Booster Seats/Sitting in the Car's Front Seat

[deleted account] ( 222 moms have responded )

I'm curious if others allow their kids to occassionally sit in the front seat. Seriously, be honest! My 6 year old is always seatbelted in his booster seat in the back seat. But the other day I had to switch out cars from the garage, and move them to across the street in the cul-de-sac. My son jumped in the front seat for the ride across the street. But like I said, he's always in his booster seat in the back, seatbelted. However I have been more and more aware on the road now and noticed that other small kids do sit in the front seat. I've seen the booster seats in the front seat. He's very tall for his age and in Kindergarten, but my state does not even have booster seat laws so there are times in my mom's car, with my nephews, that he's in the middle spot of the car and a booster doesn't fit. The light-weight nephew gets it. So who does allow their kids in the front seat of the car?

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Lucia - posted on 03/30/2011

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hi sharon, i wouldnt recomend it even if in a booster. i think its too exposed for a child. i wont allow my children sit in the front. seeing the damage sitting in a front seat can do to a child my neighbour has her child sittiing in a booster in the front was in a horriffic car accident (not her fault) she also had another child in the back seat the child in front is now in a body cast pf plaster so that she cant move until shes healed it starts from her arm pits right through to bothe her legs (with a hole cut out so that she can go to the toilet) every bone in her body was just about broken or fractured, she even lost part of her tounge due to the force from sittingin the front seat and it being more open and from the front window. while her brother got a few scraches from sitting the back. (this little girl is only 6 and just started school)

Dale - posted on 03/30/2011

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I live in Australia and we have VERY strict car child restraint laws, and they are being constantly made even stricter, a child under the age of 7 is not legally allowed in the front seat of a car, nor are they allowed to travel in a motor vehicle without a specific type of booster seat and restraint for their weight

Erin - posted on 03/30/2011

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I dont allow my daughter to sit in the front seat at all. I have a front passenger air bag and if it was to go off whilst she was in the front it would hit her straight in the head. I have told her she cannot sit in the front until she is tall enough for this not to happen

Tara - posted on 03/30/2011

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I do let my almost 12yr. old in the front seat. I have let one of my almost 9yr. old twins in the front but she is the size of my son. My other twin is small and not aloud in the front seat at all.

Cori - posted on 03/30/2011

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My son is a year old and he has always been in the back but he does face forward and has since he was 3 months old because he is so big. My husbands truck doesn't allow for him to ride in the back so if he did ride in the truck he would have to sit in the front in his car seat. There are laws trying to get passed in my state where kids have to be in a rear facing car seat in the back until they are two... I laugh because my son is one and he would already be licking his knees if he had to face backwards still. Where were all the laws and doctors who decide these things when I was kid... I rode on the bench seat of my Grandpa's Chevy pick-up standing up with my arm up on his shoulder.... not a single person thought anything was wrong with that :)

Jacki - posted on 03/30/2011

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Hi Sharon, sometimes we find ourselves in situations where things like that can't be helped. I have heard horror stories where the air-bags have killed the children because they wern't tall enough. My youngest one carries on to me all the time about going in the front, but I won't let him until I know by law that he's tall enough. I think in Aussie they have to be 12. I let my eldest because he is quite tall and meets those requirements, and he's 11. I do know we arent allowed to put boosters in the front seat, which we have done on occassion...Ooops

Amy - posted on 03/30/2011

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I have an 8 year old and a 10 year old and I have never allowed them to sit up front. I know they want to but I would be afraid that the one time I give in to their little wishes !) we would get in an accident or 2) it would be harder to convice them that they need to stay in the back. I have a friend who let her son sit up front and they were in an accident in a Mini. That scared me. My car has air bags on both the driver's side and the passenger's side. I don't believe that I can turn them off (some cars have that option). Air bags can cause a lot of damage if they smack a little one. I would allow it for a ride across the cul-de-sac or a ride on a country road (where you run less of a risk for an accident or a police car passing by).

Misty - posted on 03/30/2011

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@Jessica you need to recheck your info in Florida it's 4'9" and 80lbs in a carseat or booster and it's in the back under 13 or 14 unless you drive a 2 seater or you already have smaller children in carseats filling up the backseat. But personally if I drove that many kids around I'd get a van!

Misty - posted on 03/30/2011

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@Amy please tell me what state you live in because I will never go there! It is absolutely absurd for you say a 7 year old drives a Semi well that's total BS and you know it! There is no way a child that barely has learned eye hand coordination for sports and can't reach the pedals can drive a double clutch vehicle and if I could I'd turn them in because I know dang well it is absolutely illegal for anyone under 18 to operate a commercial vehicle even in rural areas and it's completely irresponsible on the parents part to allow a CHILD to operate a semi. No it's not good for them to "learn" to drive that young they don't even have mental ability to understand the responsibility and consequences of childish actions let alone serious actions like operating a multi-ton vehicle. Your post nauseated me literally, the thought of a child driving and causing an accident and killing someone makes me sad and outraged. And should your friend's kid ever hurt anyone I hope they lock them away and throw away the key!

Briany - posted on 03/30/2011

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in australia you can put a booster seat in the front passenger seat if you have no airbags!

Donna - posted on 03/30/2011

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I never would allow my children to sit in the front seat of the car until they are of adult size which to me is 5 feet tall. It is much more dangerous if you are in an accident and it just isn't worth the risk. My car also has airbags which don't turn off so that is another reason.

Michele - posted on 03/30/2011

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Since I live in Canton, I will once in a while let either my 6 year old or 9 year old sit in the front seat during the trip to Safeway & back but that is it... of course this is risky enough

Shanie - posted on 03/30/2011

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Jenny there are things called the mighty strap that strap a car seat down when you dont have the anchors in the car. If you do the research you will find the alternative you are looking for. You dont have to buy a new car to keep your kids safe. It may be as simple as buying a strap or they have car seats that are made slimmer to accomodate a need for more space. Regardless of your space issue it is not a good excuse not to have your children properly restrained for there safety. I am sure you are a good mother and shouldnt take most of the comments on here as negative. You asked opinions and we are giving them. Its a heated discussion because we all as mothers are passionate about keeping our children safe. Take the good information you find on here that will help you and leave the negative. Obviously if you asked the question you already have some reservations about doing it in the first place and REALLY are looking for a solution. Good luck.

Shanie - posted on 03/30/2011

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Wow to the people who say they dont have a choice but to put a small child in the front seat because they have 4 other kids, maybe you have too many kids??! At the least be able to afford a vehicle that they all can ride in safely. Not being rude either just stating the facts if you cant afford to responsibly transport your precious cargo then its time to stop having more children and focus on keeping the ones you have safe.

STacey - posted on 03/30/2011

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I never let my son in the front seat until he was 12, and with my daughter it will be the same. I heard of a child being killed by the airbag in a minor collision in a grocery store parking lot and personally wouldn't do it even at low speeds.

Shanie - posted on 03/30/2011

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Its a safety issue and its not worth the risk to let them ride in the front seat. The airbags are very much a danger to kids and can kill them when deployed as they are set up for adult weight and height.

Helen - posted on 03/30/2011

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Personally I wouldn't let them in the front. My daughter will not be allowed in the front, which basically is more dangerous, until she is by far old and tall enough. There may not be laws, but common sense rules, they say put them in the back for a reason - its safer. Its tough when the booster doesn't fit I'm sure, but at least its in the back.

Monica - posted on 03/30/2011

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I NEVER allow it. My son is almost 6 and is 4 feet tall and he ALWAYS is belted in to his booster. If there isn't a booster or room for one in the back seat he doesn't ride. All it takes is one second for a tragedy to happen.

Robin - posted on 03/30/2011

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Never ever ever. Even a collision going 10 mph could kill a child. To be honest, I find it horrifying and irresponsible. Being tall means little, it is body mass and force of impact. My almost 3 year old rear faces and he will until he is too big for the seats specs. Then he will be in a 5 pt harness for a long time

Robin - posted on 03/30/2011

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Never ever ever. Even a collision going 10 mph could kill a child. To be honest, I find it horrifying and irresponsible. Being tall means little, it is body mass and force of impact. My almost 3 year old rear faces and he will until he is too big for the seats specs. Then he will be in a 5 pt harness for a long time

Anne-Grethe - posted on 03/30/2011

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My youngest child is 12, oldest 15. My oldest is also 174 cm tall and she is allowed to sit in the front sit but only if she is by herself in the car. I have always had the rule that children sit in the back. I broke the rule once with my oldest one and I did have an accident, the other car hit the passenger side were my daughter sat. I realised then that why they call the passenger seat "the suicide seat" and I never let them sit in the front after that. I think the rule is the height of the person but also the development of a person, can they handle an impact of another vehichle? The safest place for a child to be in my opinion is in the backseat. Too many parents have children in the front seat, but it is not so much about what they do, it is what you do and what is best and safest for your child. Talk to the road athorithy in your state.
Stay safe xo

Jessica - posted on 03/30/2011

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My son is 4 and I have to admit, sometimes I let him in the front. I live in Florida and the law is 3 and under need a carseat. And no preference to front or back seat. I know it's not the safest, but I can't help but want to make him feel like a big boy sometimes. I have 3 children (1,2,4). And frankly I can't wait till they all outgrow their carseats. now, I wouldn't dare take my others out of theirs until they're older than the law states, but I'm tired of transporting their carseats around from car, to car, to car.

Maureen - posted on 03/30/2011

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Well there are times you just don't have a choice but to put one in front i try to not but i take care of five kids and when i pick up a couple of grandkids at school it just happens

Lisa - posted on 03/30/2011

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They say that the most accidents happen close to home. If you're on a street, even only going a couple of blocks, it's better to be safe than sorry and kids should not be in the front seat. It's not even you you need to worry about. It's the person who isn't paying attention to the road, who runs a stop sign, etc. that it's not worth the chance, I feel.

Julia - posted on 03/30/2011

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No! I see you already have a lot of responses on this, but I'm very passionate about car safety. My kids were all way too small at 6 to even consider it, but my youngest is 11 and I still make him sit in the back even when it's just him and me, even for driving to school. He's asked to sit in front and I tell him, "No, honey. You're still not grown-up size. The airbag would hurt you if we crash. Maybe next year, after you grow some more."
The thing that bothers me is lack of support from other people who care about my kids. When my daughter was only 3 (and about 25 lbs.) my aunt tried to get me to let her have my daughter on her lap in the car because she didn't feel like moving the car seat. She said, "It's only a short drive. I'll hold on to her. Don't you trust me?" She sounded very hurt, but I swallowed my guilty feelings and told her no, then moved the carseat myself. 1.Most accidents happen close to home. 2.Even a circus strongman couldn't hold on to a baby in a crash. 3.I don't trust other drivers on the road. A friend of mine was hit by a drunk driver as she left work at 6 in the morning. You never know who's out there, and driving carefully isn't always enough.

Lisa - posted on 03/30/2011

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My daughter, who is now 11 began to sit in the front seat without a low back booster, when she was 9 and a 1/2 and she is very tall for her age. At 9 she was the height of an 11 year old. I think at 6 the seatbelt is not hitting in the right place and I think a big concern with kids in the front seat are the air bags. They could cause serious damage to a child if, G-d forbid, it opens on them. The back, I feel, is always safer for the kids. My son, who is 8 and a half, doesn't need a booster anymore, but when we travel far distances, he still goes in a low back booster, because it just helps the seat belt hit the right spot, and it's not going to hurt him. I've seen people have their kids in the front seat and they're not the biggest kids and it makes me crazy, because it's not safe and it's not worth the chance.

Bonnie - posted on 03/30/2011

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No way! Car crashes happen when they're completely unexpected and are very violent events. If you permit a kid to sit in the front seat once, they'll keep asking and whining and asking some more because they've detected a crack in your resolve. Frankly, my kids can whine and complain until they're blue in the face, but I love them far too much to ever give in. For those who think that booster seat laws are dumb and we all survived, I would say that "the laws of physics trump the laws of your state," and furthermore, all those who rode without seat belts and booster seats and did NOT survive aren't here to talk about it. We know better now.

Shannintipton - posted on 03/30/2011

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Hi Sharon, so far no. But they are only 8 and 4. If you want to count my eldest (my husband) I will occasionally let him drive. :)

Dawn - posted on 03/30/2011

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Luckily my state has a booster seat law. My oldest was allowed up front on rare occasions around 10 1/2 because he was physically big enough to engage the airbag sensor. By 11 he would ride up front for short distances for a safe ride to school. There have been rare occasions that my youngest rode in a booster in the back instead of a car seat as the temps were more dangerous then the four blocks in the booster.

Gabrielle - posted on 03/30/2011

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No. Absolutely not. And not just because of the laws in our state, but because I value her safety. I am not going to let other people's bad choices influence me to endanger my child. I can't believe all the states have such varying laws - we really should have a uniform law on this (but, of course, that will never happen). My daughter's safety comes first, always.

Stacy - posted on 03/30/2011

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We had a long driveway at our old house, so when I stopped to get the mail, my daughter liked to get out of her seat and sit on my lap to "drive" up the driveway. She knew perfectly well that was the ONLY time she could be in the car not strapped in her seat. She is getting to the 40 pound mark now, so we are looking for a seat with the five point harness to 65 or 85 pounds. My son was rear facing until just before he turned two. Every step is a step down in safety, so no boosters for us. So it takes forever to buckle them in to drive for five minutes, they are alive when we get there!

RenaFaye - posted on 03/30/2011

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The difference in an airbag is that there is an explosive force actually PUSHING away from the direction of the cars travel. If your child is buckled in her booster seat, she's not going to hit the back seat anyway. but the back of the seat isn't moving towards the child with the large force of the airbag.

RenaFaye - posted on 03/30/2011

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My kids came along before booster seat laws. But my grandchildren didn't. they got really made at me when I wouldn't go until they sat down and let me buckle them in. My opinion - letting kids think it's OK to change the rules when they are 6 is buying trouble later - especially when it is a safety issue. Back seat and in a car or booster seat is safeest for the kids. Regardless of state laws, keep them in the back until they're or 9. It way be that the odds are you'll never have a bad wreck, but if you ever do, you'll thank your lucky stars you made it as safe as possible for your child. and, kids need to know that Mom (and Dad) are going to be consistent. Changing the rules on a whim is confusing and scary to a little kid.

Tamsin - posted on 03/30/2011

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Not to be rude but if you cant fit the required seats needed for your children safely into the back of your vehicle then you best sell your vehicle and buy one which is designed to hold the 3 seats. You dont need to purchase a brand new car. And if your Peugot is in good condition you should be able to get a decent amount for it to buy a more suitable vehicle. After all, safety is more important than looking good.

Tamsin - posted on 03/30/2011

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Where do you feel comfortable with him sitting? Apart from following the laws that are in place (we have the laws about booster seat till 7 and sitting in back not front in my state) I would just go on your own judgement. If you feel safe with him in front have him there, if you dont feel safe with him there then keep him in the back and explain to him why he needs to sit there if he objects.

Laurie - posted on 03/30/2011

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No - you should not put your kids in the front seat when driving, ever. Furthermore kids should not sit in the middle of the back, only behind the driver or passenger seats. This is information I got from a cop who has seen what happens to kids in accidents.

Christie - posted on 03/30/2011

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It sounds like you are a caring mother, you want the best for your son and you don't want to put his safety at risk so consider this: The Canadian standards for having your child in a booster seat are as follows: 4 feet 9 inches, 80 pounds or 8 years old. The booster seat must suit the child's height. It does not specify if they should be in the back or front seat but use your better judgement. If the seat belt doesn't fit across his chest then you may be putting him at risk of serious injury in the event of an accident. For this reason you would keep him in the back. If he is beg enough that the seat belt sits across his chest than you are safer. I wish you and your son all the best. Safe driving! If you are looking for some great tips or things to do with your family visit www.produceherisnk.com "The relationship magazine with a focus on family!"

Kathy - posted on 03/30/2011

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My 4 year old and 18 month old are still in their convertible car seats with the 5 point harness! They will stay there until they outgrow the manufacturers weight and height limits for them! I have worked in daycare basically all my adult life and you can't imagine the things I see when parents pick up their PRESCHOOLERS!!!! As well as living in a city I see kids (again preschool age) flopping all over their cars! Standing in the back seat, climbing in between the two front seats, its just ridiculous! Being as I am in the child care field I just received an update last week from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration stating that they have changed their recomendations for car seat safety! They recomend keeping your child in each restraint type as long as you can! They recommend rear facing now until 2 or until your child outgrows the recommended height/weight for the chair. Anything to keep my kids safe in the car I will do! I was in one car accident about 8 years ago and broke my ankle from it. I am so petrified of accidents and have completly changed the way I drive to be way less daring (which my husband hates haha) but I couldn't stand the thought of my kids getting hurt! Here is a link to the NHTSA's recommendatios: http://www.nhtsa.gov/About+NHTSA/Press+R...

Allison - posted on 03/30/2011

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I can't even tell you how ANGRY it makes me when people allow their small children to ride in the front seat, just because it's "easier" than putting them in a booster in back. Our job as parents is to keep our kids safe, whether that involves some tears, fussing, or screaming. I'd rather that than the alternative. Here's my personal story - when my nephew was 8 years old his mom allowed him to ride in the front seat. They got into a minor accident (35 miles an hour) and when the airbag deployed it struck him so forcefully that he lost the sight in one eye. Forever. Yep, there's nothing to fix it. So now he has to wear protective glasses, can't play any sports because A) he has no depth perception and B) can't risk losing sight in the other eye. He can't ever drive at night (he's 17 now). He wants desperately to join the military but never will. Not to mention his self-consciousness about how he looks. All this because he was allowed in the front seat when he should have been in the back. Wake up, ladies - these are our children's LIVES we're talking about.

Davida - posted on 03/30/2011

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I too allowed my 8 and 10 year old to ride front seat unless an adult was riding. Now with the new law being passed though I don't allow it anymore. With the new law my kids are going to have to go back into boosterseats. I dont see it happening. My ten year old is 125 lbs and out weighs a booster seat.

Heidi - posted on 03/30/2011

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I let my 5 yr old move his booster to the front very occasionally, and usually for a reason- something in the backseat, around the block to grandmas, etc. I make sure the seat is pushed as far back as it will go. He knows it is just a sometimes treat. My 11 yr old rides in the front all the time- he is the same size as me.

Jenny - posted on 03/30/2011

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After taking everything you have all said into account, I don't think I'll have my 6 year old sit in the front in his booster but, does anyone have any suggestions on how I can fit him and his 2 year old brother and 1 year old sister (both still in baby car seats) in to the back of a 3 door Peugeot when there are only 2 proper seat belts and a mid-belt - not everyone can afford brand new cars or cars with more seats. I only drive when it's essential to.

Jennifer - posted on 03/30/2011

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Never ever, if you have an air bag it will kill him booster or not. a front impact wll likely break his neck. Most accidents happen a mile from you home.

Shannon - posted on 03/30/2011

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Regarding the comment about airbags not being any more dangerous than the back of the seat. The back of a seat is NOT going to inflate in your face. Remember your days in science class. When you are in a car and you stop quickly, your body is still in motion, so it will lunge forward. Now throw in the force of your body in motion and add an airbag coming at your face with even more force - that's is why it's more dangerous!!! If your child is in a car seat in the BACK of the car, chances are he'll never touch the back of the seat.
Just because your state/country does not enforce a law doesn't mean you shouldn't take precaution in everything to keep your child safe.

Shannon - posted on 03/30/2011

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Check out the new guidelines the American Academy of Pediatrics has issued.
http://www.aap.org/advocacy/releases/car...

Children are NOT to sit in the front seat!!!
And babies should stay in carseats until age 2!!!

These guidelines aren't created to make us miserable - they are for our children's safety! For those of you who gripe that we didn't have to sit in car seats when we were younger, consider yourself lucky that you weren't badly injured/killed. Guidelines, such as these, are based on current research/statistics. Evidently, too many children have been severely injured/killed from sitting up front or not in carseats/boosters.

Nicole - posted on 03/30/2011

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My daughter sits in the front all the time in her booster seat. In Germany the law dictates that children MUST have the appropriate child or booster seat, not WHERE in the car they sit - as long as it's not the driver's seat, of course! ;-)

And regarding the other mums concerns about the airbag: I can't see how hitting an airbag in an accident could be more dangerous than hitting the back of the front seats....

Pam - posted on 03/29/2011

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I have heard the airbag going off in the front seat would be like getting hit with a brick wall, a HOT brick wall. Not thinking it's ever worth it to allow a small child in the front seat. I never allowed my kids in the front seat till they were over 12 years old. And now they are saying that kids should stay in their booster seats until they are 12.

Rian - posted on 03/29/2011

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Never, never, never. My child's life is way more important than my convenience or his wants.

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