How old does a child have to be to sit in the front seat of a car?

Amy - posted on 06/28/2010 ( 101 moms have responded )

1

9

0

She is 6 and still rides in the back in a booster seat but she wants to sit up in the front of the car with me.

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Amanda - posted on 07/09/2010

34

12

1

CHILD CAR SEAT RULES

1. BEFORE YOUR FIRST BIRTHDAY LESS THAN 20 POUNDS REAR-FACING INFANT-ONLY CAR SEAT OR CONVERTIBLE SEAT USED IN REAR-FACING POSITION, SECURED IN THE BACK SEAT OF THE CAR.

2. 20–35 POUNDS CONVERTIBLE SEAT USED IN REAR-FACING POSITION, SECURED IN THE BACK SEAT OF THE CAR. LOOK FOR A CHILD SAFETY SEAT THAT IS RECOMMENDED FOR HEAVIER INFANTS.

3. WHEN YOU ARE 1, 2, 3, AND 4 20–40 POUNDS FACE FORWARD IN A CONVERTIBLE SEAT OR A FORWARD-FACING-ONLY SEAT OR HIGH-BACK BOOSTER/HARNESS IN THE BACK SEAT OF THE CAR.

4. WHEN YOU ARE 4, 5, 6, 7, OR 8 LESS THAN 4’9” (57 INCHES) TALL BELT-POSITIONING BOOSTER SEAT (NO BACK) OR HIGH-BACK BELT-POSITIONING BOOSTER SEAT IN THE BACK SEAT OF THE CAR.

5. WHEN YOU ARE 8, 9, 10, 11, OR 12 MORE THAN 4’9” (57 INCHES) TALL MAY USE AN ADULT SEATBELT, BUT MUST KEEP YOUR BACK AGAINST THE SEAT BACK, YOUR KNEES BENT OVER THE EDGE OF THE SEAT, AND YOUR FEET FLAT ON THE FLOOR IN THE BACK SEAT OF THE CAR.

6. WHEN YOU ARE MORE THAN 12 YEARS OLD MORE THAN 4’9” (57 INCHES) TALL MAY SIT IN THE FRONT PASSENGER SEAT OF THE CAR WITH AN ADULT SEATBELT.

Tammi - posted on 11/26/2012

2

12

0

My daughter is 10 years old and I just started letting her ride up front with me the last few months; reason being is she is taller than me and weighs more than me (people mistake her for 15) so if I can ride up front, can't see why she can't :) I think it depends on the child and the parents choice where it is not an actual law and just a recommendation. But I do think 6 is way too young, my son is almost 6 and I would not let him ride up front even with his booster seat for many reasons, air bags being one~

Amy - posted on 06/06/2013

1

24

0

I keep reading these posts. And they keep saying age age age . I also think it should be height and weight more then age. Dont you think??? There are 12 year olds that are 4 feet 2 inches and weighing less then 80 pounds I think if your child is small boned and petite it is not gonna hurt them to sit in the back seat. Just saying!!!!!

JoAnn - posted on 03/31/2011

1

0

0

I don't have air. How old does a child have to be to sit in the front seat? Can my 9 year old sit up front? He is 4' 4" and 74lbs.

Sarah - posted on 12/02/2012

1

16

0

Most cars say right there on the visor that children under 14 belong in the backseat. That the airbag can cause serious damage to a child under the age of 14.

I don't even allow my 12 year old to ride in the front seat.

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

101 Comments

View replies by

Jessie - posted on 06/20/2014

2

0

0

I am a paramedic and can tell you from experience that the back, middle seat is generally the safest place for ANYONE to sit in the car, regardless of age, weight, height. The front or side of a car is more likely to receive the most amount of damage...usually.

Shawnn - posted on 06/16/2014

8,281

21

1996

And again, I must point out that LAWS DIFFER BY COUNTRY, STATE, AND EVEN COUNTY, PARRISH, OR VILLAGE.

The ONLY way to be sure is to ask a reliable authority IN YOUR IMMEDIATE AREA.

