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    how old does a child have to be to sit in the front seat

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    When can a child sit in the front seat of the car?

    It is safest and best practice by safety experts and car/airbag manufacturers to let a child sit in the front seat of the car after age 13.

    When can a child sit in the front seat of the car?

    Posted on January 14, 2021 in Car Seat Safety by Amie

    Age 13. Bam. Done!

    The child in the photo below is too young to sit in the front seat. He would be safer to be in a booster seat in the back seat of the car. It is safest — and best practice — for children to not sit in the front seat until they are 13 years old.

    © belchonock | depositphotos

    © amie durocher

    The Centers for Disease Control, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and, most likely, even your air bag and car manufacturer recommend keeping children under age 13 in the back seat.

    I say “most likely” your car manufacturer because I haven’t personally checked the passenger visors in every car to see if they ALL a warning label shown here.

    OBVIOUSLY NOT EVERYONE FOLLOWS THIS RECOMMENDATION

    We notice a lot of children who are obviously not 13 sitting in the front seat. This is especially noticeable during our elementary school drop off and pick up.

    When the child is so short you can just see the top of his head in the front seat, not only should he still be in the back seat but also in a seat belt positioner.

    We get it. It’s hard. Even though we told our 11-year-old he’ll need to wait until 13, he still asks to sit up front. And I know some of his friend’s parents allow him to. Why not, they allow their children to. Many Most of his friends are allowed to.

    Nine out of 10 parents allow their children to use the vehicle seat belt before they can properly pass the 5-step test. It’s no surprise they also allow their child to sit in the front seat before the recommended age of 13.

    And while some states do have laws which require children to sit in the back seat, most do not. Of those that do many only go up to age 8.

    WHICH STATES HAVE LAWS ABOUT WHEN CAN CHILDREN SIT IN THE FRONT SEAT?

    California, Georgia, Hawaii, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Tennessee laws require children to be in the rear seat properly restrained until age 8.Delaware law doesn’t allow children to sit in the front seat until they are 12 years old or 65″ tall.Maine law doesn’t allow children to sit in the front seat until the child is age 12 or 100 pounds.Washington law doesn’t allow children to sit in the front seat of the car until age 13.Puerto Rico law requires children to remain in the back seat of the car until age 12.

    (We now have this bit of info included in our list of state car seat laws.)

    Once again occupant restraint laws are commonly the minimum standard to follow as they are typically a compromise between “best practice” and what lawmakers think their constituents will tolerate.

    WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO FOLLOW THE RECOMMENDATION?

    We often hear, “but I sat up front and I’m fine.” That’s true. Most of us adults did sit in the front seat when we were children. Some of us adults sat in all kinds of places that would be considered compromising our safety these days. For instance, because of lack of seating, I often was squished into the hatchback of my mom’s Mazda RX-7 while my brother, only 2 years older, was in the front seat. And Greg often shared the cargo space of their station wagon with one of his 8 siblings.

    A lot of things have changed since then such as the number of cars on the road, the speed at which they travel and increase availability of passenger air bags. Most importantly what has changed is our knowledge of crash dynamics and occupant safety.

    3 REASONS TO WAIT FOR A CHILD TO SIT IN THE FRONT SEAT

    1. Location, location, location. The back seat is the safest place for your children — actually safer for everyone regardless of age, height or weight — because most crashes occur in the front of the car and the back seat is farthest from this impact. So in general there is a lower risk of injury for back seat passengers.2. Air bags are designed for a 140-pound man wearing a seat belt. (I know fellow women under 140 pounds, we don’t fit the ideal range either kind of like seat belts are not designed for women, much less pregnant women. But what are car manufacturers to do? They have to use some average.)

    Airbags are not designed for children who are much lighter and smaller. As such airbags can cause serious injury to children below the height requirement by hitting them in the face, chest, neck or head at speeds of between 90 to 210 miles per hour.

    Nationwide, more than 100 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.

    Download our cheat sheet to learn the 4+ stages of car seats and which one your child is in.

    Also older children are more likely to have the maturity to stay sitting properly and keep their body out of the deployment zone of the airbag. When properly seated and wearing their seat belts, teens are generally big enough for the air bag to be of some benefit.

    Source : saferide4kids.com

    When can a child sit in the front seat? Passenger safety tips

    Sitting in the front seat of a vehicle can be dangerous for children below a certain age, height, or weight. Learn more about when a child can safely sit in the front seat here.

    When can a child sit in the front seat of a car?

    Written by Jamie Eske on December 17, 2019

    We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Here’s our process.

    Many organizations recommend that a child only travel in the front seat of a vehicle from the age of 13.

    The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend that all children under the age of 13 sit in the rear seats of vehicles. How they sit in the back seat — for example, whether they use a rear-facing seat, a forward-facing seat, or a booster seat — will depend on their age, weight, and height.

    Most cars come equipped with airbags and seat belts. Car manufacturers originally designed these standard safety features to protect adults in the event of a crash. However, they may not prove as useful for protecting a child in the front seat.

    In this article, we cover what people need to know about child passenger safety. This includes age-specific safety rules, the risks of sitting in the front seat, and some general tips for safe car travel with children.

    Age-specific safety information

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    A child’s age, height, and weight determine the most appropriate way for them to sit in a vehicle.

    Parents and caregivers can keep children safe by buckling them into a seat that is appropriate for their age, height, and weight.

    Compared with seat belt use alone, car seat use lowers the risk of injury in vehicle crashes by up to 82%

    Trusted Source Trusted Source in children.

    The following sections contain car seat recommendations for children of different age groups.

    Birth to 3 years

    In previous years, the AAP recommended that children ride in rear-facing car seats until they reached 2 years of age.

    However, the AAP have since changed this recommendation in response to recent research findings. They now suggest that children ride in a rear-facing car seat until they exceed the seat’s weight and height limits.

    Parents and caregivers should also keep rear-facing car seats in the back seat of the car to prevent airbag injuries. Airbags present a significant risk to children in rear-facing car seats because their heads are much closer to the airbag.

    3 to 7 years

    Those aged 3–7 years may exceed the weight and height limits of their rear-facing car seat. If this is the case, they should instead sit in a forward-facing car seat in the back seat of the vehicle.

    Height and weight recommendations for car seat use vary by state. Weight limits for most seats range from 20–65 pounds (lb). Height limits also vary. Generally, children must be at least 4 feet 9 inches tall before they stop using a car seat.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

    Trusted Source Trusted Source

    recommend that children use a forward-facing car seat until they reach at least 5 years of age, however.

    8 to 12 years

    When a child outgrows their forward-facing car seat, they should use a booster seat. This is to ensure that the car’s seat belt fits correctly. The lap belt must lie across the child’s upper thighs, and the shoulder belt should fit snuggly against their shoulder and chest.

    According to the National Safety Council, children should ride in a booster seat until they reach all of the following:

    at least 9 years of age

    4 feet 9 inches in height

    80 lb in weight

    State-specific child safety laws

    Child passenger safety laws vary by state. People can learn more about their state’s child passenger safety law by visiting their state’s government website. Alternatively, people can visit the Governors Highway Safety Association page on child passenger safety.

    Most states permit children over a certain age or size to use an adult seat belt without a car seat or booster seat. Others require booster seats or other child restraint devices for children who have outgrown their car seats.

    Risks for children sitting in the front seat

    Children who sit in the front seat of a vehicle are at increased risk of injury from airbag deployment. An airbag deploys in under one-twentieth of a second and can cause serious injury. This is why the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration suggest that adults sit at least 10 inches away from the steering wheel.

    Children tend to be shorter than adults. They may therefore sustain severe head injuries if they are sitting in the front seat of a vehicle when an airbag deploys. Some car manufacturers now use occupant-sensing devices that suppress airbags for infants and children.

    Children over 13 years of age who have outgrown a booster seat can sit in the front passenger seat of a car. Parents and caregivers can minimize the risk of airbag-related injury by moving the passenger seat as far back as possible.

    General tips for driving with children

    People should also try to follow the safety tips below when driving with children in the car:

    Ensure that children use appropriately sized seat belts and safety seats at all times.

    Ensure that children below 13 years of age sit in the back seat.

    Source : www.medicalnewstoday.com

    When Can a Child Sit in the Front Seat: By Height and Age

    An airbag deploys rapidly at a rate of 1/20th of a second. At this fast rate, an airbag can deploy at a speed of 200 miles per hour. This delivers a significant amount of force to a younger, lighter child. Children who sit in the front seat before they’re larger in size are at risk for head injuries.

