Booster Seat in Truck

Updated on February 06, 2012
A.S. asks from Rustburg, VA
10 answers

Is it safe to put a booster seat for a 3 year old in the front seat of a Chevrolet S-10 Truck? I was wondering if their are laws against it since children are supposed to sit in the backseat of cars....This may sound dumb but I have never put my children in my husband's truck and I may NEED to tomorrow.

Just to add a little bit of information....The booster seat my child is in is for a child who is 3-10 years old, 30-100LBS, and 38-57 inches tall...
She is 3, she is 33 lbs, and she is 38 inches tall.

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So What Happened?

I did not put her in the truck.....I did visit the local fire department and they agreed that she is safe in the booster seat that I have for her!!!!!!!!

More Answers



answers from San Francisco on

from googling "Virginia Child safety seat laws" I found the following:
"Rear-facing child restraints must be placed in the back seat. If the vehicle does not have a back seat, the child restraint may be placed in the front seat if the vehicle does not have a front passenger airbag or if the airbag has been turned off." So although it's definitely less than ideal, it's not illegal

Tips from -"It's not ideal, but when buying a new/different car isn't an option, you can put a car seat in the front seat of a pick-up. As you said, airbags can be an issue. NEVER place a rear facing seat in front of an active frontal airbag. Push the vehicle seat as far back as it will go to keep the child as far as possible from a frontal colision (the most common type). A certified CPST can assist you with ensuring that the seat is properly installed.".

And I hope that by "booster seat" for your 3YO you mean a forward facing harnessed seat or "combination seat" (Forward facing seat with 5 point harness that can be removed when child reaches the height or weight maximum for the harness, then can be used without harness as a belt-positioning booster seat - yes, the different car seat types can be very confusing :-)). Even though some belt positioning booster seats (seats that have no 5-point harness and merely position the vehicle's lap/shoulder belt on the child) will list a minimum age of 3 years old, the typical 3 year old lacks the size and maturity to sit properly in a booster and be safely restrained by one (smaller booster riders are at greater risk than older/heavier children of "submarining" under the lap belt in an accident). And especially if you have to put a child in the front seat of the vehicle, you'll want the added security of the 5 -point harness. Hope that helps!

Edited to add: even if your child is *within the manufacturer's minimum age/weight/height for a booster seat*, children on the low end of the range are significantly safer in five point harnessed seats - please see for more info

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Spokane on

If you have no other option, I would assume that as long as their is no airbag, that it should be fine but I would check your local laws. I know it's ok for us in ID.

As for your daughter being in a booster, she's way too young. It doesn't matter she meets the requirements for that particular booster. She needs to be in a 5 point harness. It provides much better safety overall. Especially if she's going to be in the front seat of a truck. It may be more convenient, but I wouldn't put that above a child's safety. I would certainly check your local laws on that one. Most states say the children have to be at least 4.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I guess it's safe. Booster seats are intended to keep kids who are too large for car seats, but not yet adult sized, safe in vehicles. A brand new survey has found that many parents do not use booster seats in carpool situations, which could be very risky. These parents should be informed well. Article resource: <a title="Half of kids being transported without safety seats" href=" of kids being transported without safety seats</a>



answers from Norfolk on

there is no law about putting a child in the front seat only a recomendation stating that it's safer in the back. i also would like to tell you that it's safer that she not be in a boster but in a five point harness til shes at least 5. my daughter is 6 and still in one. we have the graco nautilus. she will be in a 5 point harness until she is 65 pounds or too tall for the seat we have.



answers from Springfield on

The only thing I would be concerned about would be the airbag. Make sure it's turned off!

Most state's laws essentially say nothing more than children of a certain age need to be in a car seat. They tend not to specify the type of car seat or wear (front or back seat). The AAP recommendations are the ones that talk about front seat vs. back seat and age and weight factors.

Ideally, children should be 4 years old or 40 pounds before riding in a booster. I know some kids that were not mature enough and would try to wiggle out. Other kids were definitely mature enough, so use your discretion.



answers from Washington DC on

I don't think there is a law about it just recommendations. Probably not the ideal situation but its better than nothing. I also would recommend a 5 pt harness till they can't fit in it anymore. My son was in his til he was 6 (and he isn't a small kid-thin but tall). Just make sure the airbag is turned off.


answers from New York on

We have one in our truck. I mean you are driving in a truck that doesn't have a backseat. Not much choice there. When we go through check points they just check to make sure that she is strapped in properly. Never had any problems. No big deal.


answers from Kansas City on

3 year olds should not be in booster seats. They should still be in a 5pt.
The law in most states is 4 years AND 40lbs for a belted booster.

That being said my son who is 3 also does ride in my mother-in-laws truck on occasion is his carseat. WITH the passanger airbag turned off.



answers from Kansas City on

I thought booster seats (seats using the car's seat belt and not a 5 point harness) were for children that were 4 and 40lbs.

They only have to be in the back seat if there is a back seat. Just make sure the airbag is turned off (some cars have weight sensors in the seat and turn it off if the passenger weighs less than 100lbs).



answers from Boston on

Well a 3 year old should be in a 5 point harness not a booster. My son occasioanally goes in his carseat in the truck with the passenger side air bag turned off.

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