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

Amy - posted on 06/28/2010 ( 102 moms have responded )

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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.

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Lynn - posted on 03/31/2011

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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

JoAnn - posted on 03/31/2011

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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.

RenaFaye - posted on 03/30/2011

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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

Sandra - posted on 07/22/2010

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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.

Suzanne - posted on 07/21/2010

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

?????

Holly - posted on 07/21/2010

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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!

Danielle - posted on 07/11/2010

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As this has been said before.. No earlier than the age of 12. Both my girls know this rule and do not ask..

Jenny - posted on 07/11/2010

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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

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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

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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.

[deleted account]

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

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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.

Toni - posted on 07/10/2010

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At the age of 12 is the safest. I know that in some states its legal to have them ride up front as long as they are in a booster but in case of an accident the safest place is in the back.

Michelle - posted on 07/10/2010

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In England the law states, The child must sit in the back with a high backed booster seat till there 12yrs old or 135cms tall. Then they can sit in the front. Go to this website for more questions and answer :- childcarseats.org.uk.
It also gives a link to other country laws aswell.

Joelle - posted on 07/10/2010

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To Mandy Gall :

All I can say.. IS FABULOUS....FABULOUS...FABULOUS Information.. Everyone should Thank you for your input !!

Andrea - posted on 07/10/2010

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I do believe most places the minimum age of 12 is recommended to be allowed to ride up front. But for me only when its the last available seat in the van to utilize will I allow it. Safest place is still in the rear passenger seats. If I might add that extended rear facing and 5pt harnesses in the rear seats have been proven to give the highest level of protection to your children should you be involved in an accident. So max out the weight limits on your convertibles in the rear facing position (my 2.5 yr old still rear faces at 28lbs/36") and give some thought to a 5pt harness booster seat for your older kiddos up to 80lbs such as a Britax Regent or Sunshine Radian. Here the law just recently changed to keep children in a booster seat until age 8. I personally never want to wonder "what if?" . I take carseat safety very seriously. I cringe and say a prayer when I see children not secured properly in a moving car.

Julie - posted on 07/09/2010

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@Sheri - not high and mighty, not attacking anyone, just making a point. I see no need for attitude where a child's safety is concerned. This is a place where opinions are allowed and I stated mine, as did you. I was not trying to offend you - you can take it how you like.Have a great day.

Stephani - posted on 07/09/2010

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The suggestion is not until 12. One day at the park a police officer on a motor cycle came by and let the kids sit on his bike and play with the sirens. My son asked him when he could get out of his booster (we have a small SUV) and the officer said he should stay in it for a few more months. Summer between 3rd and 4th grade is when we got rid of the booster. I say better safe than sorry my son is a precious gift that I don't want to loose.

Amanda - posted on 07/09/2010

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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.

Joelle - posted on 07/09/2010

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Amy,
OMG !! - I do not mean to sound mean or shocked.. but I am - my son is 10 and I only allow him to sit in the front seat with me if we go around the corner..never for any length of time.. First the childs weight is not heavy enough to trigger the Air Bags if you should get into an accident. But your next step I recommend is to see if she is big enough to sit in a seat alone in the back, but i think the laws differ from state to state, contact your local police department to get clarification.. because FYI - you can get a citation if caught and it is against child safety laws. Hope this helps.

Emma - posted on 07/09/2010

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This is all new to me as I don't drive I didn't know of n e laws except the car seats I live in England and as far as I know there are no restrictions on age or weight to be sat up front?? Thankyou all for bringing this to my attention as I quite frequently let my daughter, 5 yrs, go up front in nanna's car because she loves to see what's going on but I will not from now on, I just didn't twigg on to how seriously unsafe it was, our only rule is that if you have a rear facing baby seat in the front passenger seat then the airbag MUST be turned off thankyou all again and play nice girls, try not to argue :) xxxx

[deleted account]

My post was not meant to be mean or spiteful towards any one person. But I get very frustrated when I am driving down the road and see people with too many kids in the car or kid in the front seat because they want too be up there... I often see people that think it is "okay" to buckle multiple children in one spot or on laps, or worst - in the floorboard!!! I just cant imagine that anywhere is so important that an innocent life should be put at risk...I am sorry if I offended anyone or if anyone felt that I was personally attcking them...I will make sure to have my filter on when I type;)

Debbie - posted on 07/09/2010

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I was told when your child is older like 13 if you have air bags. If you have a car that can shut them off then she is allowed to ride up front. But you can call the police and ask them for the right answer...

