Children's Health and Road Safety

Understand how to care for the health of your child in Switzerland, including information on vaccinations, children's hospitals and road safety...

Vaccination policy is decided at a cantonal level in Switzerland. Each individual canton determines which vaccinations are obligatory and some give them free of charge.

Vaccinations in the Swiss-German part of the country are done either in hospitals or at doctor's offices and paid for by medical insurance (Krankenkasse).

Recommended vaccinations in all cantons include Diphtheria (Diptherie), Tetanus (Starrkrampf), Poliomyelitis (Kinderlähmung), whooping cough (Pertusis), measles, mumps and German measles (Mumps, Masern und Röteln) and Haemophilus influenza (Hib).

The only obligatory vaccination in Geneva, Fribourg and Neuchâtel is against Diphtheria (vaccine anti diphtérique) while in the cantons of Vaud and Valais there are no obligatory vaccinations. However, most doctors do recommend the combined vaccinations for Diphtheria, Tetanus, Polio, Whooping cough (coqueluche) and Haemophilus influenza.

The local or family doctor can advise on the recommended ages for these vaccinations.

Children's hospitals and emergencies

Most hospitals have a children's ward, but there are also hospitals in Zürich, Basel, Bern, Luzern and Geneva devoted entirely to children and their ailments.

Children's road safety

Children under the age of seven must be seated in the rear of the car and approved child seats are compulsory. Children aged seven to twelve must have seat belts and restraints adapted to their size whether travelling in the front or the back of the car. Children up to the age of 12 must be seated in approved child seats, unless they measure over 150cm. All passengers must wear seatbelts whatever their age.