Carlee Jo - posted on 06/16/2014

1

0

0

well I'm not going to let my 3 year old daughter sit in the and not going to let her until she is 17 years old

Georgia - posted on 05/20/2014

1

0

0

I am an a eight year old girl, got out of booster last year, seatbelt fit fine.
Got in a booster at age five because of problems reaching stuff.

Heidi - posted on 03/09/2014

5

0

0

my daughter is 10 and weighs 90 pounds her height is 5 foot 2 she sits in front with me

Heidi - posted on 03/09/2014

5

0

0

My daughter is 10 and sits in the front seat she weighs 90 poounds and is 5 foot 2

Jillian - posted on 01/31/2014

55

0

5

Your child has to be one of the 3;
11 years old, in 6th grade, or 100 lbs UNLESS your airbag is off but it still is REALLY dangerous at such a young age. Plus yo could get pulled over if he is not tall enough and if a cop sees, but since yo got a backseat tell him wait till he is about 10(only 4 more years) that way he is still close to the requirement. Although if you have a backseat keep him there because he is put in a life threatening position if young and in the passenger seat. Hope I helped!

Amy - posted on 12/22/2013

62

0

16

My 12 year old daughter is still not tall enough nor does she weigh enough to sit in the front seat when she was 12 at her visit with the doctor the doctor still advised her to sit in the back seat in a booster seat until she meets the age and height requirement as well as pounds according to your local area and or state regulations. Google them and u will have an answer for your area.

Shawnn - posted on 12/19/2013

8,281

21

1996

The BEST answer for this is for each and every individual to contact their local authorities and find out what the laws are in your area.

Most places in the US indicate that a child should ride exclusively in the rear seat until the age of 8, but some extend that to 13.

And any child in a booster seat should always be in the rear.

Dove - posted on 12/24/2012

5,575

0

1336

Layla... a 4 year old should still be in a 5 point harnessed car seat in the back seat.

My oldest will be allowed in the front seat at 13. She's 11 now and less than an inch shorter than I am. ;)

Tammie - posted on 12/24/2012

25

12

2

My doctor told my husband and I that our little boy should be at stay in a booster in the back seat at that time he was 6 1/2 and not to take him out of the booster unless he reaches the size and weight if it takes until he 10 years old. He was small for his age.. My personal thought that a child due to physical harm because of the air bags should be as tall as the dashboard. I maybe protective; my personal opinion is 12 1/2 -13 1/2 if tall enough.

Monica - posted on 12/23/2012

5

15

0

In the uk the law for a child to ride in the front seat is 11yr of age

Qiaomingzheng - posted on 11/20/2012

1

0

0

She should not sit in the front because there is airbag and can hurt her

Brandy - posted on 06/28/2012

5

8

0

Most two-seat cars and pickup trucks sold these days either have a switch that allows you to manually turn off the airbag, or they have smart airbags that detect the weight of the body in the passenger seat and will automatically turn it off if the body does not weigh more than a certain amount. In certain scenarios, you may be able take your vehicle to the dealership and have them deactivate the airbag if your vehicle does not offer other airbag-off options for placing a child in the passenger seat (this would have to be quite an old vehicle, though). Find out more information here: http://blog.truecar.com/2010/09/21/spotl...

Brandy - posted on 06/28/2012

5

8

0

NO WAY AT SIX! Keep your kids in the back seat as long as possible. Children under the age of 12, and especially babies in safety seats should NEVER be buckled into the front passenger seat. Read more here: http://blog.truecar.com/2010/09/21/spotl... It's not so much about AGE as it is about SIZE, and keeping them properly protected by the seatbelt (which may not fit correctly or safely for small bodies) and the danger of impact from the airbag (which can be downright destructive to small bodies).

When positioning either a safety seat or booster seat in back, the best location is in the center seatbelt location to prevent against intrusion from vehicles or debris in side-impact situations.

Sherri - posted on 06/25/2012

9,593

15

387

So for all of you flipping out about this what about 2 seater cars or pickup trucks?

Kateri - posted on 06/23/2012

14

17

0

12 in the state of Massachusetts.....but you can not put a booster seat in the front seat and a 6 year old still needs to be in one! You need to check your residence's laws on when children can be out of booster seats and sit in the front. The back seat is the safest place for children!

