A child car seat is a safety device for transporting children which can be used in other vehicles, with certain minimum requirements for their use.
In order to use your child car seat on other types of transport, as long as they have seat belts or ISOFIX anchors, this is all that is required. We should also be taking other aspects into consideration if we are looking at transport such as buses, trains or airplanes. Let's take a look at the most important aspects to take into account when traveling on forms of transport other than our own car.
In order to travel in an RV our child can use a regular child car seat without any problems. We suggest you read our specific article regarding this type of vehicle, entitled «¿How should a child be traveling in an RV?»
According to current legislation, a child under 135 cm tall can travel in a taxi without a child restraint system, although at Fundación MAPFRE this is not something we would recommend. The vehicle must be driving within the city and the child must be seated on the rear seats. If the taxi is going to be traveling on the highway, the child must be in a child car seat. Full responsibility in this respect lies with the person responsible for the child - in other words, their legal guardian.
Although this is not yet the case with every taxi company, more and more firms are offering child car seat services. For those companies which do have child seats available, you just need to let them know by telephone or online that you will be traveling with a minor and that you will be requiring a child seat in order for them to send you a car equipped with one.
Road safety legislation does not cover city buses either. They usually have areas specifically designed for the child's stroller, some have seat belts, and little by little we are starting to see buses equipped with fixed baby seats, such as the EMT in Madrid.
Bus or school transport
In Spain the General Traffic Regulations state that on buses (vehicles intended for public transport with more than nine seats) children over the age of three must use certified restraint systems suitable for their height and weight. When these systems are not available, the seat belts must be used, provided that they are suitable for the child's height and weight. There is no mention in the legislation of what to do for children under three years old. We recommend reading this infographic in order to learn about safe school transport.
There is no legislation in this regard. It is not obligatory for children to use child restraint systems of any kind on trains. Children can sit on the train seats without any major requirements. We recommend our article entitled ‘Should trains have child restraint systems?’
When traveling by airplane, it is not always possible to use our regular child restraint system. In the case of babies and children under two years old, they will have to travel with a harness which is attached to their mother or father's seat belt and they will sit on their parent's lap (take a look at our infographic here)
Airlines do not usually have a problem with taking an approved child seat on board, although it is always a good idea to check with the company beforehand, before getting on the plane.
The majority of approved child car seats can be used on planes. Child car seats have recently started to include a sticker informing you that they are «certified for use in motor vehicles and aircraft».