Keeping kids safe and entertained in the car

Keeping kids safe and entertained in the car

If you’ve ever been involved in a bump in the car, you’ll know that even a small prang can feel like a big impact. Now imagine you’re a child. A collision immediately seems twice as big … and can do double the damage.

The effects of a crash on a child who is not properly strapped in are terrifying. And even if you’re not in an accident, you can be fined if any under-14s in your vehicle are found not to be wearing the right child seatbelt. So show children how to get in the car safely every time they travel.

Why not practise together by playing Ziggy’s Click in Seatbelts game?

But what are the rules on seatbelts? The law says that:

  • It is an offence to drive with a passenger under 14 years of age who is not wearing a seat belt or child restraint (car seat) in the front or back seat
  • A child should start to use an adult belt when they reach 135cm or their 12th birthday; whichever comes first
  • All other children must use a car seat / booster designed for their current weight (the label on the seat will tell you the weight it is designed for)
  • In buses and coaches with seat belts fitted, passengers aged 14 years and above must use them. Those under 14 years are strongly advised to use them

Choosing the right car seat

Safety in the car begins with choosing the right car seat: too large or too small and it won’t do the job it is designed to do. It’s worth noting that not all car seats fit every car. If you’ve read Ziggy’s Sunny Holiday with your child you’ll know that Andrew, Maggie and Ziggy all have their own special car seats. To find out which type of car restraint is right for your vehicle and your child, visit

Before you buy:

  • Always look for the United Nations ECE R44.04 mark
  • Try the child car seat in your car before buying, because not every seat fits every car
  • Check your vehicle's handbook for compatibility

Once you’ve found the right size, why not involve your child in choosing the colour or pattern? This will help them see it as ‘their’ seat. If they like it, they are more likely to sit in it without an argument!

Again, as children like to copy grown-ups, setting a good example is key. If you break the law, they’ll think they can too. So always put on your seatbelt, no matter how short your journey. The Kids in the car campaign has some great advice on how to drive safely.