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When can my child safely ride in the front seat of a car?

The backseat is the safest place for a child of any age to ride, whether the vehicle is equipped with airbags or not. According to recent studies, the lives of thousands of children have been saved solely because they were sitting in the backseat.

The front seat is alluring, I know. Kids like to sit in the front of the car because they can see better out of the front window and they have easier access to you. But no matter the list of reasons or excuses they give, children (especially those under the age of 12) should always ride in the back seat. Statistics show that this can help avoid neck or spine injury in the event of a sudden stop or crash.

From Good Kids, Bad Habits: The RealAge Guide to Raising Healthy Children by Jennifer Trachtenberg.

Good Kids, Bad Habits: The RealAge Guide to Raising Healthy Children

More About this Book

Good Kids, Bad Habits: The RealAge Guide to Raising Healthy Children

When kids start going on TV binges or devouring fistfuls of cookies, it's easy to say, "They'll grow out of it." More likely, they're acquiring bad habits that could lead to childhood obesity and...
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
All kids under age 13 should ride in the back seat and be buckled in. Being close to the windshield drastically increases the risk of injury, and the force of deploying airbags can severely injure or even kill a child. Most states don't allow children to ride shotgun until they're thirteen. If you have no choice and have to put a child in the front seat, disable the passenger side air bags.
YOU: Raising Your Child: The Owner's Manual from First Breath to First Grade

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YOU: Raising Your Child: The Owner's Manual from First Breath to First Grade

There’s little doubt that parenting can be one of the most rewarding and satisfying experiences you’ll ever have. But it can be plenty tough, too: Around the clock, you’re working to keep your...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.