    When Can a Child Sit in the Front Seat?

    Medically reviewed by Karen Gill, M.D. — Written by Rachel Nall, MSN, CRNA on July 23, 2018

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    Overview

    While airbags are meant to protect adults from harm in a car crash, they can’t protect children sitting in the front seat.

    As a result, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that all children ages 13 and under buckle up in the back seat for safety.

    Some exceptions to this exist. For example, if an adolescent over age 13 is small for their age, it’s not recommended they sit in the front.

    Here’s what you need to know about children riding in the car, as well as car seat safety tips by age.

    Dangers of riding in the front seat for young children

    Car manufacturers typically design airbags to protect an adult who’s at least 5 feet tall and roughly 150 pounds. Even if a child is wearing a seat belt correctly when riding in the front seat, they’re more likely to sustain injuries from a passenger airbag than an adult.

    This is because an airbag deploys rapidly, within 1/20th of a second. At this fast rate, an airbag can deploy at a speed of 200 miles per hour. This delivers a significant amount of force to a younger, lighter child.

    Children who sit in the front seat before they’re larger in size are at risk for head injuries due to the impact of the airbag or the airbag’s ability to lift them off the seat and hit the top of the car.

    After they graduate from a car seat, the safest place for young people to sit is the middle of the back seat, as long as there’s a seat belt (lap and shoulder belts) to use in that position.

    When a child is 13 years old and wants to ride in the front seat, parents can further protect them from injury by taking the following steps:

    Move the front seat as far back as it can go and away from where the airbag would deploy. Most crashes affect the front of a car, making this position the least likely to take impact.

    Always require your child to wear a seat belt.

    Have your child wear their seat belt properly with their back against the seat so they’re further from the dashboard. The seat belt should go across the upper chest, not the neck. A lap belt should lay across the lap, not on the stomach.

    Even if a 13-year-old weighs more than 150 pounds, they may still need to use a booster seat if they’re under 4 feet, 9 inches tall. A seat belt may not fit properly at this height.

    Some states have laws regarding when a child can sit in the front seat. Police officers can write tickets to parents and caregivers who aren’t obeying the law.

    Life stages and car seat safety

    Using the right size seat and applying safety straps appropriately is vital to keeping a child safe in the car. Never put a rear-facing car seat in front of an active air bag. If a car seat can’t be placed in the back seat, disable the passenger airbag to reduce the risk for injury.

    The following are some guidelines by age to using the appropriate car seat:

    Birth to age 2

    Children should ride in a rear-facing car seat for as long as possible, usually until they’re at least 2 or until they reach the upper weight limit, which is 40 pounds or more.

    Shop for a rear-facing car seat here.

    This type of car seat cushions a child’s delicate neck and spinal cord. If you start with an infant carrier, change to a convertible car seat when they outgrow it, but leave the car seat rear-facing.

    Ages 2 to 8 (or older)

    Children should ride in a forward-facing seat for as long as possible until they reach the upper height or weight limit of their seat. Buy one online.

    This car seat protects against forward movement should a crash occur. The seat should have the weight and height limits listed. Usually, the maximum weight limit is between 40 and 65 pounds.

    Ages 8 to 12

    When a child has outgrown the weight and height limits for a forward-facing seat, they’ll need a belt-positioning booster seat. Shop for one now.

    This helps a child sit at the safest angle and height to prevent injuries in a car accident.

    Children will usually stay in this booster seat until they’re over 4 feet, 9 inches tall. This booster seat ensures the seat belt fits over the strongest parts of a child’s body so they’re less likely to be injured in a crash.

    Children older than 13

    While teenagers can ride in the front seat, they should always wear their seat belts.

    At each stage, a car seat or booster is intended to position a child at the safest and most secure angle to protect them against impact and car accidents.

    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates the lives of 248 children under 5 years old were saved by car seats in 2015.

    The bottom line

    Even low-impact crashes when a young person is in the front seat can cause significant damage if a child isn’t big or old enough to sit in the front seat. As a result, it’s important for caregivers and parents to practice strict rules for car safety each and every time.

    Many local fire departments, hospitals, and other community organizations offer car seat installation and inspection stations. Parents can find these by visiting or calling the following resources:

    Source : www.healthline.com

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