How to safely transport a child in the car?

How to safely transport a child in the car? – main image

Regardless of whether you travel in a motorhome or a passenger car, if there is a small child among your passengers, it must travel in a child seat or on a special booster seat. Almost everyone knows this, but there are some facts that are worth knowing, and which are rarely made public.

The blog , run by the owner of the online store , is probably the best compendium of knowledge about car seats in the Polish part of the Internet. It is there that you can find information on what to look for when choosing a car seat, how to properly install the car seat, and even watch bloodcurdling crash tests with dummies pretending to be children.

Are the stars the most important?

When I started looking for an equivalent car seat for my less than one year old child at the time, I initially did not know what information to take into account. So naturally, probably like most parents, I focused on the number of stars awarded to individual car seats by safety assessment organizations, such as ADAC.

However, I quickly ran into doubts. First, would a car seat that scored excellent in a test conducted a few years ago be as good as the latest models? How to evaluate a car seat that is not presented in any tests (there are not as many of those tested as we would like)?

Looking for answers to similar questions, I just came across the Eight Stars blog. And I quickly learned that stars are not everything, and when making a choice, it is worth looking at other elements as well. What?

Forward or rear facing?

For example, it is worth paying attention to whether the car seat is installed forward or rearward facing. RWF (rear-mounted) car seats are almost unknown to us, while for most Scandinavians they are the first choice car seats. And I do not mean car seats for infants under the age of one year, because in this group the standard is - fortunately - rear-facing car seats, but seats for children aged 9 months to 4 years.

It was only after reading the blog entries that I started looking for information confirming the author's opinion that a rear-facing car seat will always be safer than a front-facing car seat. The method of assembly may therefore be more important than the number of stars awarded.

And indeed, although I found few articles on this subject in the Polish-language part of the network, we can find a whole lot of them in English. Let's go back to the Polish source, because here we will find an explanation lined with coffee on the coffee table (bold - Camprest):

“With a rear-facing car seat, impact forces are transferred from the child's back and head to the backrest and headrest of the car seat. The child is pushed into a chair that absorbs all the energy, and is affected by the forces we feel when accelerating rapidly. When fixing the seat forward-facing during an accident, the child's body is held by the seat belts, while the limbs, and above all the head, remain inert. Nothing protects the baby's neck. Dear parents, the airbag that comes as standard in your car, as well as the wipers and fog lamps, is not so that you don't get a bump on the steering wheel. It's to keep your head from breaking your cervical vertebrae in an accident. The child has no airbag."

Forward-facing crash test:

Rear-facing crash test:

You can find the full post here - it's worth reading .

In my case, this text changed a lot in my view of car seats and made the RWF car seat more expensive than my budget provided, but I stood on my head to buy just one. Today, the child has been using it for the second year and let's hope that there will be no opportunity to check the effectiveness of this protection. However, I feel calm enough that I know that I am doing my best to ensure his safety on the journey. Although, sometimes I have my doubts...

Ride with or without a jacket?

Recently, my pupils dilated in surprise once again. Again, I learned something that I hadn't noticed before. Well, it turns out that even when transporting a child rear-facing, if I fasten it tightly, but it is dressed in a thick, winter jacket, such protection ... is no protection at all!

During the impact, the child in the jacket slips freely from the belts and is launched into the air like a bullet. So remember, regardless of the weather, to take off your child's jacket in the car (preferably yourself too).

Yes, it is inconvenient, there is a lot of fuss about it, but the main question is: is your comfort more important, or safety, and maybe your child's life?

It's good to know the law

And another common dilemma. Should the child be transported in the front or rear seat? On the Eight Stars blog you will find exceptions to this rule, but in general, it is almost always safer to travel in the back. And, for example, according to the Croatian road traffic regulations, transporting a child up to the age of 12 in the front seat is prohibited by law at all.

And since we're on the rules. Did you know that there is no age limit in Poland anymore? Previously, the seat was valid until the age of 12, unless the child was previously 150 cm tall. Right now, only growth matters. A minor can ride in the front without a car seat if their height is at least 150 cm, and in the back if they are at least 135 cm. According to the current regulations, children under 3 years of age should not travel in vehicles without seat belts at all.

But for more information about car seats, I refer you to the blog .


Sometimes it is better to get lost than to ask for directions too much. Aldous Huxley

Also read