Community Message Boards
Results 1 to 19 of 19

Thread: kids in front seat w/ air bag?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Denver CO
    Posts
    911

    kids in front seat w/ air bag?

    DH and I are having a heated discussion about when it will be safe for our son to ride in the front seat with an air bag in the car. He will be twelve soon, but is small and skinny--weighs about 70 lbs. I know I was strict about car seats when they were younger. Is there a suggested height/weight for being in the front seat? Also-- DH says it is a very big deal to sit in the front and I am stilting son's emotional development by having him in the back. This sounds like guy talk hog wash to me. We have a mini van and he has his own "captain's chair" with cup holder and all --what's the big deal about the front?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    IL
    Posts
    12,505
    I have seen reports where smaller adults should be sitting in the back seat as well, as the air bags can be deadly. My son is 10 and about 82 lbs, but there is no way he is sitting in the front yet. I let my kids see the warning posted by the manufacturer (my Toyota says age 12), so it is not an issue for self-esteem or anything. They know it is safer to be where they are.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    3,529
    I think 70 lbs is much too small. Why take the risk?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    3,014
    My little brother is 13, and weighs about 75 -- my mom still doesn't let him sit in the front seat; it could be really dangerous if something happened.
    "What contemptible scoundrel stole the cork from my lunch?"
    By W. C. Fields

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Marlborough, ma
    Posts
    719
    I've heard that sitting close in the front seat for ADULTS who are 5' or under can be dangerous. (I'm 5'1" - so this is almost an issue for me). The problem stems from where the airbag COVER hits when it flies off. Apparently it hits right around the 5' area - and can be deadly if you're sitting too close. Personally, I wouldn't chance it, under ANY circumstances, for a child. As an adult, I just try to push my seat closer to the backseat than the front seat.

    Maybe you can do a search on yahoo or google or even some of the news websites (msnbc, abc, etc...) for airbag articles - you might be able to find some articles in "black & white" to share with DH on the dangers (or lack therof) of children sitting in the front seat.

    tracey

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Rochester, NY
    Posts
    458
    I have the opposite problem. My eight year old is 115 lbs and I'm not sure of her height but she is quickly catching up to my petite adult friends. She is as big as many 12 year olds. I have often wondered about having her in the front. I would like to be able to drive my two girls and a friend for each in my station wagon, but because of the airbag they have to take turns inviting friends or I have to arrange a drop-off plan. When we purchased the car it was before they knew about the trouble. We thought we were adding to our saftey by paying more for a passenger airbag. Everytime I carpool I regret that decision. I wish they gave specific height and weight requirements instead of age. Any advise?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Good Ole USofA
    Posts
    1,612
    I joke that DD will be sitting in the backseat until she gets married. I'd check with either your car manufacturer or DOT(?) and find out what the height/weight requirements are for your vehicle.
    "You know I was talking to my friend Desdemona the other day she
    runs this space station and bake shop down near Boomtown. She told
    me that human beings are flawed individuals. The cosmic bakers
    took us out of the oven a little too early. And that's the
    reason we're as crazy as we are and I believe it." Jimmy Buffet, Fruitcakes, 1994

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    533
    This was an issue for me last year when I had a 7th grader in my carpool who insisted she should sit up front. My Honda Accord book says people sitting in the front should be at leat 5' tall. (I don't recall there being a weight requirement). Your owner's book might offer information to help you make the proper decision.

    P.S. This carpooler was adamant that her parents said it was okay. To cover myself, and b/c this was against my better judgment, I had her mother write a waiver; from then on she rode proudly in the front seat for the rest of the school year.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Denver CO
    Posts
    911
    Thanks for the advice-- I will also check with our pediatrician and let you know. BTW, my 9 yr. old daughter weighs 100 lbs and is much taller than the 12 yr. old, but I don't want her up front either!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Denver CO
    Posts
    911
    I did a Web search and didn't come up with much. The government's big thing is that kids are always safer in the back. Apparently some of the kids killed by airbags did not even have a seat belt on. They do give advice if you have to put a kid over 7 in the front --keep them as far back from the air bag as possible -no fiddling with the radio, etc. Also -you can get an on off switch installed if you must take little kids up front, but the literature seemed to discourage it as airbags really do save lives. The guidelines do say "12 and under" in back, so I guess I will rely on that to keep my 12 year old in back one more year. Plus, I don't want to hear the whining from little sister about how unfair it would be.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Bedford, NH
    Posts
    3,492
    The American Academy of Pediatrics has revised their recommendations about car safety--they recommend that children should be in the back, in a booster seat until they weigh 80 lbs. Now, I know how a 12 year old feels about a booster seat---but I think that may say a lot about the front seat and safety.......

    Kristi
    who jokes that her son will be in a booster seat until he is in high school if his present weight is any indicator.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    1,176

    Arrow This site may be of help--

    This is from "Air Bags and Car Seats Traffic Facts & Information". The site is-
    http://danenet.wicip.org/bots/traffic/autosafety.html

    Zinnia

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ
    Posts
    12,331
    For all us petite drivers, FYI: you should be able to fit an 8 1/2 x 11 inch sheet of paper lengthwise between you and the steering column. If you can't, you're sitting too close for safety in case the air bag deploys. If you have to sit that close to reach the pedals, you need to have some adjustments made so that you can move the seat back.

