What Age Can a Child Sit in the Front Seat of a Car?
There are many laws surrounding how children travel in cars, that it can easily become overwhelming. Despite this, parents should take the time to understand them in order to keep little ones safe whilst travelling, including knowing when it’s the right time to let your child sit in the front seat of a car. While the backseat is always a safer choice, here are some things to consider when deciding when to let your child sit in the front.
What UK Law Says
The UK law states that children from birth to 12 years old and at least 135cm tall need to be in an appropriate child restraint when travelling by car at all times, whether this is in the front or back of the car.
Children under the age of three should only be in the front of the car when it is not possible for them to sit in the back, but they must still in the appropriate car seat. In these cases, the airbags will need to be disabled as required by law on the passenger’s side, as these are designed for adults and can cause more harm than good for babies. If your vehicle does not have the option to disable the passenger airbag, then they would be unable to be in the front seat.
It is also important to know that this only applies to short journeys. It does not apply for long-distance car rides or those that could have been planned in advanced. So, if you are to go on a normal school run or even take a journey a couple of hours away to visit a loved one, measures must be taken so that children under three in car seats should be in the back seat.
Children 3 and Over
Children over three years of age can sit in the front seat of the car at all times as long as they are in a car seat or booster as needed until the age of 12 and at a height of at least 135cm. From 12 and up, children can sit in the front seat without the aid of a booster seat, although seat belts are still required by law.
While children legally can sit in the front seat from three years of age, it is important to remember that children are always safest in the backseat, even with appropriate car seats and boosters.
Find the Right Car Seat
Whether your child is ready for the front seat or not, if they are under 12 years of age, you will need the right car seat or booster to help keep them safe. Our range of car seats at Beautiful Bambino meet or exceed safety regulations, so parents can buy with confidence. If you’re unsure which type of car seat to look for, check out our Car Seat Buying Guide for some tips on what to look for or visit us in-store to chat with us on which is best for your child.