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This would make me a horrible mother, correct? - Page 2

post #21 of 98
Last I checked, in my state teens learn to drive in driver's ed classes and by many REQUIRED hours of driving with their parents and a driving school. They would NEVER be allowed to start driving simply because they had sat in the front seat of a vehicle for a period of time. Also, the next time you are in your vehicle, flip down your visor. I'm fairly certain it will tell you to keep children 12 and under in the back seat.

Links to current recs to reasoning for keeping 13 and 14 year olds in the back seat.

http://www.news-medical.net/news/2005/06/06/10711.aspx

http://www.carseat.org/ Check out the 5-step test link and read the last sentence of the flyer.

Finally, the reasoning that when we were children it was reasonable that a 15 yr old had their own car and was driving does not hold water. When I was child it was perfectly reasonable for my mother to let me ride in the front seat w/out a car seat when I was a toddler. That doesn't make it o.k. for me to do that now.
post #22 of 98
I'm a horribe mother b/c I also have a subaru outback and 4 children. For the rare occasion that I have to transport all four together (like, they missed the bus), I let DD, age 9.5 weighing 90 lbs - similar to a 12 yo - sit in the front seat. We haven't driven further than the 2 miles (on dirt roads going 20-25 mph) to their school. It's not ideal, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. Highway driving or frequent outings? I wouldn't be comfortable with it... but I dunno about you, but with four young children, I don't like to go anywhere by myself with all of them anyhow - I can't imagine if 2 were twin newborns. Our family vehicle seats 7, so that's what we use for evenings and weekends. We have only done the front seat thing a handful of times.

FWIW, I can't imagine not letting a 14 yr old sit in the front seat - and I certainly wouldn't want a 15 or 16 yr old getting a permit and then license after having been a back seat 'driver' for their whole life. I do understand it is safer - just as it's safer for an adult, too.
post #23 of 98
I agree w PPs on a few things:

NEVER put a RF child w an airbag-- never-- it is a suspended death sentence.

Putting your ds in front is really your only logisticly possible option in which he is still buckled rather than on the floor of the back seat! So do not guilt yourself over it, and don't let anyone else do so.

Sheesh, I thought we could support each other on here, and help find the best possible choices. The OP has no other choices, so let's not shame and guilt her-- she's trying to do the best thing for all her kiddos.

BTW-- within the last year, I began letting my 11 yo ride in the front seat when he pointed out that he was already physically bigger, ie both taller and heavier, than I was when I got my DL! He was right!

blessings, mama, and congrats on the babies!
post #24 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnieA View Post
Finally, the reasoning that when we were children it was reasonable that a 15 yr old had their own car and was driving does not hold water. When I was child it was perfectly reasonable for my mother to let me ride in the front seat w/out a car seat when I was a toddler. That doesn't make it o.k. for me to do that now.
I don't think that is an accurate comparison at all. I was the same height/weight at 15 as 16, 17, 18...and today as a 37 year old, I am the exact same height and only 5 lbs heavier than I was when I got my license at the age of 15. (5'1", 110lbs) So if it wasn't reasonable for me to drive (or even ride in the front seat) back then, I suppose I should inform my hubby that he is our family chauffeur now, since it isn't reasonable for me to be in the front.
post #25 of 98
I weighed 100 lbs (5'5") when I got my license. Just 10 more pounds than my DD weighs currently. I hadn't thought of that until now.
post #26 of 98
Sounds like a good solution to me. I would check with the dealership about getting the airbag turned off and I would put the 2 year old (rf but upright) behind the passenger seat so that he can sit farther back.
post #27 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamieCole View Post
I don't think that is an accurate comparison at all. I was the same height/weight at 15 as 16, 17, 18...and today as a 37 year old, I am the exact same height and only 5 lbs heavier than I was when I got my license at the age of 15. (5'1", 110lbs) So if it wasn't reasonable for me to drive (or even ride in the front seat) back then, I suppose I should inform my hubby that he is our family chauffeur now, since it isn't reasonable for me to be in the front.
Perhaps you should read the article I linked to.