  14. #14

    Exclamation

    Please, please, PLEASE stick to your guns mothers of smaller kids. Maybe your child will be annoyed with you, but at least he or she will be alive.

    It's like grinding a knife into my heart every time I see a car go by with some little kids not strapped down or wriggling around in the front seat. (I lost a nephew who thought he was invincible and didn't wear a seatbelt.) We never had any problem keeping my son in the back seat or with a selt belt or car seat when he was small-- our family learned the hard way.

  15. #15
    Oh Gail - if a personal testimony doesn't move anyone, I don't know what will. I'm so sorry for your loss.

    Here's some good information also - from http://www.boostamerica.org/getboost.htm


    WHEN TO GET A BOOSTER?


    IS YOUR CHILD SAFE?

    A child’s growing years are an exciting time for parents. But they can also be a time of added risk, especially on America’s streets and highways.

    Studies have found that, after age three, children run an extra risk of injury in car crashes because most of them ride without proper safety seats, ride unbelted, or are improperly using safety belts.

    Nearly one-third of children ages 4 to 8 ride completely unbelted, while fewer than 7 percent use booster seats. And this failure to properly buckle up plays a large part in the fact that traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for children in this age group, claiming more than 500 young lives each year.


    THE BOOSTER AGE

    Children outgrow a typical convertible or toddler seat when they weigh 40 pounds and are around 4 years of age. But they are still too small for lap-shoulder belts to fit properly. Properly using a safety belt is always better than NOT using one, but if used improperly, a safety belt may not provide any protection. For example, children who put the shoulder belt behind them or under their arm can suffer serious injuries to the head, internal organs, or spine in a crash.

    The solution? When children outgrow their forward-facing toddler seats, they need to graduate to seats for “big kids,” known as booster seats. And they need to use their belt-positioning booster seats until they grow big enough (usually over 80 pounds) for the vehicle seat and for adult safety belts to fit correctly.


    BOOSTERS ARE FUN FOR KIDS

    Booster seats position a child so that adult safety belts fit properly. They lift the child up so that the lap belt rests low across the hips and the knees bend comfortably. Booster seats also make the shoulder portion of the belt fit correctly and more comfortably for growing children, and make it easier to see out the car window. They make it fun for youngsters to ride.

    Most importantly, booster seats can help save lives.


    WHEN DOES MY CHILD NEED A BOOSTER SEAT?

    Children need to use booster seats until they weigh about 80 pounds (about 8 years old). That’s when adult lap-shoulder belts are more likely to fit correctly. Small children tend to scoot forward until their legs hang down and they slouch against the seat back. In this position, the belts will not be effective and the child may be seriously injured. Properly installed, booster seats position the lap belt low and snug across the hips and the shoulder belt snug across the middle of the chest and raise the child for better sitting posture and comfort.

    Booster seats should be used until you can answer YES to ALL of these questions*:

    Can the child sit all the way back against the seat back with knees bent comfortably at the edge of the seat?
    Does the lap belt rest low across the hips?
    Is the shoulder belt centered on the shoulder and chest?
    Can the child stay seated like this for the whole trip?

    *From SafetyBeltSafe USA
    Last edited by SandyM; 08-28-2001 at 12:17 PM.

  16. #16

    Cool

    Now, how can anyone dislike being stalked by someone with information like that? Thanks, Sandy. Great article.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    24,226
    Just to add an interesting side note...beginning this weekend some new laws go into effect here in Texas, it's a shame the legislature didn't have a copy of Sandy's article before they passed their new law. The new law only requires car seats for any child under the age of four or less than 36" in height, no mention of boosters and/or riding in the front seat for children 12 + under(in the UK it is against the law for children under 12 to ride up front). There is a new law requiring the wearing of seatbelts for children under 17 anywhere in the vehicle. And it is finally against the law to ride in the back of a pickup unless of course it's the only family vehicle-gotta have them loopholes, I guess!
    Well-behaved women seldom make history!

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Good Ole USofA
    Posts
    1,612
    I believe that Washington State recently passed a law making booster seats for under age 8 mandatory. Come on all you Washingtonians, speak up here if I'm in error. I think they also have a law on the books about 12 and under age children must sit in the back seat. I remember when my nephew turned 12 and he was so excited to be able to sit in the front seat of my parent's car.

    They tried to pass a similar booster seat law here in Hawaii but the lawmakers voted it down as being too expensive for large families. Hello, lets talk about priorities!!! A columnist in the Honolulu Advertiser made a good point about it - people can afford to have several gold "Hawaiian" bracelets hanging on their arms, but can't afford a car seat to buckle their kid up. Something very wrong about that.

    I need to go away now, this subject just gets me totally wound up LOL!
    "You know I was talking to my friend Desdemona the other day she
    runs this space station and bake shop down near Boomtown. She told
    me that human beings are flawed individuals. The cosmic bakers
    took us out of the oven a little too early. And that's the
    reason we're as crazy as we are and I believe it." Jimmy Buffet, Fruitcakes, 1994

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    24,226
    Bosunswife,
    Sort of the same thing here in Texas...if you can afford to buy a pickup truck (and believe you me, they sell for a lot more than the average family car) then surely you can buy the average family vehicle and then have the extra money to purchase the necessary booster seat. I mean who needs gold bracelets and/or pickups if your priorities are right!
    Well-behaved women seldom make history!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •