If there is one thing we can boast about today, it is the diversity of family models. Although this may vary from one country to another, in general terms, a large family is defined as a family made up of one or two ascendants with three or more children, whether or not they are from the same parents. Another common element that all families surely share is the interest for their children to travel safely by car. To this extent, here we are going to detail what mistakes can be made in car trips when there are different children in the family unit.
MISTAKES THAT MUST NOT BE MADE
-Children sitting in any car seat. Being in a hurry can lead us to this very mistake: letting them sit in the car seat of their choice. We must bear in mind that each child must have his or her own child restraint system. Why? Not all car seats are designed for all ages and heights. A baby's CRS is not the same as a car seat for a 6-year-old child. This is why car seats are divided into groups (R4-04) o by height R-129 (i-Size). Here we help you choose the best child restraint system for your child's needs.
-Placing them incorrectly inside the vehicle. We remind you that children under 135 cm tall or less must travel with an approved child restraint system in the rear seats apart from three exceptions:
• The vehicle does not have any rear seats.
• If all the back seats are already occupied by other children in their respective child seats.
• If child restraint systems cannot be installed on those seats.
One of the main doubts that families may have is how to place the children in their car seats if there are three of them. We need to consider that unfortunately, not all cars are designed to accommodate 3 child car seats on the rear seats (which would be the ideal option). In this infographic we list the options there are according to the different cases.
-Not dedicating the time needed to place the child in the car seat. We must spend enough time on each child to correctly fit the harness or seat belt. Remember that they must not be folded, must not be twisted and must be tight enough. Here we explain why a tight harness is a safe harness. In this infographic we also offer you advice on how to correctly fasten it.
-Let the children sit in in their car seats with a coat on. A bulky coat will make the harness too loose and we mistakenly think it is correctly fitted. In this situation, the car seat cannot perform correctly and protect the child in the event of an accident. It is important that inside the car, sitting in the car seat, the child does not wear bulky clothing that can give a false sense of support and safety.
-Allowing them to travel by car with objects such as backpacks, tablets, toys...We want their trip to be entertaining, especially when it's a long one. However, we must bear in mind that taking objects inside the passenger compartment can be dangerous in the event of braking or an accident, as these objects will be projected and could impact any of the passengers. Here we talk about the objects that children should not take in the car.
-Moving up to a booster too soon and preferring one without a backrest. They take up less space making them very tempting. However, we must keep in mind that a booster with a backrest offers greater protection, especially in the event of a side impact. In addition, it avoids errors when fastening the belt, which must be slotted through the indicated areas. Backless boosters are only an option from 125 cm and above and always depending on the physical characteristics of child.
-Removing the child restraint system too soon. One of the main problems for families with cars is the lack of space, and car seats take up a lot of space. Although, depending on the country, regulations may require the use of child restraint systems up to a height 135 cm, it is recommended that children continue to travel with a CRS until they reach 150 cm, at which point an adult's belt will fit properly.
Finally, in this infographic we list the mistakes that can be made when transporting a child by car. Many of these mistakes have already been addressed. However, we point out new ones which obviously apply to large families: