big kids in front seat - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 24 Old 04-07-2006, 08:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My 11 yo is desperate to be in the front seat. Guidelines I see have said "over 12 years old," which I've admitted to him is silly, because kids can be all over the map at 12, size-wise, and this is obviously a size issue. OK, partly developmental too? Anyway, that means THIRTEEN years old before he sits in front. I simply can't survive that long, if he continues to ask and plead at this rate.

Unfortunately, he's on the smaller side for his age. What have you heard for size guidelines? When let your kids ride in front with airbags? I've googled like crazy, and for all the guides out there for carseat use, there isn't much for putting kids in front.
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#2 of 24 Old 04-07-2006, 09:18 AM
 
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My daughter started sitting up front within the last year. She was eleven at that point, and 5'1" and around 100 pounds. When you look at her size, she's probably bigger than a lot of petite women.

Girls usually hit that growth spurt before boys though, so I'm not sure when I'd let my son sit up front.
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#3 of 24 Old 04-07-2006, 09:47 AM
 
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Well my mom is 5 feet and has to disable the air bag whenever she is in the car or it will kill her. It is going to be tough and he is going to put up a fight, but I wouldn't do it, unless you can disable the airbag. Then you have to decide if you feel comfortable with him without an air bag for protection.
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#4 of 24 Old 04-07-2006, 11:04 AM
 
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Sitting in the front seat cuts down your protection from being in a car by 1/3, that's for anyone, not just kids and that's w/ or w/out an airbag. The backseat is ALWAYS safer as long as you have lap and shoulder belts back there. Also, if you do have an airbag, keep in mind those deploy at about 200mph. I personally wouldn't do it as long as there is a way to keep him safe in the back, but that's up to you.

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#5 of 24 Old 04-07-2006, 11:11 AM
 
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My 11 yr old is about my same size (I'm a little woman) and it always worries me that a 12 year old isn't supposed to sit up front, but most 12 year olds are bigger than me and I sit up front.
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#6 of 24 Old 04-07-2006, 01:09 PM
 
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My DD is almost 12 but is taller than me (which isn't saying much) I let her sit in the front seat occasionally. It is so hard but like you said the rule is a little crazy and should go by height more
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#7 of 24 Old 04-07-2006, 01:25 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Itlbokay
My 11 yr old is about my same size (I'm a little woman) and it always worries me that a 12 year old isn't supposed to sit up front, but most 12 year olds are bigger than me and I sit up front.
Exactly--there are plenty of 12 year old boys who are bigger than me. I don't understand the rule at all. I would recommend adjusting the seat as far back as it goes so the child is not too close to the airbag.
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#8 of 24 Old 04-07-2006, 05:50 PM
 
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I think the age recommendation is crazy, as PP's have stated, there are kids bigger than adults at those ages. I have heard 5' if you have airbags, 4'9" without. I went with the 4'9" (my kids are 5' and 4'10"-and we don't have passenger side airbags), but most of the time they like sitting in the back entertaining our toddler anyways (go figure).
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#9 of 24 Old 04-07-2006, 05:54 PM
 
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My neice always sits up front with me. She is as tall as I am and she is 12. I am only 5 feet tall. I just don't see the reasoning to her sitting in the back. Besides, when I drive the truck, she has to sit up front because it only seats four and there are usually two boys in the back.
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#10 of 24 Old 04-07-2006, 05:56 PM
 
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As a general rule, I don't allow children to ride in the front seat- just as I wouldn't allow my 4yo to ride without his carseat.

However, I have a Honda Civic- it seats 3 in the back and 2 in the front (airbag only on the driver's side.) If I have to go somewhere and I have a 4th child visiting, I'll allow one of the bigger kids to sit up front- I usually select the child who's the largest, but if they're all around the same size I'll let them choose. When it's just the 4 of us, they sit in back, period.

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#11 of 24 Old 04-07-2006, 06:20 PM
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I think it would be better if they gave a hieght and weight guideline for kids sititng in the front seat, don't you? But as it is, I thought they were suppose to be about 5 feet and over 80 pounds although I am not a 100%. It's gotta be in that ballpark though. Is there a way you can disable the airbag. Some cars let you do that.

I hear you on the begging part. I did let in once dd hit 11 yrs- she was probably tall enough and if she wasn't so lean, she'd had been weight-wise ok too.
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#12 of 24 Old 04-07-2006, 08:51 PM
 
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While the back seat is certainly safER, the front'seat thing as i understand it has more to do with height in terms of how and where the airbag deploys...I am also just barely 5 foot, and short-torsoed at that, so I am a LOT shorter than MOST 12 year olds i know....

We do not have airbags in our front at all (older car), and when we have EVERYONE with us, we have to sit 3 in back AND 3 in front (there are 3 seat belts, it is a "shelf" type front seat, not buckets, lol!) SO, one kid is up front with dh and I.......until we get a mini-van, we have no other choice....