Jami - posted on 07/09/2010

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4" 9' and 110 lbs. Most airbags react to 110lbs beter because it is more like the weight of an adult. My daughter has been riding in the front for 2 years now and she's ten. She has meet the height/weight requirements.

Sherri - posted on 07/09/2010

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Tina I do daycare it isn't an option right now. I have a 7 passenger caravan however, with the carseats my oldest son can not fit in the rear between the carseats. So he has to sit up front. I checked with my local police dept. first and they have stated if it is the only seat available any age child may be in the front seat although not recommended. As long as you move the seat as far back as possible from the air bag.
Funny thing is when my youngest was born my house was to small him and we had to sleep on the couch for the first 4 mo's of his life until the older boys new room was completed.

Ali - posted on 07/09/2010

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Kids are supposed to be in a booster until they are 8 yrs old and a certain weight - at least that's the law here. You may want to check with your local fire deptarment because they can tell you the laws in your state. I know it is not safe at all for little ones to be in the front seat due to the airbag. I would wait until they are at least 12 before putting them in the front seat.

Carla - posted on 07/09/2010

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Ladies, we are having conversation, information and FRIENDLY debate. Attacking each other is NOT what these forums are for. This is why some sites have been closed down, because someone takes it to the next level. Let's check our attitudes at the door, huh?

Sherri - posted on 07/09/2010

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@Julie Fecke What are you talking about I was saying if your child had to be 100lbs to ride up front he would never be allowed to ride up front because he is 12 and only weighs 79lbs. I very rarely allow him to ride up front anyways my 13 yr old does who is 140lbs. My kids are only ever in the car safely miss high and mighty maybe you should understand what is written before you attack people!!!

Julie - posted on 07/08/2010

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@Sherri Champagne...it amazes me that you seem to find this so humorous...will it be funny when your young child is seriously injured or killed in an accident? I would think the responsible thing to do would be to purchase a larger vehicle or stop having children... not trying to be rude, but common sense usually saves lives...

Most vehicles have a tag/sticker in the front that states "The back seat is the safest place for children 12 and under." This may just be taken as a suggestion, but I see it as an excellent one.

De-anne - posted on 07/08/2010

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In Australia I think the child has to be 8 or 9. With an airbag in the front on the passenger side, a lot older. They have to stay in a booster seat till they are 7 years of age.
http://www.transport.qld.gov.au/Home/Saf... This link is for Australia. Unsure where you are. You can do a search on child restraint laws. A department of transport site should tell you. Hope it helps. Sorry if what I have mentioned has been repeated from what others have said.

Kelley - posted on 07/08/2010

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It depends on your state laws. In PA, your child has to be 8 and 80 pounds till they are out of a booster. I personally believe they should stay in the back seat till after 10.

Lindsey - posted on 07/06/2010

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i dont believe a kid should sit in the front seat till there teenagers no matter what size they are coz there are some silly buggers out on the roads these days just be careful xxx

Kim - posted on 07/02/2010

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My 14 year old is usually the only one I allow to ride with me in the front seat, sometimes my 12 year old son can, but his twin sister who is about his height but very petite, is not allowed to ride in the front at all.

Bianca - posted on 06/30/2010

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It does depend more on the height/weight than the age. In my town, there was actually an adult (a very petite woman) killed by the force of her airbag. And regardless of your size, always remember to wear those seat belts--an airbag can fatally break anyone's neck if they're not restrained.

