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How many children can I take to school by car and how should they travel?

¿Cuántos niños puedo llevar al colegio en mi coche y cómo deben viajar?

26/09/2018

Firstly, we should realize that everything depends on the number of seats the vehicle has and the number of restraint systems which the children should travel in, where necessary. 

In this sense, we should bear in mind that all young children 135 cm tall or less must travel in an approved child restraint system suitable for their size and weight, as set out in current legislation. Furthermore, in vehicles of up to 9 seats the child seats should be placed on the rear seats save for three exceptions:

  • 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 child restraint systems cannot be installed in the said seats.

In the same vein, we should note that a seat will already be taken up by the driver and that the rest can be used for children, although those children using child car seats should be on the rear seats. 

If all the seats are occupied by children with child car seats or if we find ourselves with one of the three aforementioned exceptions then the child can travel on the front passenger seat. It is very important to remember that the airbag should be disabled when children are traveling in the front passenger seat in a rear facing position.

In this infographic we show you the different possibilities you might come across in a 5-seater vehicle:

Familias numerosas 

When it comes to minivans, there are more possibilities depending on how many seats it has. We should always remember that child restraint systems can  be installed according the manufacturer's instructions, therefore, if the child seat uses the isofix system it can only be installed on seats that have isofix anchorages. The same occurs with the three-point seat belt. 

We offer a number of recommendations on the installation and securing of the child in the child car seat.

Lastly, we have a series of very important recommendations for trips by car to school. 

  • Take as long as you need to install and secure the child in the seat. Never rush this process.
  • Even if the journey is fairly short, the child should always be seated in a child restraint system suitable for their height and weight.
  • Do not put the child in the child seat in bulky clothing such as a coat and certainly not with a backpack on. Bulky items should be put in the trunk so they do not come loose if you have to brake suddenly.
  • Drive carefully. Children tend to mimic the behavior they see around them, especially their parents' behavior.
  • Avoid double parking in order to prevent causing traffic and try to leave the vehicle in an easily accessible area so that the child can get in and out of the car without difficulty. 
  • The child must get in and out of the car on the sidewalk side  and if necessary, the child should cross the road while observing any instructions by officers and paying attention to the traffic lights and crosswalks.
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