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#13 of 24 Old 04-08-2006, 12:23 AM
 
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I heard somewhere (can't remember where) that if your car has airbags that can't be disabled, your child needs to sit in the back seat until he/she is of driving age (15-16). Not because of height or weight, but because or bone density. Their bones aren't strong enough to handle the kind of impact an airbag can give.
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#14 of 24 Old 04-12-2006, 11:29 AM
 
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I realize this thread is a couple of days old...but I didn't realize that short people were at so much risk. My 16 year old daughter is only 4'11 and probably won't be growing much more. I am 5'2. Is the airbags a risk to us? I don't know if ours can be disabled. My daughter was in a fender-bender accident with my husband when she was 13 and was in the front seat. She had a slight bruise from the airbag, but the docs told us she would have been much worse without the airbag since the windshield was smashed, it was a hard collision from the back into a car in front of them.
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#15 of 24 Old 04-12-2006, 11:37 AM
 
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I can relate to the size issues.

My almost 10 yo is 5' and over 100lbs already. (!)

I think I read though that the issue with kids is that their bones are soft or not fully developed so it's really dangerous for them.

At least I think that's what I read.
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#16 of 24 Old 04-15-2006, 12:05 PM
 
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The guidline is 4'9 and 90 pounds. This is only a guideline. The safest place for kids (everyone) is the backseat...although hard to drive from back there! Whats most important when riding in the front seat is to be properly seatbelted and as far back from the airbag as possible. Like I said, it is only a reccommendation, check with your local police dept. about actual laws in your area concerning this.
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#17 of 24 Old 04-15-2006, 12:35 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Earthy Mama
I heard somewhere (can't remember where) that if your car has airbags that can't be disabled, your child needs to sit in the back seat until he/she is of driving age (15-16). Not because of height or weight, but because or bone density. Their bones aren't strong enough to handle the kind of impact an airbag can give.
I heard this same thing, but I don't remember where either!
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#18 of 24 Old 04-16-2006, 09:29 PM
 
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As long as i can manage it, right now we have 5 kids and a minivan that seats 5 in the back, all kids go in the back. this is a non discussion point.
somethings like SAFETY are NOT NEGOTIABLE. we are starting to research vehicle option for when i have the baby in the fall. odds are one person will not be going anywhere with 6 kids so again ALL KIDS IN BACK.

everything i have read and see says kids 12 and under need to be in the backseat...

why does he want to sit in the front? to be closer to the radio controls? does he want to control the A/c heater?

when someone starts giving me lip about not wanting to sit in the back they can stay home if DH is here, otherwise we just dont go anywhere, usually peer pressure from the others gets the 'loose cannon' under control.

our family opinion right now is ADULTS and Parents are in the front, kids in the back.
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#19 of 24 Old 04-17-2006, 11:28 AM
 
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The rule in our family is that you must be at least 100 lbs. and 5 ft. tall to sit in front. So far, my oldest two reached this point at about age 10.5...the youngest is only 8 so he has a way to go. I make sure the passenger seat in front is always moved back as far as it will go to get it far away from the airbags.

My MIL is only about 4'10" and under 100 lbs. She had pedal extenders installed so that she can be further back from the airbags in her car. They really are not safe for small people.
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#20 of 24 Old 04-17-2006, 11:57 AM
 
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It's incredibly difficult to have a conversation between the front and back seats (especially the far back seat) in a minivan. Could that be the reason he wants to move to the front? Just sheer frustration at not being able to hear what's going on? Cars are somewhat better, but can still be horribly aggravating.
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#21 of 24 Old 04-17-2006, 01:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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That could be part of it, but he spends most driving time reading or drawing. He says it's about space - that the back feels more confining. I totally get that.
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#22 of 24 Old 04-18-2006, 09:53 AM
 
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Well, we have revised our seating situation after this thread...100 pounds AND 5' is our new rule (DD has made the 5' but not the 100 pounds). Granted, we purchased a new car with passenger side airbags too, thus the new decision.
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#23 of 24 Old 04-18-2006, 11:10 AM
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My oldest has been riding up front since she as about 6 or so. Back then the laws didn't require her to be in back or in a booster. But then when she was about 8 I made her ride in back for like a year. At some point in the last few years the law changed and I was violating it because DD was too big for booster seats. She was bigger then many adults LOL. In most cases age has very little to do with being safe in a car. I personally go by size. My 9 yo is still kid sized so she rides in the back.

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#24 of 24 Old 04-18-2006, 11:48 AM
 
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I was in the front seat as soon as I moved into a booster seat from a five point harness about 4. But this was in small english cars with no airbags and less of a change of crashing into a minivan or huge jeep like car (which are common in the US, but not in England where old cities mean narrow streets). However whenever I visited family in CA, I wasn't allowed in the front due to airbags and such, until I reached my adult aunt's height. The argument of shes an adult and is big enough so why am I too small to go in the front meant that people caved.
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