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Advice for safe family travel

Consejos para un viaje seguro en familia


When we discuss trips as a family, we often automatically think about one or two children traveling with their two parents. However, families can be very diverse and there is a rather important group known as large families.

Large families, three or more children, in normal cases, but they can sometimes even be made up of only one child in special cases, make up 8% of all families, 675,955 if we refer to the 2016 figures from the Ministry of Health.

When focusing on families with three or more children, we should certainly recognize the challenge that planning a car trip poses for them. For a start, the majority of vehicles do not have enough space on the rear seats to fit three child car seats, and in the case of four or more children, one of the adults would not fit in the car.

Leaving logistics to one side, in terms of baggage, which will be needed for vacations with so many children, it is important to be clear on thesekey points for ensuring a safe journey:

• In vehicles with up to 9 seats, children whose height is equal to or less than 135 cm must travel on the rear seats, using an approved child restraint system suitable for their height and weight.

• Only three exceptions can be made:

  • If the vehicle does not have any rear seats.
  • If all the rear seats are already occupied by other children in their respective child restraints.
  • If a child restraint system cannot be installed on the rear seats.

• For 5-seater vehicles, with 3 children it will be difficult for all the child seats to fit on the rear seats, unless:

  • One of them is a booster seat.
  • One of the children no longer needs a car seat.

• If it is not possible to install 3 child car seats on the rear seats, one of them can be used on the front passenger seat, which should be the eldest child's seat, but only if the rear seats are occupied by children with child car seats. We discuss the best way to travel with 3 children using child restraint systems.

• If we have 4 children, we would be dealing with the above mentioned scenario: three will be traveling on the rear seats in their restraint systems and the fourth child can sit on the front passenger seat, preferably the eldest child. It is best to have a vehicle with more seats than that of a normal vehicle (more than 5).

You can take a look at this information in this comprehensive infographic.

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