Car Travel for Kids in France

Ange said: April 17 2012 11:42 PM

Hi

Just wondering if you have any info regarding safe car seats in France? Is Britax the same company as safe n sound and do Australian car seats fit into French Peugeot cars? I think I know the answers to these questions but just don’t know how to go about organizing car seats for our French trip.

Also I am planning on getting the CARES harness for my 2.5 yr old but was wondering what the safest thing would be for my 6 week old?

Thanks

Ange

Donna @ Little Gulliver said: April 20 2011 2:16 PM

Hi Ange,

Hmmm, a trip to France sounds fantastic to me right now! I think you’re at the same place as me, when we first started travelling with our kids…we’re so geared up to keeping them safe at home and suddenly there is this black hole of information and the rules and regulations suddenly disappear (this is how Little Gulliver came about). It makes no sense to me and we’re fairly determined to make things easier and clearer for folks.
I’ve broken your query down into a few points, I hope you find it useful;

* any info regarding safe car seats in France?

I’m sure you’ve already read up on the basic car seat regulations in France, such as;

A child under 10 must sit in the back and “use restraint system appropriate to weight (between 9-15 kg child seat, over 15kg booster seat in conjunction with normal seat belts).” So I guess you’ll need either 2 car seats or a car seat and a booster. More about safe car seats in France later…

* is Britax the same company as safe n sound and do Australian car seats fit into French Peugeot cars

Yes, Britax is the umbrella company which manufactures the Safe n Sound range available here in Australia. But – do they fit in French cars? I wish this was so much easier for us travelling parents to navigate! I cannot say for sure, but my understanding is that while the Australian car seat would likely fit in the car, it wouldn’t be approved for use in Europe. One reason being the safety anchor bolt we use in our cars is not present in European cars. I’m also not aware if the Peugeot has the Isofix system, if it does you would need an Isofix car seat (not yet available in Australia).

Have you seen the Bubble Bum? If you are happy to use a backless booster for your older child and if they meet the requirements etc then it may be worth checking out… (we can’t sell it here because it isn’t approved for use in Australia, but it is approved in France)…

* Also I am planning on getting the CARES harness for my 2.5 yr old but was wondering what the safest thing would be for my 6 week old?

The CARES is perfect for your 2.5 yo. For your baby, there are a few options.

You could try to book an on board bassinet. You generally have to book ahead and may not be able to secure one. Also, some folks don’t like them as the seats in this area often don’t recline. If you know the make of aircraft, maybe check on Seat Guru and see if you can get any more info.

The airline (if it is Australian) will provide you with the “supplementary loop belt” you have probably used before with your toddler. There are other products available you may like to look at, such as the Baby B’Air and the Flye Baby. The Baby B’Air, while it looks like a great product, in my opinion, doesn’t provide a lot more protection than the supplementary loop belt provided here and cannot be used during take off and landing. I do agree that it is smart to have to the child restrained in case of unexpected turbulence. The Flye Baby certainly sounds popular and has recently been made available in Australia. Again, I’m iffy about this one too (again, just my opinion and this is why we don’t stock it at this stage). Note, this is not a safety device and again cannot be used during take off and landing and while the seat belt sign is lit. I can see that it may be handy if you are the only adult travelling with a number of children and a baby. I must stress here though, don’t be afraid to ask the crew for help or accept it when its offered (learnt this the hard way).
Of course, there is also the option of taking a car seat on board. This could be considered the safest option and CASA provide some good tips and info here. Again, look out for red tape and this has to be approved with your airline. If you have an Australian car seat and you are not travelling on an Australian airline, chances are your seat won’t be approved. There is no anchor point on the plane however, so the seat is attached using the seatbelt and again, you may not be able to use the seat in your vehicle in France. (Check out the Go Go Kidz TravelMate if you do consider taking your car seat with you).

I’d love to hear your thoughts and how the rest of your plans go. All the best for your planning and a great trip.

 

Kind regards,

Donna

Information Sources and Handy Links;

http://www.tripadvisor.com.au/ShowTopic-g196658-i2958-k742712-Child_carseat_laws_in_france-Beauvais_Oise_Picardy.html

http://www.survivefrance.com/group/franglaiskids/forum/topics/whats-the-law-on-car-seats-for

http://www.choice.com.au/reviews-and-tests/babies-and-kids/travel/transport/isofix-on-its-way.aspx

http://www.deliciousbaby.com/travel/france/paris/

Go Go Kidz TravelMate

Its been redesigned and re-badged for our local market…welcome Aussie Kidz Travel Mate!

Anyone who has ever travelled with kids has had to consider – will I need the car seat? At Little Gulliver, we’ve been asked about the Go Go Kidz TravelMate many times over the years and we are thrilled that the product is now available in Australia. Redesigned and approved for Australian / New Zealand carseats and renamed the ‘Aussie Kidz Travel Mate’, its the same quality and style of product that has been popular in the US and Europe for many years.

When travelling, either being picked up from your destination or hiring a car you will need a car seat for your child. The Aussie Kidz Travel Mate makes your car seat easy to transport and acts as a travel stroller to boot!

And you can accessorise it…the handle pouch makes the Aussie Kidz Travel Mate even more convenient, its attaches easily with velcro and had 3 large compartments to store anything from spare nappies to spare change. It also fits on most extendable luggage handles.

Previously, buying a Go Go Kidz TravelMate meant buying a product from overseas, which was designed to fit overseas car seats. A US mum, after moving to QLD, loved her Go Go Kidz so much she bought the license and had the product redesigned to fit our car seats. Thanks Abby!

Kids love them…

Mum and Dads love them too! Check out this this testimonial, from the Go Go Babyz Website;

“I recently purchased 2 of your gogobabyz travelmates for a trip we took to San Diego from Chicago.  I have two sons, 3 years old and 9 months old.  We hemmed and hawed over whether or not to lug the car seats with us on the trip or to rent them from the car rental place.  I had seen your product in a few different catalogs and thought, why not give it a shot.  The cost of checking the car seats or renting them from Hertz for the week was pretty close to the cost of the actual travelmate plus I could use it over and over again so it would be less expensive in the long run.  I found the travelmate very easy to use (although I did struggle with unlatching it at the first couple of time but I got better at it).   I used them to tote both of them through the airport and then unlatched my 3 year olds car seat to put it on the plane and checked the other one at the gate.  During the trip it was a space saver because we didn’t have to bring a stroller and when we went to the zoo and other places we just attached the car seats again and away we went!  I wanted to tell you how much I loved this product!  I got so many complements and inquiries from people throughout our trip that I wouldn’t be surprised if you get a rush of orders coming in!!  Thank you so much for inventing such a great product!!” 

Wendy Cimino, Chicago, IL, USA

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