Jodee - posted on 06/19/2012

19

7

0

i dont know where you live but in australia by law they are not allowed to ride in the front seat it is way to dangerous untill they turn 12,the back seat in a secure car /booster seat with a snugly fitting seat belt is the SAFEST PLACE FOR THEM i cannot stress this enough ,if you let her in the front and you have a head on collision her chances of surviving are greatly decreased ,do not let her ride in the front

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 06/10/2012

6,434

12

67

It depends on your state/province. But where I lived in NY and where I live now a child is required to stay in a booster seat (after graduating from an actual car seat) until they reach 4'9 or 75lbs and in the back seat. I looked up both because no one believed me up here in BC that my 7 year old still had to be in a booster seat when she's nearly as tall as my MIL (who's 4'11)

Kelly - posted on 06/06/2012

24

0

1

(Elisa) - my daughter was in a booster seat until she was 12yrs old. Until than, she was NOT allowed to sit in the front seat.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

What people don't understand is the reasoning behind why kids shouldn't sit in the front seats. They just are not big enough. I also hear from people that their kids are embarrased to still be in a booster when their friends are not. Well, I will let my kids be embarrased before I let them ride unsafely in my vehicle.



I will tell you that when I see a kid riding in a car WITHOUT a carseat when needed OR in the front seat when they are too small, it really gets my blood going.



It only costs $15 (sometimes less) to by a booster seat - your child IS worth it !



Best part is when the kid is in the back seat NOT buckled in, BUT the parent has theirs on.



FOUND ONLINE:

Why? Because riding in the front seat simply isn't as safe as riding in the back. Buckling a child into the backseat instead of the front reduces by a third his risk of death in a collision. In a head-on crash (the most common — and deadly — type of collision), a child in the front seat can be thrown into your car's dashboard or through the windshield. Even if he's properly buckled in, he's at much greater risk for being harmed by objects intruding into the car in the front than in the back.



What's more, in cars with passenger air bags (which includes most newer models), the air bags deploy with such force that they can cause severe head and neck injuries to a child. Nationwide, more than a hundred children have been killed by air bags in recent years, and many of these deaths were in slow-speed collisions that should have been minor. Infants and toddlers in rear-facing car seats are at extreme risk from air bags when placed in the front seat because the back of their car seat is so close to the dashboard.



If, despite these very real dangers, you absolutely must put a non-rear-facing child in the front seat, check to see whether your car's air bag has an on-off switch, and if so, turn it off. If not, have an air-bag switch installed by a car dealership or one of the specialized companies that have sprung up to deal with this situation. (The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration maintains a list of companies that install air bag on-off switches; you'll need to get permission from this government organization before installing such a switch, however.) If you can't disable your passenger air bag, then have the child who's most securely restrained in a front-facing car seat with a full harness (in other words, the child who's least likely to wiggle out of his restraints, or, if your passengers have all moved out of the car seat phase, your biggest or tallest passenger) ride in the front seat, and move his seat as far back from the dashboard as possible.

Dove - posted on 06/05/2012

5,575

0

1336

My house rule is 13 and taller than me (the height requirement will be reached by 11..lol). My oldest has sat in the front seat in other vehicles when the other seats are full and she's the tallest kid there, but in MY vehicle... it won't happen before 13.

I don't think there is an age law here. Just the recommendation of 12.

Jennett - posted on 06/05/2012

21

22

0

Some States have specific laws about what age/size a child must be to sit in a front seat; however, there are guidelines from different agencies as to what is safe. Just like a roller coaster ride at an amusement park requires you to be "at least this tall" to ride the ride, so should a child be to sit in the front seat :)

Elisa - posted on 05/06/2012

15

20

2

I'm in Virginia and I believe they just made it so you have to be 80 pounds to get out of booster and 4'9"
And this rate my child will be in booster in 5th grade.
My 7 year old is not even 4' and is only like 40-42 pounds.
They say no front seat till 13.

