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Carseats for babies in Europe. Question from an American.

4 replies

buppyboo · 25/09/2003 06:02

Hello mums!
I'm an American mother and I don't know what the laws are like in Europe but in the US all children have to be buckled in special carseats when riding in cars. Does France, England and/or Italy have similar laws? When travelling by taxi do you install your carseat in the taxi and will the taxi drivers allow this? I'd love to take my toddler to Paris but I'm concerned about not being able to use the taxi with him in tow. I'd also love to hear about any recommendations for places to stay with children. Thank you in advance for your comments!

OP posts:
zebra · 25/09/2003 06:13

Italy requires that children under 4yo be in "special" seats. UK only requires that children under 1 be in a "special" seat. UK law is due to change, but not for several years. I don't know why any taxi driver would object you putting a seat in, as long as it didn't take too long to install. I would imagine that every EU country requires that children at least be under belts, even if you don't have the "special" seat. I think even in US the carseat laws vary a lot from one state to the next.

Sorry I don't know about car-seat laws in France, and personally I don't worry about where to stay, as long as they have enough beds that will do me. Most places in Italy or UK seem to have at least one "family" room with at least 3 beds in it.

Z (Californian who immigrated to the UK)

hmb · 25/09/2003 06:55

Go to

For the law regarding car seats in the UK (remeber that covers Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as well as England)

HTH and hope you have a good trip

SnoobyKat · 25/09/2003 07:28

Hi buppyboo. In France the law stipulates that all passengers must wear a seat-belt in the back as well as the front. My understanding is that there is no law regarding child car-seats as such but that all insurance companies would require proof that a child was in a homologated (is this English?) i.e. approved/rated car-seat appropriate to their weight. I never took a car seat with me in a taxi when DS was small but did put him in a carry sling and I buckled myself into the seat. When he was a baby I always took the babycarrier and strapped that into a seat. Most taxi-drivers are OK with this as long as they are legally parked/at taxistand/not blocking the road. HTH

LIZS · 25/09/2003 10:59

In Switzerland I understand kids under 7 must be in suitable seat or booster. Kids under 12 are not officially allowed to travel in the front. You can only carry as many passengers as there are seats. This sounds obvious but the number of overloaded cars of unrestrained kids you still see is shocking. The Law itself is less than 2 years old.

I would not bother with taxis in a city like Paris - the Metro is pretty efficient and extensive.

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