When my son was in 5th grade, he started asking the dreaded question…. “Mom can I ride in the front seat?”Texas law does not specify when a child can ride in the front, simply that kids under eight years old, unless they are taller than 4’9”, are required to sit in a child safety seat system. Technically, my son hit that criteria. But I still said no because recommendations from other sources, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Center for Disease Control, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration say that children under 13 should never ride in the front seat. Children should remain in the back, even if they do not require a safety seat system, until they are 13 years old. It is during a child’s early years that their bones are developing and are softer than average adults. So even if you child is tall enough and weighs enough, there is still a lot of growing their bones need to do.
If you are forced to put a younger child in the front (say a 10-year-old), the front seat should be moved back as far as possible, and the front passenger airbags should be disabled. This is a last resort measure.
Little Spurs Pediatric Urgent Care is located in Texas, with nine locations in San Antonio and two in Houston. Little Spurs is open seven days a week and is available to treat children from 0-21 for all of their minor emergencies.
The AAP updated their car seat recommendations on August 30th, 2018. Read about the updates here.