Julie - posted on 05/04/2012

3

0

0

No do not let your kid in the passenger seat until he/she is 12 have you even looked at the visors air bags can kill someone under the age of 12 or get a really bad injury.

Sumi12 - posted on 03/23/2012

52

0

4

You must buy baby seat car which you will get in market if you will search for it . Then it will be comfortable for your baby to be seated .

Baby Sterilizer Expert

Beth - posted on 12/07/2011

13

19

1

I can't believe people actually contemplate putting a 6 year old in a front seat where they aren;t as safe. Its really not a very wise thing to do regardless of the law. I dont like having my 11 year old in the front. Never in a million years would I let my 6 year old sit in the front seat of my car. Im really surprised that mothers would put there kids in obviously unsafe situations.

Amber - posted on 10/13/2011

9

8

1

In California the law is 60 lbs and 6 yo. unless thre are a) no front seat or b) all back seats are occupied by younger children. Yes, in Cali you can get a ticket if these requirements are not filled and your young child is in the front. And it's not cheap! I managed to just get a warning - was hauling hay in the SUV. The cop felt sorry for DD riding in back w/ hay. But I agree you should wait until they are over 12 because of the airbags.

Sherri - posted on 09/15/2011

9,593

15

387

@Tamara yours also says if practical to do so it doesn't say they can't ride in front exclusively till 13.

Now mind you I am not an advocate of making them ride in the front unless they need too. However, people who are just saying it is law are not exactly accurate. If all your seats were filled a child can ride up front at any age, or if you didn't have a backseat same, or if a carseat wouldn't fit in the back same thing.

Sherri - posted on 09/15/2011

9,593

15

387

@ Heidi
No state in the US has actual laws about waiting till 12yrs old to ride in the front seat this is not accurate Heidi. There are recommendations but there are no laws.

If you only have a pick up truck most have no back seat. So states can not actually not make it a law.

Sarah - posted on 09/07/2011

63

0

1

my 11 year old daughter says that shes in a class with a bunch of popular girls and she HATES them shes in 6th and she is misrabel i was going to home school her this summer but she decide not to because she wanted friends and now she hates her school and teachers but i dont really no them but what ive heard not to fond of them and all of her classes got switched where she made friends and she knows nobody at that school but i dont think shes commited but she says she is what shouls i do!!

Sherri - posted on 09/07/2011

9,593

15

387

Actually it is not the law in MS Tonie the law is

Car Seat Laws
* Rear facing seats should never be used in the front seat if the vehicle contains an active passenger-side airbag. Although not mandated, the safest place for your child of any age is in the back seat of the vehicle.

It is not recommended until they are 12 but is not mandated under any age in your state.

Tonie - posted on 09/06/2011

16

0

1

My child is 7. My SUV has air bags so until she reaches 100 pds. or I think 58 inches in heigth then she is in the back sit. It is our law in MS . It is according to what your state maindates .

Kolbee - posted on 03/31/2011

12

27

0

i think if u shut off the air bags and put her seat all the way back in her booster seat ,thats fine for her to ride up front,other mothers would maybe disagree,i guess it depends on who big she is also,if shes a runt then no

Lynn - posted on 03/31/2011

2

0

0

they have to be so tall and weigh so much, i can't remember the weight and height restrictions, but it is around the age of 12.............at this point, if you get into a little fender bender and the airbag goes off, it could kill her

RenaFaye - posted on 03/30/2011

17

12

0

another parent said it best - my child's safety is more important than what she thinks she wants. Please be consistent with her - that's what she'll remember later. It isn't safe for her in front of an air bag. If she were decapitated, could you ever forgive yourself?

[deleted account]

depends on the state u live in In Louisiana it's once they r big enough to be out of a booster seat which according to state law the have to be 4 ft 11 in

Suzanne - posted on 07/21/2010

2

43

0

How old does a child have to be to sit in the front seat of a car?

?????

[deleted account]

It may be a state thing in CT there is no law, your air bag is the problem. If you have an air bag she should be 12 or 100lbs. With no airbag or a disabled airbag your child can sit in the front seat of the car.

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms