How old does a child have to be to sit in the front seat of a car?
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
Amy - posted on 06/06/2013
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!!!!!
Tammie - posted on 12/24/2012
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.
Sarah - posted on 12/02/2012
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.
Tammi - posted on 11/26/2012
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~
Brandy - posted on 06/28/2012
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
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.
Kateri - posted on 06/23/2012
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
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
â¥âªMeganâ«â¥ - posted on 06/10/2012
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
(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.
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
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
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
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.
Beth - posted on 12/07/2011
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
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
@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
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
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
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.
Kolbee - posted on 03/31/2011
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
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
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?
Sandra - posted on 07/22/2010
The main problem with Airbags in the front, is that they are designed to impact a passenger in the chest and abdomen area. Small children sit in the front and their head and neck fall in the zone meant for chest and abdomen. In an accident, the airbag deploys hitting the child in the upper body and face and neck and the force can break a childs neck. If they must sit in the front, then they should be in a booster seat so that it elevates them and puts the airbag zone back to chest and abdomen. And they must always wear a seatbelt regardless of where in the vehicle they sit.
Holly - posted on 07/21/2010
i believe the two moms up top and for the third mother, i went threw the same thing with my daughter. ever time we go somewhere she kept asking me, even i have told her no more asking can you sit up front till your 12! but i believe it depends on a certain weight and height.. i didn't know much on height and weight. just thought age 12.. i know someone that has a little girl that was over weight. its so sad but she was at age 4 and was able to sit with out a car seat. never sat in a booster seat either! i don't know if she ever lets her ride up front, i doubt it!
Jenny - posted on 07/11/2010
I have a very strong feeling about this and it's not to let her ride in the front until she is a teen or tall enought to.my daughter always wanted to sit up front, granted she's only 12 she is 5 foot, but her dad always let her sit up front so she never understands why I wouldn't and have a hard time even now to let her sit up front. My reason I used to have to drive a lot of miles to go anywhere and trust me you say so many accidents it wasn't funny, we live in the country, also my parents and my brother were police officers and I would hear stories about some of the accidents and trust me they were never pretty, my brother will not even let his oldest sit in the front and she's 14. I have a fruend that let her kids run around the van she had when she was driving, it drove me nuts and she so lucky nothing has happened to them, but she's never seen the things I have.
Stephanie - posted on 07/10/2010
Several years ago I had a friend who lost one of her sons in a bad car accident. He wasn't buckled and the van flipped and threw him out the side window. The car then rolled over him. So even if they are in the back and they say they are buckled try and make sure! Even just around the corner people can run into you. Most accidents happen 1/2 mile from your home because you feel your most comfortable there and don't pay closer attention.
Lynn - posted on 07/10/2010
I would buy a bigger car, rather than endanger the lives of my children!! I had a Plymouth Breeze which was fine when it was just my stepson and two-year old son. When I got pregnant with my daughter, I bought an Expedition.
Jennifer - posted on 07/10/2010
Since each state is different, I suggest asking a local police officer. When my son turned 7, he asked the question about the front seat. I learned that safety and law are not always one and the same. The bottom line was, however, for safety purposes, 12 years is the best option for riding in the front seat - even if it isn't a "law" in your state.
Jodie - posted on 07/10/2010
Depends on the state you live in. For the sake of safety, whether there is an airbag in the passenger seat or not, it's best to have them ride in the back until at least 12 years of age. Some states have actually passed it into law, while others haven't.
Bobbi - posted on 06/30/2010
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.