front seat or back?



front seat or back?

After seeing a news report last week about the dangers of a lap belt only I am a little uneasy. This is normally not an issue for me as I have 2 children. But, when my niece or another child rides with us, I have always put them all in the back seat. This report said that the middle lap belt only seat is THE most dangerous and likely to cause more injuries or death. I rememeber hearing when air bags were 1st introduced, that if you had no other choice but for the child to ride in the front seat, to push the seat back as far as possible. My oldest is almost 8 and is big for his age. My question is would it be safer to let him ride in the front instead of putting someone in the back middle seat?


front seat or back?

Well, I just answered my ? I think. I found this statement on another site....

Seating position

The front seat is a more dangerous environment than the rear seat, especially if there is a passenger air bag. Because "properly restrained" infants have been killed by air bags, even in low-speed crashes, a rear-facing infant must never be restrained in a seat with an active air bag. Many unrestrained older children have also been killed because they were too close when the air bag deployed. Even without an air bag, children are generally safer in back. Consequently, FMVSS 213 requires manufacturers to say in their instructions "that, according to accident statistics, children are safer when properly restrained in the rear seating positions than in the front seating positions." The only exception to this is when the choice for an older child is between a lap-only belt in back or a lap-shoulder belt in front, with or without a belt-positioning booster. If there are more children than rear seating positions, the most appropriate child to put in the front seat is the one in a forward-facing CR with internal harness, whose CR will keep the child well back and away from the instrument panel and/or air bag. The harness must be snug, the CR firmly installed, and the vehicle seat moved as far rearward as possible


And a good answer, too-

That information is correct. Another option for children up to 80 pounds is the Britax Super Elite. It's a front-facing carseat that goes up to 80 pounds with a 5-point harness. It can be installed with a lap belt, though it will require a tether to reach the 80 pound limit.

For kids up to 65 pounds, the Britax Laptop is a less expensive option that is a very good choice for a center position with only a lap belt.

Most harnessed carseats may also be installed safely with just a lap belt, the main issue is that a child in a booster, an older child in a seatbelt and even adults using seatbelts should always have a lap+shoulder belt.

But, if you do have three older kids in your car, the tallest/oldest may have to ride in front instead of the rear center with just a lap belt just as the article you found stated. As you said, make sure to move the seat all the way back. Also make sure they remain seated properly, especially that they aren't leaning forward and haven't put the shoulder belt behind their backs! If you must routinely transport a child 12 or under in the front, you may even qualify to have an airbag on/off switch installed in your vehicle.

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