"In addition, the study showed age may be a better indicator of risk than height or weight. Several body changes during puberty, such as muscle mass, bone density and bone mineral content, may help explain why body size isn't a good measurement of risk in children."
post #28 of 98
No, I did not read the article.
I completely understand the issues of bone density, etc. in regard to age. But for that to be a valid argument, there is nothing magical that happens between the age of 15 and 16. Or 17. It would seem that the safe driving/riding in front seat age should be 18 or 20, in that case. And along the same line of thinking, older adults should refrain from being in the front of a vehicle as well, due to osteoporosis.

All passengers, regardless of age, would be safer ride rear-facing, in the back seat, in 5-point harnesses and only men, between the ages of 21 and 45 who are at least 6'0" tall should drive. The reality is that, for most of us, that isn't possible.
post #29 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnieA View Post
Finally, the reasoning that when we were children it was reasonable that a 15 yr old had their own car and was driving does not hold water. When I was child it was perfectly reasonable for my mother to let me ride in the front seat w/out a car seat when I was a toddler. That doesn't make it o.k. for me to do that now.
Children are currently allowed to drive at age 15. At least here they are...
post #30 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by lazzybee View Post

I don't think I'd ever trade a Subaru for a minivan. Ever.
I agree...wait...we own an auto repair shop...

YES, yes! That is a terrific idea, trade that Subaru in and let me give you our number! (we just planned a vacation and could use some extra income)

LOL!

Seriously, though, if finances are a concern, as it sounds like they are, I would recommend sticking with your reliable Subaru over a 20 year old, unknown, only able to sell at auction, minivan in a heartbeat. There is no telling what would be wrong with it (notice I said "would be" not "could be").
post #31 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnieA View Post
They would NEVER be allowed to start driving simply because they had sat in the front seat of a vehicle for a period of time.
Uhh...Even though the parents are in the car and they have attended Drivers Ed they are still the ones driving, are they not? There is always going to be a "first time" behind the wheel moment and during that moment we can hope textbooks helped and we can oversee all we want from the passengers side while they are "practicing", but they are the one who has their foot on the gas and brake, right? They need the instincts that only watching and feeling for extended periods of time can do. My little sister was stuck in the back of the van, by virtue of her age, the longest. I just took her out for a driving lesson, she has had ALL the required Driver's Ed education, but she got behind the wheel for the first time and panicked. We were turning onto a road and she started screaming "Which side of the yellow line should I be on!" - this is a question I think that could have been adverted if she had had the benifit of a front seat view and she would automatically know such things without thinking. I am the oldest, and always got the front, and can tell you I never asked that question when I started driving.

Because After all, unless we all retrofit our cars with the extra brake pedal, all we can do is scream and cover our eyes while they are in the drivers seat learning. Let's give them as many advantages as we can, for their sake and oursFurthermore, here in the lone star state kids don't have to go to driver's ed, the state accepts "parent instructed" driving time in place of official formal instruction.


ALSO,
"Several body changes during puberty"

Aren't 15 year olds almost done,if not already done, with puberty. I thought puberty was younger and younger these day, like around 9!
post #32 of 98
Teenagers may look like adults with body hair and breasts and other secondary sex characteristics, but their bones are not like those of adults. A 5'1" 105# 30yo is safer in the front seat in front of an airbag (and NHTSA will not grant an airbag waiver for a child in the front seat) than a 5'5" 130# 12yo.

It is not best practice to put a 10yo in the front seat, regardless of size. It just is not. But not being able to follow best practice does not make a mother horrible.

Subarus are very safe cars. I think I'd rather see a 10yo in the front seat of a Subaru than in the back seat of a 1990s minivan.
post #33 of 98
Random question but, what are you going to do if you want to go somewhere as a whole family (i.e. with DH???)
post #34 of 98
Quote:
I don't think I'd ever trade a Subaru for a minivan. Ever.
for sure. a subaru is a much safer and reliable vehicle than most minivans.

is there a law in some places that says teens can't ride in the front seat until 15? here kids get driving permits at 14 but obviously laws vary from state to state/country to country.
post #35 of 98
I don't think there is a law anywhere that you have to be 15.

