval with the valid standard ECE R 44/03 or 44/04. They recognize the validity at the multi-digit check number, which stands below the letter ""E"" (this is outlined in black): If the number starts with 03 ... or 04 ..., the child seat fulfills the current standards.Older models with the standard ECE R 44/01 and 44/02, however, you may no longer use, you should pay particular attention when you buy the child seat used. Because these seats do not meet the safety standards, you face a fine of 30 euros if you transport your child. The test seal is depending on the model as a sticker on the seat body, sometimes it is also sewn to the seat cover.

In the near future, child car seats with the new i-size mark will increasingly be on the market, which will be an indication of even more safety for your child while driving. Which changes this regulation brings, we have collected in the last paragraph for you.

The sizes differ according to the weight of the child. It starts with the baby bowls for children up to about thirteen kilograms, which must be mounted against the direction of travel. Then comes the combined infant carrier / seat for toddlers up to 18 kilograms - even against the direction of travel.

The next group is about car seats from nine to 18 kilograms. Here the children can already sit in the direction of travel, but they do not have to (see below ""Reboarder"").

From 15 kilos, there are also the so-called growing seats. They are usable up to 36 kilos and height adjustable.

What you should consider when buying:

The class of the seat is the weight of your child.

  • The seat has the ECE badge with the valid ECE R 44/03 or 44/04 standard.
  • Read the instructions for use. Is the car seat easy to handle, attach and possibly even adjustable?
  • Pay attention to possible combinations. There are car seats that fit in a stroller or are even part of it.
  • A child seat has a lot to do with it. Therefore, it must be durable, breathable and skin-friendly and have a removable / washable cover.
  • The car seat should have a headrest and be height adjustable in older children.
  • The child seats have to be easily installed and removed in different cars, adjusted to other children or moved to other seating positions.
  • What should I look for when using it?

Before using the seat for the first time, read the operating instructions carefully and play all functions outside the car. Before the first ride with the infant carrier, the buckling in the car should be practiced first without, then with baby. That helps, if it has to go fast later. It's best to test the function of the straps outside the car so that it will work later on the narrow back seat. Also, the installation and removal of the car seat requires practice. If your child drives more often with friends or relatives, you should explain to them how the seat is installed in the car and the child is strapped into it. Only in this way can assembly errors be avoided.

You should be aware of this:

The child seat must be securely connected to the car.If the car is not equipped with a special system for it, push the car seat deep into the pad and then fasten it with the seat belt. Then tighten again for safety.

The best and safest place for the child seat is in the back seat behind the passenger. In this way, the mother can occasionally look for your baby during the ride without much effort. At the same time, getting on and off is done on the safe side facing away from the road.

  • If you still want to bring your baby in the passenger seat, make sure that there is no airbag there or that it is off. The pressure of the inflating airbag could seriously injure or even kill your child. However, the ADAC recommends always bringing babies and toddlers with them in the back seat.
  • The straps must not be twisted under any circumstances. Reason: Twisted straps prevent timely engagement of the automatic belt from the car. The child seat turns in the worst case in a crash even out of the belt, the protective effect is gone.
  • The straps used to strapple the child in must be snug against the body and not twisted. More than a flat hand should not fit between the belt and the child. Therefore, do not put on the child in winter too thick, better cover with a jacket or a blanket.
  • Also important: Car seat or car seat must not be too small. Reason: If the child's head projects beyond the seat, it may hit the upper edge of the small seat in the event of an accident. Serious injuries would be the result.
  • The new i-size regulation

In July 2013, i-Size has been seeking a new level of security in order to provide even more security. It only applies to child seats with an Isofix attachment, which significantly reduces frequent installation errors, and essentially introduces the following changes:

In car seats certified to i-size, the rearward transport of children is up to prescribed at the age of 15 months.
  • The seats must have an additional side impact protection.
  • When deciding on a suitable seat, it is not the weight of the child that matters, but the age and height of the child.
  • The new i-size control will not replace the current ECE R 44 standard but will be introduced in parallel, step by step. This means that you can continue to use your child car seat. The current R 44 regulation is to remain valid until 2018.
    • Sources

    ADAC e. V., Am Westpark 8 81373 Munich // www. adac. de

    TÜV Süd: // www. MOT South. de

    Ruhr Nachrichten. New child seat rule: Babies have to drive back 15 months [as of March 2014]

    Mannheim Youth Traffic School and Kreisverkehrswacht Mannheim e.V.: The new i-Size [March 2014]

    Britax Römer: Regulations, Technical Information and Standards: i-Size [as of March 2014]

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