Commissioned Post

It’s that time of year again. The bliss of the summer months have flown past in an unforgivable blur and here we are at the beginning of the new school term. Uniforms to buy, pencil cases to fill and of course the dreaded school run.

The rules and regulations of child transportation are somewhat more complex now than they were when we were children. It may be wise to check up on some of the current advice and guidelines in place ahead of the new school term.

The Rules and Regulations

Children are required by law to sit in a booster seat until they are over the age of 12 or 135 cm in height, whichever comes first. In addition, the driver is responsible for ensuring that the youngster is wearing a seatbelt until they reach the age of 14, as at that age they are considered liable for their own safety. The reason behind these rules are to protect a child from being injured in the event of an accident.

All child seats used must adhere to EU regulations, this will be indicated by the presence of a capital E inside a circle on the labelling. A detailed account of the kinds of car seats available can be found here:

There are also some exemptions to these rules that are worth checking out to keep your child and any other children in your care safe.

Driving with Children

It’s easy to concentrate on the children rather than keeping your eyes on the road, particularly on familiar journeys. However, driving safely should take precedence over all other concerns. It might help if you give your child something to keep them occupied.

Your driveway is an area where you would be well advised to take extra special care when children are concerned. It’s easy for a child to wander in front of, or behind a car particularly when you are reversing (you may not see them). Make sure all manoeuvres are at very slow speeds to give yourself time to react and where possible ask another adult to help you.

Child Safety Inside and Out explains to us that car doesn’t have to be moving for it to be a safety hazard. In an ideal world we should never have to leave children alone in a car, but the world is not always an ideal place. Make sure you are aware of the dangers, including:

  •  Keeping your keys with you at all times and locking your vehicle.
  • Where possible you should turn the wheels so that should the car start to move, it will be prevented by the curb.
  • Leave windows open on warm days so the children do not become too over heated.
  • Keeping all dangerous objects out of reach.

 Car Safety Features for the Wise Parent

Cars are getting more and more complex and while there are a range of safety features available that can make cars more child friendly, there are some innovations that may be less beneficial. You would be well advised to think carefully when making your choice.

A car with a push button start, may not be a sensible choice. Particularly if the engine will begin while you and the keys are a short distance away. Alternatively, a vehicle that relies on you pressing the clutch to start the engine could be a better choice.

One of the best features available are electric car windows that have an automatic shut-off when they feel any pressure. This can go a tremendously long way toward protecting little fingers and even heads from getting trapped.

All you really need is the right information and with that, the rest becomes a matter of using your common sense. With the right foundations in place and awareness of the potential hazards, you should enjoy happy motoring with (hopefully) happy children.