I also think part of issue around this debate we have to remember is the fact that front seat holds a social value in our society - it's a place reserved for adult status and adult conversation - and the physical aspects of teenagers make it a great way to defend the front seat from them.

Because I think it is pretty telling that some posters refer to well-advanced teenagers (15+) as "children". They're not children - they're teenagers. *Maybe* their bones are not like adults, but neither are the bones of the elderly. And would you *ever* have a conversation with grandma saying, "Sorry mums, but your bones are more brittle than mine so off into the back seat you go! Hope you enjoy not being able to converse with me and listen to the squealing of the little ones!"

(And, yes, we do have medical power of attorney over my grandma and are held accountable for her safety- just like a child - and we still would never ask her to sit in the back even if its safer)
post #36 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnieA View Post
http://www.carseat.org/ Check out the 5-step test link and read the last sentence of the flyer.
Ah, but my NINE year old passes this test in our older Subaru wagon. And he's 70 lbs. dripping wet. I can't imagine he'll hit 100 lbs. anytime in the next few years. Yes, he's tall for his age, but he's not a looming giant, just in the 95th percentile. Luckily, we're in a position to not have to put him in the front seat.



Quote:
Originally Posted by babygrey View Post
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.
It looks to me like your options are:
1. Spend money that don't have to buy a bigger car (that's probably not as reliable).
2. Don't ever go anywhere with all 4 kids.
3. Take public transportation with infant twins and 2 other kids.
4. Put your son in the front seat.
5. Strap your son to the roof? Put him in the way back where there are no seat belts? (OK, I'm kidding on that one.)

It's not an enviable set of choices. You can't put 4 kids in the backseat of a Subaru. So, you're really asking: Should you blow the budget or put your 10 1/2 year old in the front seat?

I would think about how big your son is in relation to other kids his age. If he's really small, I'd be more nervous. If not, I'd ask the mechanic to turn off your airbag, start saving your pennies for a bigger car.
post #37 of 98
It is illegal for mechanics to disable airbags without a waiver from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It is very very very unlikely that NHTSA would grant a waiver for a 10.5yo in the front seat. Even with a legitimate waiver, many mechanics still won't disable airbags for liability reasons.
post #38 of 98
You have no option but to put the 10 yo in the front. That doesn't make you a terrible mother, sure, it's less than ideal, but we do the best we can, and this is your best option. And, in fact, your three across car seat combo is going to be a PITA too! It's really difficult to do three across in Subaru's. If you had a 4 year old in a forward facing harness, the general recommendation would be that that child goes in the front in the harness, as far away from the airbag as possible. I know it's hard to see for people who don't work in injury prevention, but it really is about bone density, etc. not just weight and height, which is why this becomes a debate for a lot of people. Most cars actually have warnings on the passenger seat visor about keeping kids in the back through age 12. The bottom line though, is that we do the best we can, and your best option is the 10 year old in front with the seat as far back as possible. Please do not every put a rear facing seat in front of an active airbag, that is far more risky than the 10 year old in front!
post #39 of 98
Just another vote for 'no kids in the front seat till 15' being absolutely ludicrous. You can arguey all you like about how its not 'as safe' as for adults to ride up front, but there is definetly something to be said for learning to drive and see how cars interact, map reading/navigation/etc. I remember driving long distances w/ my mom and riding up front from ~10 yrs on and being the official navigator when we went somewhere. How can you navigate from the back seat? And if you can't ask your kid to navigate from the back seat, then you have to do it yourself. And sometimes, thats just not safe either.
post #40 of 98
I hadn't head the "15" rule, but for sure I wouldn't put a kid up front until 13 or so without absolutely no other option.
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