When is is safe to have older kids in the front seat? - Mothering Forums
Family Safety > When is is safe to have older kids in the front seat?
pink gal's Avatar pink gal 02:23 PM 01-15-2009
In my state they say kids can ride in the front seat at 12, but my 12 yo DD is on the small side and I'm concerned about air bag safety.

Anyone know what height and weight are safe to ride in the front seat?

Labyrinth's Avatar Labyrinth 02:30 PM 01-15-2009
The front passenger seat is the most dangerous place for anyone. Add to that an airbag that is calibrated for the average adult male, then you have problems with having a child or small adult up there. If there's an available spot in the back where she can be properly restrained I'd rather see her riding back there. Many 12 year olds technically should still be in booster seats!
AnnieA's Avatar AnnieA 02:48 PM 01-15-2009
Current research suggests that kids should not ride in the front seat until they are 15 yrs old. It has nothing to do with the height or weight of the children but more to do with the fact that their bodies are chainging so rapidly due to puberty and the force from the airbag or a crash has different results on their bodies. See this link and this link. For the second link, click on "Boosters and Belt Fit" and then scroll to the bottom. You will see "The back seat is the safest part of the car for all passengers. Recent research shows that children should ride in the back seat until they reach age 15."

ETA: My DSC will not be riding in the front seat until they turn 15. The risks are greater than the benefits IMO.
Ruthla's Avatar Ruthla 03:36 PM 01-15-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnieA View Post
Current research suggests that kids should not ride in the front seat until they are 15 yrs old. It has nothing to do with the height or weight of the children but more to do with the fact that their bodies are chainging so rapidly due to puberty and the force from the airbag or a crash has different results on their bodies. See this link and this link. For the second link, click on "Boosters and Belt Fit" and then scroll to the bottom. You will see "The back seat is the safest part of the car for all passengers. Recent research shows that children should ride in the back seat until they reach age 15."

ETA: My DSC will not be riding in the front seat until they turn 15. The risks are greater than the benefits IMO.
I find it interesting that this rule has to do with "rapid growth" yet it doesn't distinguish between teen girls and teen boys. Many girls are finished growing by 14, while boys tend to stop growing much older. I was fully grown at 16, while my brother didn't stop growing until around 20. At age 15, I was nearly my adult size and growth had slowed down quite a bit. My brother was still waiting for his big growth spurt, which occured while he was already old enough to drive!

My general rule is that I won't allow teenagers in the front seat of my van unless the van is full and there are no other available seats. In those situations, the biggest or oldest teen goes in the front.
DahliaRW's Avatar DahliaRW 05:17 PM 01-15-2009
The most important thing with ANYONE sitting in front of the airbag is to sit back against the seat and NEVER lean forwards towards the dash. Most airbag injuries are when people are too close to the airbag when it deploys.
snoopy5386's Avatar snoopy5386 06:15 PM 01-15-2009
15 year olds can drive in many states with a permit. I wouldn't want a kid to go from sitting in the back to driving with no time in the passenger seat, just my opinion.
pink gal's Avatar pink gal 06:21 PM 01-15-2009
Thanks all for the information. I will definitely be keeping her in the back for quite a while longer.
roxyrox's Avatar roxyrox 06:39 PM 01-15-2009
I asked this a couple of weeks ago. The answer was once they are over 140cm because of the airbag(from adventuredad). However, since then I have been told it is safe to put a front facing child in the front seat as long as you slide the front seat back as far as it goes (and they are in an appropiate carseat/booster).On our govt. website it seems to say FF is not a risk with airbags the only danger with airbags is with RF children. It is very confusing....every country seems to have different rules!
Up