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car seat safety question
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16 replies to this topic

#1 mum850

Posted 07 January 2013 - 10:27 PM

I am aware that there are some people who take a harder line with car seats than I do. I have three kids. When I have four kids in the car, the oldest sits in the front seat. Sometimes the oldest is 9. I am aware that it's safer for young kids to NOT sit in the front seat, but sometimes that's the way it's got to be for practical reasons.

I have a friend who I often share driving with. I am aware that she is not happy for her 9 year old to be in the front seat at all ( though her husband is LOL) so it's my daughter that sits in the front, not hers.

Tonight she offered to pick up from something or other. It's a short distance to my house. SHe said, since it's not far, how would you feel about one of the kids going in the footwell, i.e. in front of the back seat, no seat belt. NO WAY!! I said, and hang on, since when is that safer than having  a kid with a seatbelt on in the front seat? ( A kid nearly as tall as me, I am 157).....

No way she says. Airbags for kid in front seat, much more dangerous than unrestrained in back seat.

Who's right, EB?

Now please don't say I am the worst parent ever with the front seat thing, she is 9, sometimes it's got to be done, I am not interested in a huge lecture about it if at all possible.
And no a kid is not going in the footwell.

#2 Sassy Dingo

Posted 07 January 2013 - 10:30 PM

You're right.

She's a crazy person. That is one of the most ridiculous things I've heard - unrestrained in the back seat is safer than in the front? Crazy talk.

#3 Tarantara

Posted 07 January 2013 - 10:31 PM

Vicroads says this:

At what age can a child travel in the front seat?
If a vehicle has two or more rows of seats, children aged under 4 years must not travel in the front seat.

If all rear seats are being used by children under 7 years of age, children aged 4 years to under 7 years may travel in the front seat, provided they travel in a booster seat.

The Victorian road rules allow a child aged 7 years and over to travel in the front seat, however research shows that children under 16 years of aged are at 40% greater risk of injury when travelling in the front seat.


They don't say anything about it being safe for a child to be in a footwell  ohmy.gif

#4 Justaduck

Posted 07 January 2013 - 10:34 PM

No way. Dangerous and illegal. We had some teenagers die near here being unrestrained a few years back

#5 VeritasVinum

Posted 07 January 2013 - 10:36 PM

No way. Personally I would use my front seat over my third row in terms of safety.

On airbags,

#6 libbylu

Posted 07 January 2013 - 10:38 PM

There is no way it safer to travel unrestrained in a car than to be in a seat with a belt.  Not to mention the fact that it is perfectly legal to have a 9 year old in the front seat and very illegal to have an unrestrained child in the car.  I don't think an airbag would do too much damage to a 9 year old anyway - they are not that much smaller than adults, and a 9 year old sitting on a cushion booster would be totally in the clear I would assume.  
In any case, isn't it possible to temporarily disable your airbag in some cars?  If her car is newwish, perhaps she can look at her manual and work out how to do this if she is worried about it.

ETA - Isolabella - that is a great link - very informative!
The advice about putting the seat back a bit further from the dashboard would also make it safer for the OP and her friend.

Edited by libbylu, 07 January 2013 - 10:44 PM.

#7 Heather11

Posted 07 January 2013 - 10:40 PM

Tell her that if she gets pulled over she will be fined for having an unrestrained child in the footwell.  She won't be fined if all the back seats are full and she has a child under 12, wearing a seat belt in the front seat.

#8 mum850

Posted 07 January 2013 - 10:49 PM

QUOTE (Heather11 @ 07/01/2013, 11:40 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Tell her that if she gets pulled over she will be fined for having an unrestrained child in the footwell.  She won't be fined if all the back seats are full and she has a child under 12, wearing a seat belt in the front seat.

She saw a video of a doll with a front airbag in an accident ( am guessing the doll got its head blown off) so the fact that it's illegal does not mean anything. SHe is not being very logical.
The idea about putting the seat back is a good one!

#9 VeritasVinum

Posted 07 January 2013 - 10:52 PM

As my link shows airbags are not the same around the world.

In the US they presume you are not wearing your seatbelt so the airbag deploys more rapidly and with more force even at low speed accidents.

In Australia they are calibrated assuming you ARE wearing your seatbelt and so come out with less force and only in more severe accidents.

EF Autocorrect

Edited by lsolaBella, 07 January 2013 - 10:54 PM.

#10 SeaPrincess

Posted 07 January 2013 - 11:04 PM

QUOTE (Sassy Dingo @ 07/01/2013, 08:30 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
You're right.

She's a crazy person. That is one of the most ridiculous things I've heard - unrestrained in the back seat is safer than in the front? Crazy talk.

QUOTE (Heather11 @ 07/01/2013, 08:40 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Tell her that if she gets pulled over she will be fined for having an unrestrained child in the footwell.  She won't be fined if all the back seats are full and she has a child under 12, wearing a seat belt in the front seat.

Nothing else to say.

Edited by SeaPrincess, 07 January 2013 - 11:05 PM.

#11 *LucyE*

Posted 08 January 2013 - 10:09 AM

Personally, I'd stop my kids car pooling with such a person. If she thinks that's okay, what else does she use her value judgement on and risk your kids?

#12 Therese

Posted 08 January 2013 - 10:10 AM

You are right.

#13 ednaboo

Posted 08 January 2013 - 09:29 PM

Man - her stupidity on this is frightening.

#14 JRA

Posted 09 January 2013 - 07:44 AM

Some things are beyond comprehension.

#15 liveworkplay

Posted 09 January 2013 - 07:49 AM

OMG, of course you are right! My 142cm 9 year old often sits in the front (quite squashy between the two child restraints in the back for her now) Unrestrained in a car........I just have no words. Reminds me of when I found out a friend, who walks 6 kids from the bus stop less then a dozen house up the street to home, gets the kids to sit on the knee of another and drives them when in is raining!!!!! He thinks its ok because they have the seatbelt around the two of them wacko.gif  All of these kids have raincoats and it would be like 2 minutes walk in the rain anyway. I was fuming when I found that one out.

#16 FloralArrangement

Posted 09 January 2013 - 09:46 AM

Don't forget your friend said this statement out loud. I would not let my children travel with her at all. My PIL's made a similar comment when my dd1 was a young baby "It will alright if we hold her just around the corner, we're great drivers" acted like I was being a road safety crazy person (because I was obviously personally responsible for child restraints/car safety and seat belts being legally implemented and shown to save lives). I didn't care then and I don't care now. All kids and adults need to be safe in a car.

A bit like when MIL was all cross on SIL's behalf because she had been caught and fined for having her 3 year old in the front seat in an adult seat belt only. the back seat was empty. I just said "He should have been in the back seat in a car seat and how would she have felt and there had been an accident and DN had been injured?"

Edited by FloralArrangement, 09 January 2013 - 09:47 AM.

#17 Oriental lily

Posted 09 January 2013 - 09:54 AM

I still won't let my 9 year old sit in the front but your friend reasoning is not just baffling seriously dangerous and screwed up.

Is she normally that weird?

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