We know what it’s like. The begging and pleading from your children to sit in the front seat can make you feel pressurised to make this transition. However, this decision really should not be taken lightly! There are so many factors at play and things to consider before you should allow them to make this big move.
For many of us growing up, once we reached a certain age our parents felt it was safe enough to move us to the front seat. But unfortunately, it is not as simple as that! Do you know what the minimum, legal requirements really are? Too many children are moved out of booster seats far too early as often they are thought of as mini adults and that their bodies can handle it, but this is a dangerous mistake to make. The ossification of a child’s bones only occurs as they mature so you are leaving them incredibly vulnerable in the event of a crash. Seat belts are also only designed for adults and not children – a child’s body is still developing up until early teenage years.
So how do you know if your child is ready to travel without a booster seat?
Although our law is deficient on this note, best practise dictates that a child must be at least 12 years old, 36kgs and 1.5m tall to sit in the front seat. But you need to look at age, weight and height together. A 36kg, 8-year-old still has the internal maturity of an 8-year-old and therefore, even if he/she is tall, should not be moved to the front seat yet as organs and bones only develop with age. Similarly, a 12-year-old who cannot get a good seat belt fit due to them being too short for the seat belt to fit correctly, is also in danger. It is also vital to remember that airbags are incredibly dangerous for children as their bodies need to be mature enough to handle the impact.
At Cool (kids’) Cabs we are obsessed with safe scholar transport and helping to inform parents on the best measures to take for safety in their own vehicles. When you reach the milestone of one of your children being able to sit in the front seat, we want to make sure you do this in the safest way possible. We will always stick to these requirements in all our vehicles every.single.time, no matter what, and we will also always consult with you first to confirm if we feel your child is ready to make the transition out of a booster seat.
To assist you, we have put together a 5-step test which we encourage you to use when considering if your child is ready for this next step.