What Are the Requirements to Let a Child Ride in the Front Seat?

Updated on March 15, 2008
M.M. asks from Brighton, MI
6 answers

My son is now 11 years old and weighs 110 lbs. He's been bugging me to let him ride in the front seat since many of his peers are doing this. While I know children are the safest in the back seat, and plan on him riding there most of the time, I'm curious to know what the height/weight/age guidelines are for riding up front with a passenger side air bag. Also, I'd love to hear at what point you've allowed your children to begin riding in the front.
M. M.

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N.W.

answers from Detroit on

Back is still safest-- but I think the recommendation is never in the front before 12 years old and 56 inches tall.

1 mom found this helpful
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M.W.

answers from Detroit on

the law is 49 inches tall, I am not sure there is a weight requirement.

1 mom found this helpful
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M.W.

answers from Lansing on

I think there are height and weight suggestions. Most car manufacturers suggest age 12 however......my kids are 14 and 12 and at the minimum height and weight and I still make them ride in the back unless I have too many kids and need one to ride in the front. I believe about a year ago it was recommended to wait until closer to 16 due to the lack of bone developement even though they are tall enough and weigh enough. On the state of Georgia site they recommend children under 13 not be in the front seat of vehicles with air bags. The sites I looked at also recommended the height of 65 inches (5feet 5 inches) I believe the 4'9" is the height they need to be to be out of a booster. I'm pretty sure that's not tall enough for a front seat with an airbag.

1 mom found this helpful
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S.D.

answers from Detroit on

I had to laugh about the 5'5 (65 inches). I, myself, am only 5'0 (60 inches)!!!!!:)

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J.C.

answers from Detroit on

I think it depends on if you have a airbag that shuts off. My daughter is almost 9 yrs old, 4'2 and 65 lbs. There are times when she sits in the front, but my van has an automatic airbag shut off if there is not enough weight on the seat. I think it is ok that way. What about if it were a pickup truck and there is only the front seat. What do you do then? I hope this helps also if anyone thinks what I am doing wrong please let me know. Thanks and good luck.
J.

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T.W.

answers from Lansing on

I started letting my daughter sit in the front seat at 80 pounds--she recently hit this weight and is 13.

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