Sherri - posted on 06/30/2010

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ha ha ha my son will never be allowed in the front then he is 12 and weighs 79lbs. He is going to be an adult by the time he reaches the weight limit.

Nancy - posted on 06/30/2010

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in Kansas you have to be 12 years of age to be allowed up in the front of the 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.

Janet - posted on 06/30/2010

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I prefer 12 as most counties allow 12+ year olds to sit in the front sit 'n that the airbags can kill the young children.

Beth - posted on 06/28/2010

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it's not the bumper being hit that deploys your airbag - it's the front to back deceleration that makes them deploy and only if you are traveling at / over a particular speed.



We were stuck by a car turning left [we were proceeding straight thru] and our car was hit on the side from the drivers side front quarter panel, driver's door and back quarter panel.



I sustained some pretty bad bruising to both my legs below the knee on the inner sides from where the airbag hit me on deployment. So while it ensured that I didn't sustain more severe injuries, I was hit by the airbad and hurt by it.



So while each area is different in what it recommends for when a child can ride up front in a vehicle. General consensus is that children under 12 should not ride up front. Children under this age are generally not big enough and haven't finished growing enough to handle the potential injuries that could be incurred in an accident if they are sitting in the front seat. Even children that are adult size are still not grown enough to handle these potential injuries.



So it's best to have your child[ren] to ride in the backseat whenever possible after they turn 12 and certainly never when they are still in a booster or carseat.

Michelle - posted on 06/28/2010

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basically because of the airbag a child should be a min. of 4'9" and weigh approx. 90lbs to sit in the front seat this is not a law it is a recommendation....and for those of you counting on that air bag to go in an accident be prepared for that to not happen I was t-boned in my van when my son was 4 and the van was pushed into a power pole I bashed my head on the steering wheel because the airbag did not deploy.....and just recently my son is now 9 we were in another accident car versus moose and again the air bag did not deploy unless your bumper gets hit which is where the sensors are it will not deploy. Your child is better off in the back simply because it is safer had my son been in the front seat in either accident I would have lost him because he was properly buckled up in the back seat he walked away from both accidents with no more then a scratch I guarantee you my son will not sit in the front seat until he is much older.

Sherri - posted on 06/28/2010

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I agree but what if you do if you don't have a choice due to lack of seating as in my case? By the way it is only the law if there are other seats available. If they have no other option they are allowed up front.

Brandi - posted on 06/28/2010

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Each state is different. In Colorado you have to be 5' tall AND 11 years of age. I just want to say this........I have worked in the medical field. THe hardest thing I ever saw (before I was a mom) was a 7 year old who wanted to ride up front with daddy to the store. They were rear ended and because of the child's size, he slipped under the seatbelt and under the dash. Died instantly. Since then I have always carried that with me and have choosen that my son and step kids will not sit in the front seat until they are teenagers. Might sound dramatic but for me, it's what makes sense.

Sherri - posted on 06/28/2010

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I started letting them when my oldest was 9. However, I didn't have an option ran out of seating in the back of my car. So unless I strapped him to the roof he had to sit up front. With 4 car seats in the back he didn't have a spot to fit in. However, with my middle son I didn't let him till he was 11. He is 4'10" So I feel he is safe enough.

Rebecca - posted on 06/28/2010

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It is 12 because of a safety issue. It has to do with the airbag if you would happen to get into an accident.

Patricia - posted on 06/28/2010

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I just had this conversation with my 10 year old and I told him no I would definately say 6 is way too young! My 7 year old explained it to my son she told him it is not safe because of the air bag and he told her well you can shut the airbag off to which she responded then you would smash your head off the windshield and probably die! this is out of the mouth of my 7 year old but I must say she pretty much summed it up. I nicely told my son no and that he is safer in the back and I love him and could never replace him but if he did not believe me he could talk to his Doctor at his next check up.

JoAnn - posted on 03/31/2011

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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.

Suzanne - posted on 07/21/2010

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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.

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