Childern + cars



Happy families

Most children love cars. The excitement of going somewhere usually puts them in a good mood, but a long journey can become fraught unless you prepare well and pace the trip sensibly. Bored, tired, cramped children quickly become irritable little monsters. A long ride in a stuffy, rapidly moving car can easily lead to motion sickness. Comfort and time are the keys to achieving unstressed family trips. Plan for plenty of both.

Keeping them safe

The safety of children in the car is a paramount concern for any parent. It's our responsibility to make sure kids travel safely, by driving defensively, to minimise the risk of having an accident, and by ensuring that children are correctly strapped in.

  • Children should never travel on an adult's, or another child's lap YOU WILL      BREAKING THE LAW. Seat belts are designed for one person in each.
  • Ensure child locks are on whenever there is a youngster in the car, to avoid a door being opened on the move by an inquisitive little finger.
  • Remember: 'clunk-click, every trip'. The one time you relax your guard and don't bother about safety, is when an accident might just happen.
  • Children that are suitably restrained are 90 per cent less likely to be killed in a crash and an unrestrained child can be killed in an impact at speeds as low as 5mph*. It is therefore of the up-most importance that children travel in the correct child car seat or booster seat for their age, height and weight.

Child car seats

Changes in child car seat law

From 18 September 2006, the regulations for child car seats changed. Parents are being urged to learn about the new regulations which make it compulsory for children under the age of 12 (or less than 135cms in height) to use child car seats and booster seats.

The main changes to the car seat regulations include:

  • Children under the age of three must use an appropriate child restraint in the front of motor vehicles.
  • Children under three cannot be carried in the rear of a motor vehicle unless they are in an appropriate child restraint.
  • Children under the age of 11, but less than 135 cms (4ft 5in) in height, must use an appropriate child restraint when travelling in the front of motor vehicles.
  • Children aged between three and 11 years of age, but less than 135 cms in height, must use an appropriate child restraint when travelling in the rear of motor vehicles, provided there is a seat belt in place to secure the child restraint.
  • Children aged 12 or more, or those who are more than 135 cms tall, must wear an adult seat belt in the rear of a motor vehicle (or they can use an appropriate child restraint).
  • The use of rear-facing child restraints where there is an active front air bag (unless the bag is designed not to cause injury to a child in a rear facing seat if it inflates) is prohibited.
  • For children under the age of 14, it is the driver's responsibility to ensure they are wearing the correct child restraint or seat belt.
  • There is a range of child restraints suitable for different weights, check that the correct seat is being used for the weight of the child and is fitted as instructed by the manufacturer.