Every parent remembers how long it takes to browse the Internet looking for the most secure seat for their child. We had had the same problem looking for a child seat for a passenger car, and after making a purchase, we believed that the problem is gone for at least a few years… Since we travel a lot, we used to be the lucky owners of a trailer, but due to various reason, about which I am going to tell you more in a separate post, we decided to buy a small camper van. Unfortunately, this purchase brought the problem of choosing an appropriate child seat back…

 
Spanish laws on the transport of children in cars

According to European norms, including Spanish, children which are not at least 150 cm tall need to be transported in safety seats. A 135 cm tall child may be secured only by a seat belt if their height or weight makes it impossible to place them in a safety seat. Breaking these laws or placing the seat not in accordance with safety regulations are punishable with 3 penalty points and a 200 euro ticket. According to data published by Dirección General de Tráfico, only in 2017, twenty-one underage people died on Spanish roads, and in the last ten years, the lack of a safety seat was the cause of dead of 44% of all deaths of underage people in traffic accidents!

 

It should be easy…

We decided to transport our 2-years old, both in the passenger car and the camper, rear way facing because, according to specialists and crash test results, it is the safest option available. Our camper is registered for three people transportation and all the seats are on the front couch. Unfortunately, not all such vehicles are like that. It is important to take this into consideration while, i.e. renting a car for a vacation trip.

Another issue is that the front couch of a van does not have Isofix (it is a child safety seat assembly system), so the only available option is belt assembly. Since the seat is supposed to be RWF (Rear Way Facing), it makes things much more complicated. Most often, such seats are equipped with special tapes, so called anchoring belts strapped to the base of the front seat – and in our case, it was not a possible option. Additionally, there were issues concerning certificates and the comfort of the seat itself, so that it would be possible to adjust the sitting angle during the drive, and to tilt the seat back during the child’s nap, so that they could sleep comfortably. Oh, I forgot to add that I did not want to spend a lot of money on the seat, and you most likely know how much certified child accessories may cost...

Very often, especially in old cars, there is a problem with the short belt (it is also important to remember about the three-point safety belt!) – it also should be considered while i.e. renting a camper. 

I spent long hours looking for an appropriate safety seat and finally, I found it! We decided to buy Joie Stages – a certified and great quality safety seat that is well made and offers a four-point tilt. It is easy to assemble, it steadily holds onto the couch, and our A.’s smile is the absolute proof that it is very comfortable. 

One more thing: a warning for those who want to sleep in a camper during the drive…

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