Vent Booster in the front seat of a sedan, I was so ANGRY.(moved to Carseat Chat from Carseats)

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Today while I was at a strip plaza, walking thru the parking lot, I saw a family of five depart from a 2010-newer Toyota sedan. 2 little girls under 3'8", no more than 3-6yrs old, one of them exited the car from the front. After they went into a store I walked by the car and saw a Graco Turbo Highback in the FRONT SEAT. I WAS OUTRAGED, MAD, ANGRY, UPSET!!! I'm venting here. I was so furious! If the child isn't big enough for the seatbelt alone, it should be enough to know that that they're not big enough for surviving the airbags. Plus there was food wrappers and random junk on the dashboard, from end to end, just a hot mess of projectiles. It makes me mad seeing younger smaller children in front seats, let alone a booster in the front of a 5 passenger sedan. Hard to know which child was sitting the front, they were both so small I noticed. Another Turbo backless in the backseat, plus a stage 1 infant seat, not buckled in and without a base, placed crooked between the two front seats and backseat edge. I knew I had a pen and MadLibs book in my purse, and I found I had a sheet of paper. I ripped it in half and left a note on the windshield, "booster seats are for the backseat, adults are for the front seat. And you have too much trash and junk on your dashboard, those things can easily be thrown by gravity and hard stops towards people's faces, the booster doesn't do any good in the front seat. Don't let kids control who sits where, bc you're the driver and they're not". Maybe I went overboard? Maybe they went overboard? I WAS JUST SO MAD AT PEOPLES IGNORANCE, I had to do something. It didn't occur to me to call the sheriff dept, maybe I should have. I took a pic with my phone and ranted about it on Facebook.


Admin - CPST Instructor
Staff member
Re: Booster in the front seat of a sedan, I was so ANGRY.

I admire your passion, and I hate to say it, but yes, overboard. Your note was judgmental and negative. If I'd gotten it I would have instantly been defensive, and not at all receptive.

On the rare times I leave notes, I make sure to point out something OTHER than myself. For instance, "I noticed your seat is in the middle of the backseat using the lower anchors. You might want to double check your VW Beetle's manual, because it says lower anchors are for the outer seats only, you don't have a seat in the middle where you can install a carseat." That way I'm not telling them yes or not, just pointing them to a source of information and with that information, they can make a choice (in that particular instance, outside my daughter's Little Gym, a week later a little boy came up to me and said, "Mommy says thank you for helping her with the carseat.").

In this instance maybe a polite note to check the visors in the car, and the manual, recommending kids in the backseat, and then point out that WA state law requires children to be in the backseat until 13, and you wouldn't want them to get a $136 ticket.

I wouldn't have mentioned the wrappers and food. It doesn't have enough mass to do a lot of damage, and not everyone has a spotless car. If you hadn't lost them by that point in the note, I'm sure that's when they tuned out completely.

Or maybe you could have left a note suggesting they check out to help find a local tech, since you notice a few errors with their arrangement? That way again, you're just offering information, rather than negativity and judgment.

Mostly, though, I don't leave notes.



Well-known member
Re: Booster in the front seat of a sedan, I was so ANGRY.

My 9 year old sat in the front seat today using a ride safer travel best because I was out of seats in the back of my van. Sometimes the ideal can not be met due to many different reasons. It's possible that the baby that was sitting in the baseless infant seat, which was likely buckled while the child was in it, was a medically fragile child who requires the adult sit next to the seat. Or maybe the boosters don't both fit with the infant seat and the family can not afford new seats that might fit.

Young children in the front seat are definitely not ideal. But sometimes a child must sit up front for whatever reason and at least the parents had the child in a seat and hopefully properly buckled.

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Nedra Ambassador
Booster in the front seat of a sedan, I was so ANGRY.

Can someone with admin/moderator privileges move this thread to a more private section of the forum?

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Active member
I do think you meant well but that sounds overboard to me. Scolding and shaming are not ways to get people to be open to help. In this little world of car seats, this stuff is a "no-brainer" but most people honestly don't know what is right and wrong with car seats. They may be totally closed off to any help after receiving that note.

There are some situations when a smaller child rides up front and it can be for various options but mostly because it's the best option they have. You do not know their story. The couple of times I've left notes have just been something like "I noticed (blank). You can find resources (here) that can help you see how that should be to keep your little one safest. Have a nice day!"


New member
Booster in the front seat of a sedan, I was so ANGRY.(moved to Carseat Chat f...

I seem to remember you doing this before. Please direct your considerable passion and energy toward effecting positive change through outreach, legislative methods, etc. Or anything else but picking random families to receive your outrage.

I am half convinced that you are trolling us.

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