Time flies with children. Just yesterday, we were smiling in love at our little bundle of humanity in its baby car seat and wondering how tiny such a newborn is. And today? Our baby has become a rather big school child virtually overnight, who has been insisting for days that a child seat is quite embarrassing and that he will certainly not drive one meter in it. We were all young once and maybe at this moment we even remember the situation from our childhood when we tried to convince our own parents that we don’t need a seat anymore. Remember? Fact is: The currently valid child seat obligation, according to which children up to a size of 150 cm resp. up to their 12th birthday. The requirement that children must be secured in the car with a child restraint system for their 80th birthday has existed as such since 1993. Since then, many things have changed and improved in the field of child seats, but our grandchildren will certainly still be having discussions about child seats.
Does my child still need a child seat?
That your child up to the age of 12 years resp. up to a height of 150 cm must be transported in a child seat, is due to the fact that the vehicle belt is designed for the size and stature of an average adult. If your child is smaller than 150 cm, the belt usually does not run optimally (at the neck instead of over the shoulder, over the belly instead of at the pelvis, etc.).). In addition, there is a risk that the child will slip out of the seat belt in the event of an accident. The Touring Club Switzerland or. TCS Mobility Consulting has videoed such a scenario within a crash test:
The fact is that every year, according to the German Federal Statistical Office, around 1.000 Children under 12 years of age in their parents’ vehicle in a school-related accident. The German Social Accident Insurance (DGUV) therefore pointed out u. a. in their press release of 26. May 2010 repeatedly points out the importance of child seats for older children (pdf for download). For many years, the German Automobile Club (ADAC) has been informing the public that even older children must be secured with and in child seats as part of the child seat obligation and the legal regulations for preventing serious consequences of accidents.
Nevertheless, there are often still uncertainties among parents and many of you wonder:
Does my child still have to sit in a child seat and how does it sit correctly when it is only secured with the vehicle belt?
Your child must be at least 12 years old or 150 cm tall to be allowed to travel in a car without a child seat. If your child has already reached the required age, but is still smaller than 150 cm, we recommend that you continue to use a group II/III seat, as otherwise an optimal run of the seat belt cannot be guaranteed.
These seats are approved up to a weight of 36 kilograms, but they may and must be used beyond that if the child is not yet old or. is big enough to drive without a child seat (source).
Here’s what you should keep in mind when your child rides in the car without a child seat:
1. The child is at least 150 cm tall or at least 12 years old.
2. The back of your child must rest against the vehicle seat.
3. Make sure that your child’s knees are flush with the car seat. If your child’s thighs are too short to bend the knees, you should wait a while before transporting your child without a seat. Only a perfectly seated child is optimally protected in the event of an accident.
4. Pay attention to the course of the belt: the lap belt must run along the hips and must not be in the abdominal area under any circumstances. A belt that goes across the abdomen can cause serious internal injuries in the event of an accident.
5. The shoulder belt must run between the neck and shoulder and rest on the collarbone. This is the only way that the seat belt can adequately protect your child in the event of an accident. Never place the seat belt directly on the neck: Not only is this uncomfortable, it can lead to death in the event of an accident. If the height of the seat belt in your vehicle is adjustable, make sure that it is set correctly.
6. Appeal to your child’s personal responsibility. The seat belt only protects your child optimally if it is seated correctly. Your child should not lean forward, fidget, or play with the seat belt.
Be sure to check if your child is already big and mature enough to ride without a child seat and follow the legal regulations.