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This would make me a horrible mother, correct?

post #1 of 98
Thread Starter 
So, I'm looking for a reality check on something here- as in, the thought crossed my mind and then I thought "no, that's not safe", but since I brought it up with DH, it keeps coming up in conversation...

I'm pregnant with twins. They make kids 3 and 4. DS will be 10 1/2 yo when the twins are born and DD will be ~2. She is small, and will most certainly still be RF.

Here's the dilemma- buying a bigger car is so completely out of the budget that it isn't even funny. We have an older Subaru Outback, worth very little as a trade it bc of some serious body damage bc mommy can't parallel park , but it is a reliable, safe, working car. I believe we can get three seats across in the back, but that leaves DS. I am a SAHM. I can't imagine what I will do if I can't drive them all together, at least occasionally. We don't live in an area with public transit and we don't live in walking distance of really anything.

Would it be terrible-horrible-no-good to let DS ride in the front seat of the car if we all have to go somewhere together? It has passenger side AB, but I believe it can be turned off. My state has no law about how old for FS.

I know the recommend is at least 12. You can tell me I have super-silly-prego brain if you want, but I just don't know what to do here...
post #2 of 98
i think it would be fine. especially since you can turn the airbag off.
post #3 of 98
Honestly, since you can turn off the airbag, I think it's your best choice. Make sure he's in a belt positioning booster unless he can pass all the "proper fitting seatbelt" criteria. If he's not in one right now, he might not be happy about using one, but if you're going to have him up front, you need to maximize safety in every possible way.

FTR, I think the latest recommendations for the front seat are 14 years and older rather than 12. Even so, I think since buying a new car is out of the question, I would do the same thing.
post #4 of 98
At 10 1/2, since you really don't have any other choice, it's probably ok to let him sit up front. Especially if you turn the air bag off. Gotta do what you gotta do, right? And age doesn't mean much for size at that point... 12 year olds really vary in size and that's kinda the most important factor.
post #5 of 98
Actually, no you cannot turn the airbag off in a Subaru. I certainly wouldn't want to transport a 10 year old in the front seat, but I suppose it's your only option

And, just to clarify, it's age AND size that contribute to the safety of the front seat. A full size adult is more likely to both fit the seatbelt properly and have the air bag strike them properly, whereas a kid is going to have the airbag hit them in the face, and a kid's bones are not fully ossified, meaning both they are more susceptible to submarining under the lap belt and being injured from intrusion.
post #6 of 98
I would not be comfortable with that arrangement. We follow the current recommendations that children should not be in the front seat before age 15. If I were in your situation, I would be looking for a cheap minivan. I think you should be able to find a mid-90s Caravan for around 2K, especially if you have auto auctions near you. We have a dealership that does a weekly auto auction that's open to the public and I'm certain I could find a decent minivan for under 2K there.
post #7 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnieA View Post
children should not be in the front seat before age 15..
Okay, really? I mean really?

How, as parents, do we justify that one year they are not old enough to even sit in the front, but the next year they are old enough to do the driving - presumably from the front seat I might add.

If the children are relegated to the back seat for soooo long how are they even going to learn how to drive? They learn over time by watching us and being able to observe traffic patterns and how cars switch lanes and move and interact. (not to mention other important things, like directions and landmarks)

When I am in the backseat I can't see anything: directions, how the stick shift works, where the keys go, how far ahead you have to start breaking so as not to hit the car in front. These are things our future drivers should know before they start driving with drivers ed.

While I can agree children shouldn't be in the front, these are teenagers and older children we are talking about. There is NO WAY I can justify keeping my DSD, who at 14 is 8 inches taller than me and who gets her permit in 2 months, out of the front seat.

OP, I think you will be fine. Relax.
post #8 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jessnet View Post
Okay, really? I mean really?

How, as parents, do we justify that one year they are not old enough to even sit in the front, but the next year they are old enough to do the driving - presumably from the front seat I might add.

If the children are relegated to the back seat for soooo long how are they even going to learn how to drive? They learn over time by watching us and being able to observe traffic patterns and how cars switch lanes and move and interact. (not to mention other important things, like directions and landmarks)

When I am in the backseat I can't see anything: directions, how the stick shift works, where the keys go, how far ahead you have to start breaking so as not to hit the car in front. These are things our future drivers should know before they start driving with drivers ed.

While I can agree children shouldn't be in the front, these are teenagers and older children we are talking about. There is NO WAY I can justify keeping my DSD, who at 14 is 8 inches taller than me and who gets her permit in 2 months, out of the front seat.

