Child car seats in Europe

Old Mar 22nd, 2006, 06:19 AM
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Child car seats in Europe

My family and I will be in Sweden, Germany, Switerland, Luxembourg and Belgium this summer. We can't seem to find what the child car seat laws are in these countries. Are they optional for older kids? Our boys will be 7. Illinois law is tough- up to 70 pounds must have a booster seat. Thanks for your help!
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Old Mar 22nd, 2006, 07:05 AM
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In Germany, your sons will need to be in booster seats. Also, children under the age of 12 are not allowed to ride in the front seat. Of course, everyone in the car is required to wear seat belts.

I don't know specifics about the other countries.

Have a great trip!
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Old Mar 22nd, 2006, 07:48 AM
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In Belgium, children under 12 must have a booster seat, but not everyone does this; on the school run, I notice that most children do not use a booster seat. I don't think the rule is actually enforced (at least, I've never had a ticket, and don't use a booster seat for short journeys. My son is 7).
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Old Mar 22nd, 2006, 07:54 AM
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I usually bring my own basic booster seats with me, just the base without the arm rests. The airlines will put them in a clear plastic bag, and it doesn't count as part of your allowable baggage.

I once rented a booster seat from a car rental agency and it stunk of urine (all week long in the car). After that I brought my own.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2006, 11:54 AM
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Don't know where you are renting your car, but at least some Swedish rental companies provide very nice boosters free. Last summer they told us "we take safety seriously"

If you opt to bring your own you will have them. Our boys like that the cushion puts them a little higher, better for seeing out the window. Makes me feel better knowing they're using them. We have the cushion kind and they fit in a rolling duffle.

The following laws were cobbled from a variety of websites....

Sweden law: under the age of seven must be seated in approved child or booster seats.

German law puts this figure at up to 12 years or up to 1.5 m tall (4 ft. 11 in.); moreover, children under age of 10 may not travel in the front passenger seat of a car, the exceptions being: (b) a vehicle with no rear seats or seats that temporarily cannot be used, and (c) a situation in which all rear seats are already occupied by children under 10 years old

Belgium: Children aged 3 years to 11 years must travel in an approved child restraint if available but otherwise must use the seat belt.

Children are prohibited from travelling in the front seat until the age of 12 years, unless they are seated in an approved child restraint.

Switzerland: Children in cars: children under 7 cannot travel in the front unless they use a proper child restraint. Children between 7 and 12 must use seat belts or child restraints which are appropriate to their size and age.

Lux: Seatbelts are mandatory and children under 12 must have safety seats if in the front seat. Children up to age 4 must be in a child seat.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2006, 07:01 AM
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Thank you all for your replies. We are actually going to be driving our own car- a Saab- that we are picking up in Sweden. I think we will bring our own boosters from home. It's a pain- but better safe than sorry!
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