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Front Seat Question

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

I have  Honda Element, so two seats in the back. I have a 2 year old and a 6.5 year old, so two carseats in the back.  DS1 is 87 pounds and close to 4.5 feet tall. We are going to the pool this weekend and want to invite his friend whose mom will be at work, so i'll need to be able to drive him. The pool is maybe 1/2 mile from our house.  Can my son ride in the front seat in his high back booster if i turn my side airbag off??  If it too risky or not legal (i'm in NY state), we'll just have his friend come to the house to play. TIA!!

post #2 of 14

It's not illegal.   Push the vehicle seat all the way back, and I'd consider removing the back from the high back booster to allow him to be that much further from the front of the car and the air bag.  

post #3 of 14

I wouldn't risk it but we follow the current guideline of not going in the front seat until a child is 15 at our house.

post #4 of 14

That certainly is the best approach.  I cringe when I see people allowing their pre-teen child to ride up front willy nilly, irrespective of available seating in the back.   

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnieA View Post

I wouldn't risk it but we follow the current guideline of not going in the front seat until a child is 15 at our house.



 

post #5 of 14

1/2 a mile - could you not walk to the pool?

post #6 of 14

They're in NY state.  Walking to and from a pool in NY in January for half a mile may range from impractical to dangerous to physically impossible depending on how far north they are. winky.gif

post #7 of 14

Why 15 out of curiosity?  You can get a learner's permit here at 14 and I want my kids to have front seat time before then to gain familiarity with driving.

post #8 of 14

Because the most recent study showed a surprising and alarming rise in serious injuries and fatalities in 13-15 year olds in the front passenger seat compared to kids 16-18.   From that CHOP recommended the back seat until 15. 

post #9 of 14

I'm curious what age has to do with it.  As everyone around here knows, 12 mos doesn't mean anything when it comes to turning from RF to FF, and the recommendation ranges from 2-5 years depending on who you're talking to.  Manufacturers base everything off weight and height rather than age, since growth is so variable, it's a more reliable marker.  So I've really been wondering lately what does age have to do with it?  And if you remove the variable of age, what is the recommended size to ride in the front seat? 

post #10 of 14
Maedze correct me if I'm wrong but my understanding is that the theory is that due to hormonal changes during that time period, children's skeletal structures are not able to withstand the same amount of force, even if they are the same size as an adult.
post #11 of 14

Hmmm, I'm not sure where the confusion is coming from, because age has EVERYTHING to do with it.   No matter how big or small someone is, there are things that are not safe based on age (for example, a child turning forward facing at the 12 month mark.)  

 

The reason that manufacturers base things off height and weight is because that is how they have to test the car seats.  It's not whether it's 'safe' to turn forward at 30 lbs.  It's how much weight the seat can tolerate in the rear facing position without risk of over rotation and head injury.   

A 30 lb 2 year old is no safer forward facing than a 25 lb forward facing two year old.   And no LESS safe than a 40 lb forward facing two year old.  

Children need to remain rear facing until their cervical spinal vertebrae have fused from three cartilaginous pieces into one bony structure.  This takes TIME.  I.E. age.  Most kids have fused cervical vertebrae by roughly the 4th birthday.  However, some kids are as early as three, and some kids are later than four.  Since we can't take our kids in every six months for a spinal MRI, the advice is to keep them rear facing as long as possible.  

Age has EVERYTHING to do with the rates of survival in an accident.  The very young and the very elderly are less able to tolerate the extreme forces of a crash.   A younger teen is less able to handle the more serious crash forces in the front seat (most accidents are frontal impacts), so we keep them as far away from the point of impact as possible until their skeletal structures have mature (due to age) to the point they are better able to withstand crash forces. 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cristeen View Post

I'm curious what age has to do with it.  As everyone around here knows, 12 mos doesn't mean anything when it comes to turning from RF to FF, and the recommendation ranges from 2-5 years depending on who you're talking to.  Manufacturers base everything off weight and height rather than age, since growth is so variable, it's a more reliable marker.  So I've really been wondering lately what does age have to do with it?  And if you remove the variable of age, what is the recommended size to ride in the front seat? 



 

post #12 of 14

Agree that age is the determining factor for safety (forward-facing, front seat, etc.).

 

Carseats have to have height and weight limits. That's how they're tested.  But I'd be fine with a 37#  7yo in a booster, but never a 37#  2yo.  Conversely, that 37# 2yo needs to be rear-facing just as much as a 23# 2yo.  Age matters.  Size doesn't, as long as the child is within the carseat limits.

 

Size is absolutely not a reliable marker when it comes to skeletal maturity.

post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maedze View Post

They're in NY state.  Walking to and from a pool in NY in January for half a mile may range from impractical to dangerous to physically impossible depending on how far north they are. winky.gif



No walking!!! It would require me to walk in 2 feet of snow and ice on the busiest (lots of parking lots, fast food places) street in our town and crossing 6 lanes of traffic with a 2 year old, 6 year old and 7 year old! Far riskier than the front seat! i have decided not to take either chance and am swapping cars with my mom for the day, which has 3 seats across the back!

post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boodah'smama View Post



No walking!!! It would require me to walk in 2 feet of snow and ice on the busiest (lots of parking lots, fast food places) street in our town and crossing 6 lanes of traffic with a 2 year old, 6 year old and 7 year old! Far riskier than the front seat! i have decided not to take either chance and am swapping cars with my mom for the day, which has 3 seats across the back!



thumbsup.gif Sounds like a good plan mama!

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