OP, I think you will be fine. Relax.
I totally agree. I am pretty sure the recommendation is to wait until age 12, but it also depends on the size of the child. I know some 10 year olds that look like they are the size of a 12 year old or older! I also know some 10 year olds (myself included when I was young) are tiny little things. I would double check with the law in your state (i think most it's 12) and then go from there.
post #9 of 98
If you have an exceptionally large ten year old, then yes. If not, no way.
post #10 of 98
10 1/2? I think he'll be fine (unless you're parallel parking LOL).

I don't think I'd ever trade a Subaru for a minivan. Ever.
post #11 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jessnet View Post
Okay, really? I mean really?

How, as parents, do we justify that one year they are not old enough to even sit in the front, but the next year they are old enough to do the driving - presumably from the front seat I might add.

If the children are relegated to the back seat for soooo long how are they even going to learn how to drive? They learn over time by watching us and being able to observe traffic patterns and how cars switch lanes and move and interact. (not to mention other important things, like directions and landmarks)

When I am in the backseat I can't see anything: directions, how the stick shift works, where the keys go, how far ahead you have to start breaking so as not to hit the car in front. These are things our future drivers should know before they start driving with drivers ed.

While I can agree children shouldn't be in the front, these are teenagers and older children we are talking about. There is NO WAY I can justify keeping my DSD, who at 14 is 8 inches taller than me and who gets her permit in 2 months, out of the front seat.

OP, I think you will be fine. Relax.
I 100% agree. At the age of 10, there are kids who are starting to reach heights taller than adults. By 14 or 15, most boys are taller than me at least, and approaching heights that put them as tall as most adults. Honestly, if an airbag is not safe enough for teens to sit in the front seat with, who are for the most part at least as tall as smaller adults, how can an airbag even be considered safe for an adult?
post #12 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by happysmileylady View Post
I 100% agree. At the age of 10, there are kids who are starting to reach heights taller than adults. By 14 or 15, most boys are taller than me at least, and approaching heights that put them as tall as most adults. Honestly, if an airbag is not safe enough for teens to sit in the front seat with, who are for the most part at least as tall as smaller adults, how can an airbag even be considered safe for an adult?
Because it's not just about size, it's about age as well. While yes size is a factor (I'm only 5 feet tall and very uncomfortable with airbags for me in some cars with the way they are positioned.) age is important because teenagers bones aren't as well developed.
post #13 of 98
I would put the seat back as far is possibly could go and see about the cost of having a mechanic deactivate the passenger side airbag if it at all possible. Sometimes we have to do what we have to do even though it may not meet the textbook standards of what is absolute best practise.

If we were talking about a 2 year old or a 4 year old, I would not be at all comfortable with that arrangement.

I'm not sure if it's safer or not, but would it be better to keep the 10 y/o in the back and put your 2 year old rearfacing in the front seat with the seat back as far as it could go? Hopefully a carseat tech will chime in on that.
post #14 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchycanadian View Post
Because it's not just about size, it's about age as well. While yes size is a factor (I'm only 5 feet tall and very uncomfortable with airbags for me in some cars with the way they are positioned.) age is important because teenagers bones aren't as well developed.
I am sorry, but I simply can't believe that airbag is SO much more deadly for a 5'2" 14 year old than it is for a 5'2" adult like myself, or that it's going to be THAT much safer in 2 years when that same 14 year old turns 16 and begins driving herself. Not to mention...at 5'2", as I am sure you know, being of similar height yourself, I have to sit WAY closer to the steering wheel, just to reach the gas and brake, than my teen sits in relation to the dashboard that the airbag there comes out of.

Also, I am not sure that I buy the idea that a teen's bones at 14 are that much less developed than an adults. There are girls that actually stop growing at that age. Females often reach their adult size as a teen. I reached 5'2" at age 15, and that was it. In fact, except for a change in hair style, and perhaps a few wrinkles around the eyes, I look almost exactly the same as I did in high school. And again, even if it IS the case that the bones are THAT much less developed, how much development is going to occur in the year or two that brings on driving.

If my airbag in the steering wheel of my van ever went off, it would kill me. I am sure of it. I am 36 wks pg right now and having a REALLY hard time driving because my belly is touching the bottom of the steering wheel, that's how close I have to sit. Any further back and I cannot properly reach the pedals to hit the brakes or gas safely. However, my 14 year old, who is also 5'2", can and does sit with the seat as far back as it can go. When you combine that with the fact that the dashboard is already farther back that the steering wheel and I believe my dd would be 100% safe. I would not.

