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Children in front seat of cars

(69 Posts)
LayMeDown Fri 14-Mar-14 12:00:50

DD is 7 and tall for her age. She sits in a high back booster. Very occassionnaly when it is just the 2 of us going somewhere I move her booster into the passenger seat and she sits beside me so we can have a good natter.
It has caused a couple of raised eyebrows but I can't see why it is any different from her being in the back? AIBU?

littlebluedog12 Fri 14-Mar-14 12:07:51

I've seen a few people doing this. As far as I'm aware it's fine as long as you disable the airbag? Or is the airbag rule just for infant carriers?

redskyatnight Fri 14-Mar-14 12:13:55

The risk of death/injury if you have an accident is much greater if she is sitting in the front.

PeterParkerSays Fri 14-Mar-14 12:19:36

I have DS (4) in the front. He is a very bad traveller - he's unwell after a 20 minute drive to our nearest town in the back, and managed 16 miles in the back when we went on holiday last year before he vomited everywhere. I can either give him a travel sickness tablet every time we go in the car, spend 4 grand replacing the car (it's a Citroen, very soft suspension but we didn't realise how soft until we got the car), or sit him in the front.


wobblyweebles Fri 14-Mar-14 12:20:02

How much greater? I've long been curious about this.

slithytove Fri 14-Mar-14 12:23:47

We have rf car seat in the front with airbag turned off quite often when it's just me and lo

kim147 Fri 14-Mar-14 12:24:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Sunnysummer Fri 14-Mar-14 12:26:45

The risk of death is reduced by around 40% for adults, and likely an even higher rate for children. It's legal to have them in the front but really not advisable.

GertBySea Fri 14-Mar-14 12:27:58

Genuine question- is it legal? Here you can only do it if all seats in the back are occupied with other kids in appropriate seats.

kim147 Fri 14-Mar-14 12:29:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

kim147 Fri 14-Mar-14 12:30:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

specialsubject Fri 14-Mar-14 12:31:13

put her seat right back if you can't disable the airbag.

and stop nattering and concentrate on your driving. This is by far the best way to reduce the odds of an accident!

Northernlurker Fri 14-Mar-14 12:31:15

I have mine in the front seat very often. I switch off the air bag for the youngest (The others are teens).

Sidge Fri 14-Mar-14 12:33:37

If you need to have a child in the front then either switch off the airbag if they're in an infant seat, or leave the airbag on but make sure the seat is racked all the way back when they're in a booster seat.

BikeRunSki Fri 14-Mar-14 12:34:46

I did it all the time when ds was a baby, but then, we had a van.

Now I have 2 dc and a car with back seats, I often put 1 in the front on log journeys to stop the fighting!

BertieBotts Fri 14-Mar-14 12:35:15

It's perfectly legal to do this in the UK and was common practice until fairly recently I think - certainly when I was a child (I'm not that old, I'm talking the last 2 decades here, 00s and 90s) you would be in the front unless there was another adult in the car (or if there were two children then you'd probably both sit in the back because otherwise the one on their own got bored!)

You should turn off the airbag if you can unless the child's chest is at adult's chest level in their seat because when the airbag inflates it's basically like being punched - in the chest, not an issue, because it's spread over a wider area and the ribcage can handle it, but the face can be problematic because of teeth, the nose bone and also the powder on the airbags is so fine it can cause blindness if ejected straight into eyes. You wouldn't have time to blink. However, it is not a risk of fatality like it is with rear facing seats.

I was really surprised when I heard it is illegal in some countries.

whatsthatcomingoverthehill Fri 14-Mar-14 12:37:32

I'm confused. Why is there a danger from the airbag if they are in a booster seat. Surely the airbag helps to protect them? And if they are closer to it, then their head doesn't travel as far before hitting the airbag.

TheScience Fri 14-Mar-14 12:38:52

DS1 sometimes has to go in the front in a high backed booster as three car seats won't fit on the back seat. I push his seat right back though.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Fri 14-Mar-14 12:39:34

My DS is 14 yo and taller than me (he's 5'9" now)

He went in the front when he was 12 and his feet could reach the floor (which I read somewhere was standard advice)

But though it's NOMB I do wonder why, when someone has an empty back seat with three seatbelts , do they put the single most precious thing in the car, in the front seat?
Why take the risk?

(And DS doesn't chat to me as I can testify on a trip to Yorkshire.
"Can we stop and get something to eat"?
"My batteries gone flat - iPod" )

That was the extent of his 'chat' hmm

70isaLimitNotaTarget Fri 14-Mar-14 12:41:14

Airbags overthehill - the danger in young babies is it can crush the skull.

And with older children, the powder that stops it sticking can cause severe eye damage.

AvonCallingBarksdale Fri 14-Mar-14 12:43:10

I think you only have to disable the airbag if they're in a rear-facing car seat in the front seat, as the airbag would crush them. If they're in a front-facing booster, you keep the airbag enabled, as you would for any other passenger in the front seat.

Indith Fri 14-Mar-14 12:46:29

My 7 year old sits in the front because I can't get 3 seats in the back. We have a zafira so it was the choice between the back row of seats or the front for. I was advised the front with the seat pushed as far back as it can go was safer than the back row. I have just managed to get a booster cushion that fits between the seats in one of our cars so in one car he will still have to go in the front but the other I think I can now get him in the back. I have yet to try with all children strapped in, could be tight and obviously I need to be sure there is no buckle crunch going on!

I've seen these amazing American seats that are ERF to around 4 years old then FF right through to just using a seat belt and you can comfortably get 3 in a row in an average sized car. Wish they did them here/wish I had known about them when I first started having children, I'd have imported one per child.

Sidge Fri 14-Mar-14 12:46:58

whatsthat the pressure of an airbag detonating is immense - which in an adult can cause bruising and burns but does reduce the risk of impact injuries. The pressure is also dissipated across an adult's body.

If a child is sat too close to the dashboard then the pressure on a smaller body is more likely to cause severe injury.

Tiredtrout Fri 14-Mar-14 12:47:44

There is nothing to say kids can't go in the front seat however, it is illegal for a car seat to be in the front if your airbags are activated, you would get points and a fine for it.

TheScience Fri 14-Mar-14 12:48:38

So, is sitting in the front with the seat pushed right back ok for a forward facing child?

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