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Reception child on school trip in front seat of parents car with airbag

(118 Posts)
aintnomountainhighenough Fri 04-Jul-08 22:33:46

I would like other mumsnetters thoughts on a situation that has happened today that I am very upset about. My DD has been on a school outing. I offered to drive but was told there were enough parents driving to take the children to and from the venue. My DD told me tonight that she was in a car with 2 other children and was sat in the front seat. Alarm bells started ringing, I never let my children sit in the front. I popped around to see the parent who she came home with and have found that she was put in the front seat of a car with an airbag, she was 'chosen' because she was the tallest. The TA who put the child in the front of the car took the child of the mum who was driving my DD in the back of her car. To say I am upset is an understatement. Of course I will raise this on Monday but what am I over reacting. Opinions please.

sleepycat Fri 04-Jul-08 22:35:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

giddykipper Fri 04-Jul-08 22:35:31

Was the airbag definitely switched on? The reason I ask is that I often put DS in the front seat if there's just the two of us in the car but I switch the airbag off first.

MehgaLegs Fri 04-Jul-08 22:36:43

I thought the airbag was only a problem with rear facing baby seats.

morocco Fri 04-Jul-08 22:37:30

is it illegal to put a 5 year old in the front seat? does it matter about the airbag? sorry - obv a bit dim of me - I thought both were ok? so, thinking both those things are legal, my first reaction was that if you didn't want her travelling in the front seat, you should have said. but if it's illegal (then someone better tell everyone round here) I guess that is a different matter

SlartyBartFast Fri 04-Jul-08 22:38:43

i am sure it is perfectly legal to put children in front seat. i did look into it. i think the problem with airbags are with rearfacing baby seats,

PertweeAndLemon Fri 04-Jul-08 22:38:48

For over-threes there isn't blanket "don't travel in the front seat with an airbag" guidance. RoSPA's official advice is "If there is an active passenger airbag, check with the vehicle manufacturer or the handbook about using a child restraint in the front. If you do, move the front seat as far back as possible on its runners."

moondog Fri 04-Jul-08 22:38:48

You can put a kid in a front seat contrary to what most people believe (I myself thought it was illegal unitl recently). Mof T advice is to scrutinise the recommendations of each car make. There are no blanket rules.

giddykipper Fri 04-Jul-08 22:39:03

Surely it's not illegal if they are in the appropriate child seat?

2shoes Fri 04-Jul-08 22:40:24

imagine where the airbag will hit the child.

sleepycat Fri 04-Jul-08 22:40:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

aintnomountainhighenough Fri 04-Jul-08 22:41:09

My understanding is that all the recommendations, although not legal, are that a child under 140cm does not sit in the front seat with an airbag. It can kill them. My point is that it is recommended only in emergencies and this was not an emergency.

Heifer Fri 04-Jul-08 22:42:27

I have always thought that children should not be in the front seat with an airbag (didn't know that some can be turned off).

I have no idea how old would be safe but surely a height issue.. So I am guessing around 11 or so (but as I only have a 4 yr old I have no idea how tall a 11 year is) grin

dilbertina Fri 04-Jul-08 22:43:06

Was she at least on a booster seat? I must admit I have at rare times put a dc in front seat with air bag (not switch offable) when space especially tight on short journey. blush

How dangerous is it really? anyone?

Entirely irrationally I would still be very upset if this happened in the circumstances you describe. I don't think you are over-reacting.

sleepycat Fri 04-Jul-08 22:43:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

GivePeasAChance Fri 04-Jul-08 22:43:48

From RoSPA

Can I put a forward-facing child restraint in the front passenger seat if it has an airbag?

A: It is better not to place a forward-facing restraint in a seat with an airbag; try to avoid this if possible. If it is not possible, then check the advice of the vehicle manufacturer. Find out how far the airbag extends when deployed and ensure that your child is well outside the expansion area. Ensure that the passenger seat is as far back from the airbag as possible, that the child seat is very securely fitted and the child is securely held by the harness or seat belt.

SlartyBartFast Fri 04-Jul-08 22:45:16

does a child restraint include a booster seat do you think?

christiana Fri 04-Jul-08 22:47:17

Message withdrawn

aintnomountainhighenough Fri 04-Jul-08 22:47:41

Thank dillbertina as I don't think I am overreacting and am very very upset. Whilst it isn't yet illegal it is not recommended. The teacher did a risk assesment on the walk they did but sent my DD home in a car in the front seat with an airbag. Nothing happened, however it could have, I offered to pick up and was told they didn't need me. I am surprised at the number of people who have posted on her that the didn't know it wasn't recommended tbh, I posted as I wanted to get a feel for it.

lackaDAISYcal Fri 04-Jul-08 22:47:50

advice here about the legalities and the safety.

It was my understanding (I researched this last summer when I had to bring my 7yo old nephew home in my car in the front seat as three boosters won't fit in the back of my car) and the recommendations I found were that it wasn't illegal, but to have the seat as far back as possible if there was a passenger airbag.

GivePeasAChance Fri 04-Jul-08 22:48:31

Don't know? I have been meaning to look into this for a while because DS1 goes in the front sometimes and it makes no sense to me - surely the airbag is a GOOD thing? I have been in an accident with airbags and don't see what the problem could be? Must be missing something!

pooka Fri 04-Jul-08 22:48:36

I think a child restraint would include a booster seat.

My current car, DH's current car, and my last 2 cars all had turn-offable front passenger airbags.

Mine is permanently switched off. DD quite often in her maxi cosi rodi seat in the front, with others in the second row.

SlartyBartFast Fri 04-Jul-08 22:49:20

gah i took children in my car to a school trip but they chose to sit in the back all together, all on booster seats, in spite of the middle seat being a lap belt, i thought that was probably wrong but it was my daughter in that seat.
you could have been talking about me on this thread blush

aintnomountainhighenough Fri 04-Jul-08 22:49:58

OK just to clarify here we are not talking about a parent making a decision about their own child we are talking about a TA and teacher making a decision about somebody elses child. The fact that she was put there because she was the 'tallest' indicates to me that they knew it wasn't safe. I am asking mumsnetters how you would feel if it was your child that they took this risk with not what you would do knowing you were taking the risk knowing you were driving.

strawberriesandcream01 Fri 04-Jul-08 22:49:58

Not sure, this is a tricky situation. Sometimes i will let my DD travel in the front in her seat but most of the time she will go in the back.

I think to start off with you should have asked where she would be sitting and who she was going with etc and then you could have made a decision about it. I dont really know how you could raise it with the school/ driver as I would think it would be the parents responsibility to check where their child was sitting. How far was the journey?

Maybe next time bring it up with the school and say it's best kids dont travel in the front. smile If you are still worried then take her in your car.

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