Child car seat experts are urging parents not to let children sit in the front passenger seat of a car.
In a post on Facebook, Child Seat Safety says children below the age of 12-years-old ‘are the most at risk when the frontal airbag deploys in a crash’.
The post also stresses that for anyone putting a rear facing child seat in the front passenger seat, it’s a legal requirement to first deactivate the airbag.
Child Seat Safety says: “Young children, especially those below the age of 12-years-old should ideally not be seated in the front passenger seat as they are the most at risk when the frontal airbag deploys in a crash.
“To avoid this danger, be mindful where you place children, particularly infants in safety seats and young children.
“It is advisable for children to be placed in the back seat and on appropriate child safety seats secured with a seat belt.
“You should always check and follow specific advice from your vehicle manufacturer.”
‘Safer restrained in the rear seats’
Official Government advice says that ‘generally, children are safer restrained in the rear seats’ of vehicles.
The DfT’s ‘Vehicle airbags: safety guidance’ adds: “In deciding where children should travel in your car you should always follow the vehicle and child restraint manufacturer’s advice.
“If you do carry children facing forward in the front seat, they should always be properly restrained and the seat should be latched as far back as possible.”
Julie Dagnall, director of Child Seat Safety and a Road Safety GB specialist with regards to child car seats, told Manchester Evening News: “It is essential to check the vehicle handbook for instructions before placing any child seat in the front passenger seat.
“It’s a legal requirement for an airbag to be deactivated if a rear facing car seat is being used. UK Road Traffic collision data identifies that it’s safer to sit in the rear seats and therefore wherever possible children should use these.”