Advanced search

Front passenger air bags and front seat children.

(7 Posts)
IwishIwasmoreorganised Sun 21-Oct-12 21:50:40

I obviously know that it is safe for an adult to sit in the front passenger seat of a car with a passenger air bag fitted (and not deactivated) but when does it become safe for a child to do so?

Is it at a certain height? DH reckons as long as they're in a booster seat it's ok but I'm pretty certain that this isn't the case.

I've looked and looked and just ended up confusing myself so am hoping that someone could help me out. It may well help me to decide what our next car will be.

WMittens Mon 22-Oct-12 08:08:36

From the AA site (relating to car seats):
"For forward facing child restraints it is acceptable to leave the airbag active and move the car's seat back on its runners as far as it will go. Do check the car handbook for model specific advice though as airbag size and performance does vary."

It is a reasonable assumption that if they're in booster seats (or tall enough not to need them) then the airbag will provide protection. Either way, there's no point turning it off: if they're too far away that the airbag doesn't support them, the seatbelt takes all the strain anyway; if you turn it off and they would have connected with the airbag, they're going to connect with the dashboard instead.

IwishIwasmoreorganised Mon 22-Oct-12 08:26:44


That does make sense, but I have read stories of children suffering eye injuries from the coatings on the airbags that stop them sticking to themselves when they are all packed up.

Perhaps asking each car dealer might be the way forward.

IwishIwasmoreorganised Mon 22-Oct-12 11:17:30

2 main dealers couldn't give me specific advice confused

WMittens Mon 22-Oct-12 21:31:01

I wouldn't expect a dealership to know to be honest - the salespeople won't know the technical details, and the mechanics will know how to service and fix them (maybe), but not necessarily the finer details of effectiveness.

A quick google brought this up:
RoSPA could be a good contact point for this specific question.

BertieBotts Mon 22-Oct-12 21:35:46

It's safe as long as they're forward facing (as in, not lethal) but not recommended, I'd guess until they're at the height where their head is roughly the same position that an adult's would be (on booster or off it), because AFAIK the danger comes from the fact that an airbag is designed to hit you in the chest and a child's face in a car is roughly at adult chest height.

The advice is to push the seat as far back as it will go, it says this on DS's booster, I only recently bought it so read all the instructions <sad case>.

BertieBotts Mon 22-Oct-12 21:36:38

Remember when they first go into a booster they're nowhere near as tall as an adult sitting on the seat next to them, only when they're closer to 7 or 8.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: