Do you have you childs car seat in the middle or to the side? Which is the safest?

Amy - posted on 11/15/2009 ( 114 moms have responded )

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Hi I have a son and I have his car seat situated in the middle position in the back seat of the car. He is 15 months old. I was just wondering where you have you car seats in the car and where is the safest position?

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Andrea - posted on 11/15/2009

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Well i am not going to lie.. I had my kids on each side of my van.. I rolled my van on 10-14-09 { no one was hurt badly..} and had either one been in the middle I wouldn't have been able to get to them to get them out as we were on the roof.. That and the way the van hit it would have hurt the one in the middle the worst.. It was the worst day of my life.. was scared to death.. So now we only put our kids on the side of our car.. Hope that this might help you.. Not trying to scare anyone.. Just what i learend that day.. Take care..

April - posted on 11/22/2009

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I know you want him in the middle so you can get to him easier and he can feel less closed in, but he is much safer on the side. The front seat blocks him and/or the car seat from, GOD FORBID, being thrown from the vehicle in the event of a horrible accident. Trust me, its safest.

[deleted account]

I have my son in the middle back seat too. I'd heard that was the safest position so that's where he'll stay. I figure if we're in a side impact crash he has less of a chance of getting hurt.

Alana - posted on 11/22/2009

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no place in your car is safer than the other due to the fact that it depends on the actual collision... If it is a head on the sides are safer, if it is side impact then the middle is safer and in my case cause I have a 7 seat Honda Odyssey with a 3rd row of 2 rear seats if you are rear ended then the middle row is safer, and clearly you have no idea what will occur so put your child in the most convenient place for you to access them and ensure the seat/seats are installed correctly.... I have 4 chilren 3 are in 5 point harness seats and my older son uses a booster, you cannot pick and choose in this situation.... Good Luck and drive safely!!!

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114 Comments

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Heidi - posted on 03/27/2012

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My sons car seat is currently behind the drivers seat however I have just found out I am expecting twins!!! Can my 19 month old son sit in the front seat in his forward facing car seat? There is no possibility of getting 3 car seats along the back even in my estate!

Figen - posted on 11/22/2009

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Hi, I heard the safest is to have it on the side. That's how ours is, behind the passenger seat.

Maegan - posted on 11/22/2009

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hello.my 3 month old is in the middle of the back seat cause in a side impact wreck its safer .its just safer if you get in a side collision.less chance on the severity

Kelly - posted on 11/22/2009

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my daughter is a year old and i still keep her in the middle its the safest if we ever got into an acccident where someone else hit the side of the car, at least with her being in the middle...she has a better chance of not getting hurt

Leonie - posted on 11/22/2009

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Hi, I've heard it should be in the middle for as long as possible supposedly! :)

[deleted account]

My bf and I have 3 kids between 1 and 4... they are all in forward facing seats that are seated across the whole back of the car, but our car is also a 6 seater with 3 seat hooks and 3 shoulder straps so iguess i dont really count... but i prefer the middle to the sides too.

Linnaea - posted on 11/22/2009

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i have my son's car seat in the middle 9/10 of the time but it goes from car to car so it's all depends on where it will leave the most room for the other people in the car. anywhere in the backseat is safe for him. so you shouldn't worry about where you put it.

Jacquelin - posted on 11/22/2009

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All of the parenting classes i've been to suggest the middle as long as you have a middle seat. Otherwise right behind you. You can also check with your local police or sherrif department.

Stephanie - posted on 11/22/2009

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Quoting Krystal:









the entire time i'm reading everyones posts this is all i was thinking. if its a foward facing seat it belongs behind the driver for this very reason. if you are in an accident and you only have a slit second to react, natural reaction is to turn the car away from yourself. its in our primitive parts of our minds to save yourself first. put them behind you always in a forward facing seat. if they are still in the rear facing then the middle might be ok because they wouldnt fly out the windshield in a crash.






 






p.s. recently here in pa there was a really tragic accident in which the lady was driving a mini van with her daughter in the middle in a forward facing seat. well she got hit hard and the baby and seat flew out the window only to be hit by a tractor trailor. unfortunately they baby didnt make it but the mother did and she watched the whole thing. i feel so bad for this lady watching her baby get hit and nothing she could do about it.





then the seat must not have been installed properly, because if it was it would not have moved

Stephanie - posted on 11/22/2009

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the safest place is where it can be installed properly. with the LATCH or set belt, booster seats need both the lap and shoulder belt so in older cars they can not sit in the middle

ELizabeth - posted on 11/22/2009

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In my car and mother's car we have both child seats for my daughter who just turned 20 months on November 17th of this year and we have the child seats on the side of the back seat behind the passanger seat. I think it's the safest. Hope this helps.

Sherilyn - posted on 11/22/2009

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I've got 2 kids and they each sit on a side of the car. When I did only have 1 I still put my daughter on the side as there was no seatbelt in the middle seat. It should be a personal choice and also follow the instructions on the owners manual of each car seat as they do vary a lot depending on the type

Chelsy - posted on 11/21/2009

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Middle is safer unless the seat doesn't fit properly then the side is probably better. if you have 2 kids then most likely you will have to have them on each side since most car seats will not fit well with one on a side and one in the middle. also if anyone has any car seat related questions their is a great group on Cafemom that will answer any questions you have.

Amber - posted on 11/21/2009

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we have our son in the middle in a small car its hard to have the car seat to one side or the other

Katie - posted on 11/21/2009

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I have my sons car seat in the middle because on the sides my car didn't have the extra support latches that holds it more in place, but neither does the middle. But with the middle seat I found I can strap it in tighter. I think the middle is safest because then if we got side swiped we wouldn't really need to worry about the car crushing in around him.

[deleted account]

From left to right in my backseta it's: my oldset (7) in the seat next to the window, my 2 year-old in the middle in a booster with a 5 point harness attachment, and my 9 month old is next to the other window in the rear facing convertable car seat. It has to be this way for us because of our morning routine. We drop our 7 year-old off at school first and having her on the side where we pull up to the school is a lot easier than her climbing over one of her sisters (if she was in the middle) or getting out on the parking lot side of the car and having to run around the car (if she was on the other side). Then we take the little ones to daycare. The 2 year-old is in the middle because she plays with the door and bugs the crud out of us, plus the ocnvertable car seat in the middle makes it impossible to access the backseat from the front seats (since it's rear facing). We may switch the baby back to the middle when we can turn the convertable car seat around, but this arrangement seems to be working for us for now.

Amanda - posted on 11/21/2009

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The safest position is the middle back seat. that's where mine is and it will stay there......until the next baby....

Kelly - posted on 11/21/2009

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I have my daughter in the middle in the backseat!! I was just in a very bad accident with her in the car and she does not have a scratch on her. I would definitely recommend this to everyone!!

Cathi - posted on 11/21/2009

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Hello Amy,

when my kids were small I always kept them in the middle until they reached the booster seat age. I felot it much safer and easier to keep an eye on them this way.

Hope this helps.

Gaby - posted on 11/21/2009

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It is safer in the middle but some cars are difficult. I put mine on the side because in the middle it was made higher so the carseat wobbles from side to side.

Marcy - posted on 11/21/2009

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I have my child on the side, but you also have to consider where the harness is to hook the latches. I dont have any in my van other wise my son would be in the middle that way i could see him as i drive. the safest place for a child is where the harness is b/c if you actually shake your car seat around with just the should belt on it, it does not hold good at all.

Andrea - posted on 11/21/2009

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I have always have it in the middle. My daughter is 4 now and is in a buster so she is one the end and then I watch a 8 week old and she is in the middle..

Danielle - posted on 11/21/2009

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Well...its kinda of difficult to say because if the baby is sitting in the middle and there was an accident you got to remember that there isn't anything to stop the baby from hitting the dash broad window and if the baby is on either door side and that door side is hit then that's a problem. Do what you feel you should do.

Cristina - posted on 11/21/2009

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I think that the middle is the safest. Plus, when I'm getting my son in or out of the car, it's so easy just to jump in the backseat to buckle him in. That way I'm not struggling with him with the car door open, leaning over. There are many times I was so glad I could get in the car to buckle him when it was raining really bad.

[deleted account]

I have 4 kids...my oldest is 8 and I am due anyday now with baby #5....so I have some experience with just about every style of carseat there is! There is no "safest" place for anyone in a vehicle, in the event of a crash, depending on the circumstances, every seat holds the potential for injury....I rolled an F-150 last year with all of my kids inside...my 4 oldest were in the back seat and my 1 year old baby was in the middle front...none of them were injured....as long as you don't place the child in front of an air bag (which adds potential harm) and use all the seat belts and safety straps properly that is the best you can do! Hope that helps!

Jennifer - posted on 11/20/2009

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Well I have a mini van and the only place that I can put my daughters seat is on the side but if it was up to me I would have her in the middle cause that is the safest ive heard

Tosha - posted on 11/20/2009

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I have my son in the middle. Even though I drive a truck that sets up high off the ground, I still get scared thinking someone is going to hit me. I wouldn't know what to do if something happend to my son. It is hard getting him in and out the truck, but I'd rather him be in the middle than the side. It seems safer to me.