Honestly, I think airbags are more dangerous than they are safety devices. They are designed with the average adult in mind, and they don't take into account the fact that adults have a range of sizes that is well over TWO FEET in difference. I know adults who are only 4'8". I know adults who are over 6'8". There is no way that the airbag can be safer for both of them than no airbag at all.
post #15 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by pumpkinhead View Post

I'm not sure if it's safer or not, but would it be better to keep the 10 y/o in the back and put your 2 year old rearfacing in the front seat with the seat back as far as it could go? Hopefully a carseat tech will chime in on that.
A rear-facing seat can NOT go in a seat with an airbag, so unless the airbag is deactivated (unlikely anyone would do so, it's illegal) the seat must be used by a ff child.

-Angela
post #16 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by pumpkinhead View Post

I'm not sure if it's safer or not, but would it be better to keep the 10 y/o in the back and put your 2 year old rearfacing in the front seat with the seat back as far as it could go? Hopefully a carseat tech will chime in on that.
If the airbag was deactivated (Not by a sensor, but by an actual switch that takes a key or your car dealership disabled it) then yes, but with an airbag it is very very dangerous for a rearfacing seat to be in the front seat. 100% a no no.

Quote:
Originally Posted by happysmileylady View Post
I am sorry, but I simply can't believe that airbag is SO much more deadly for a 5'2" 14 year old than it is for a 5'2" adult like myself, or that it's going to be THAT much safer in 2 years when that same 14 year old turns 16 and begins driving herself. Not to mention...at 5'2", as I am sure you know, being of similar height yourself, I have to sit WAY closer to the steering wheel, just to reach the gas and brake, than my teen sits in relation to the dashboard that the airbag there comes out of.

Also, I am not sure that I buy the idea that a teen's bones at 14 are that much less developed than an adults. There are girls that actually stop growing at that age. Females often reach their adult size as a teen. I reached 5'2" at age 15, and that was it. In fact, except for a change in hair style, and perhaps a few wrinkles around the eyes, I look almost exactly the same as I did in high school. And again, even if it IS the case that the bones are THAT much less developed, how much development is going to occur in the year or two that brings on driving.

If my airbag in the steering wheel of my van ever went off, it would kill me. I am sure of it. I am 36 wks pg right now and having a REALLY hard time driving because my belly is touching the bottom of the steering wheel, that's how close I have to sit. Any further back and I cannot properly reach the pedals to hit the brakes or gas safely. However, my 14 year old, who is also 5'2", can and does sit with the seat as far back as it can go. When you combine that with the fact that the dashboard is already farther back that the steering wheel and I believe my dd would be 100% safe. I would not.

Honestly, I think airbags are more dangerous than they are safety devices. They are designed with the average adult in mind, and they don't take into account the fact that adults have a range of sizes that is well over TWO FEET in difference. I know adults who are only 4'8". I know adults who are over 6'8". There is no way that the airbag can be safer for both of them than no airbag at all.
Actually, I do not drive. I am not comfortable driving so I don't have my license. I'm not arguing whether airbags are safe for adults or not, I'm telling you that a ten year old is not as safe as a 16 year old in the front seat, and that yes the reccomendation for 15 does have reasons behind it. If you choose to ignore that for your children, go ahead, but as a tech I am going to make sure to point it out.
post #17 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by hollytheteacher View Post
I totally agree. I am pretty sure the recommendation is to wait until age 12, but it also depends on the size of the child. I know some 10 year olds that look like they are the size of a 12 year old or older! I also know some 10 year olds (myself included when I was young) are tiny little things. I would double check with the law in your state (i think most it's 12) and then go from there.
actually, the laws are generally way more lax than the safety standards. my state has no minimum age for the front seat. a child can ride home from the hospital in the front, so long as they are in a seat. and my state only requires a seat until age 4. TBH, i think a parent could use a booster at 12 mos and get away with satisfiying the bare minimum.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pumpkinhead View Post
I'm not sure if it's safer or not, but would it be better to keep the 10 y/o in the back and put your 2 year old rearfacing in the front seat with the seat back as far as it could go? Hopefully a carseat tech will chime in on that.
NO! no RF seat in front of an airbag. that's like newborn carseat rules 101.


OP, you seem to have no choice, other than getting the cheapest 3 row car you can find. not ideal, but not illegal. put your 10yo ds in a booster, push the seat back as far from the dash as possible (if you have 3 rf seats you probably wont get it back all the way...you could FF the 2yo behind the passenger seat, but again, thats a huge compromise) and keep your eyes peeled for a cheap minivan.
post #18 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnieA View Post
I would not be comfortable with that arrangement. We follow the current recommendations that children should not be in the front seat before age 15.
My how things have changed...I had a driver's license and my own car when I was 15.
post #19 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by jammomma View Post
My how things have changed...I had a driver's license and my own car when I was 15.
Me too.
post #20 of 98
Wow, you can get your drivers learner permit here at age 14... I thought the age was 12 also, never heard 15 before. Especially when my 4 brothers were all over 5'6 by the time they were 12!
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