Marie - posted on 11/20/2009

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When we only had 1 she was in the middle, once her sister came along the oldest was behind the passenger and the baby behind the drivers. I did this because I was worried that the oldest would run out into traffic (even though I have child proof locks). Now we're expecting again and the oldest will be in the middle with the new baby behind the passenger seat (to protect baby from 2nd DD, she's a rough one lol). Unfortunately it has to be this way for our family since we only have a Cavalier and it's going to be a tight fit with a booster, forward facing and infant car seat in the back but upgrading to a van is just not financially possible at the moment.

Tilainnia - posted on 11/20/2009

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never put your child on the drivers side on the car, cause if you are in a wreak that is usually the side that gets hit. i would say the safest place is the middle

Ashleigh - posted on 11/20/2009

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When I brought my son home last month the nurse told me to always have him in the middle.

Taylor - posted on 11/20/2009

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They say middle is safest. I have two little boys. I put my youngest in the middle and my oldest on the passanger side because you get passed more on the driverside and there is more of a chance of being hit on the driverside. So if you want to put your son on the side then the passanger side is the safest.But the middle is the safest of all.

Ashley - posted on 11/20/2009

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I've heard middle is the safest. If you get in a crash, the most impact is going to be on the sides. Also keep them rear facing as long as possible!

Angelina - posted on 11/20/2009

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if you have a toddler it is better to have them in the middle because they can't reach the doors and you can reach them easily and still see them in your rear view mirror if you have to.

Taryn - posted on 11/19/2009

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my car seat is behind the seat I'm in (normally the driver's seat!) - it seems easier and quicker to get them in and out - rather than walking around the whole car each time! Rear-facing is the safest, and logically I can see that in the middle would be too, if someone drove into you from the side. But lots of cars have side airbags now. And I always worry about the gap between the two front seats - what if it was a head on collission? I'd take you car and car seat in to the fire department and let them advise you!

Tracie - posted on 11/19/2009

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Stick with keeping the baby in the middle of the backseat. That is the safest position for them, and rear facing for as long as possible. I was told this by the fire department! HTH!!

[deleted account]

Vehicles year 2005 and newer have the safety latch sytem which I feel is safest. The safest position in a regular car is defitnetly the middle. When using an infant base, front facing car seat, backwards facing carseat the middle is the way to go!! Even if its barely safer, doesnt it just FEEL safer, their away from the door windows that are like 9 incahes away from their little faces and think about getting t boned on either side, the car that hits you is less likly to touch the carseat if its in the middle than on either side, obiously that depends on speed and all that but just in general. A lot of cars have that humped middle seat which also conforms to the shape of the underside of the carseat better. its like it fits the mold of it better

Samantha - posted on 11/19/2009

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From what I understand, the middle is technically the safest, but it's a very small difference.

What a lot of people overlook that's actually way more important, is that it's safest to keep your baby rear facing as long as you can (until he reaches the maximum rear facing weight limit of the seat or there is less than an inch between the top of his head and the top of the seat.)

Jessica - posted on 11/19/2009

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Middle & rear facing as long as possible! They say until age 2 that a child should be rear facing b/c they have BIG heads & little necks.

CJ - posted on 11/19/2009

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The middle. The nurse who walked out to our car with us the day we went home from the hospital told us that the middle is the safest place for your baby.

Stephanie - posted on 11/19/2009

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I place my daughter on the opposite side of where I am sitting in the vehicle so I can keep an eye on her and reach her if I need to. It helps because I travel a lot.

Chrystie - posted on 11/19/2009

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I have a 6 month old and her seat is in the middle. When I went to have it installed correctly at the fire department he said that was the safest place. I guess it all depends on how you feel.

Matiqua - posted on 11/19/2009

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The middle is the safest but unfortunately our minivan doesn't have a middle seat.... >:(

Amy - posted on 11/19/2009

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Wow thank you all for your comments. I think that i might do a bit of research about it but from the response here it looks like the middle is probably the safest so i think i'm going to stick with the middle. thanks again

Keri - posted on 11/19/2009

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We had a car seat class during La Maz & the police officer said the preferred location was in the middle, and if the middle wasn't possible (no seatbelt, uneven seat, etc.) then behind the passenger seat is the next best place.

My daughter's seat is in the middle (we have a caravan), but I am likely going to change it to the outside shortly because she is 25lbs. and its getting pretty hard to lift her up and over to the middle.

Hope that helps!

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