As my son has grown, I do not think twice letting him climb in the front seat of my car for short drives or long. He loves feeling like the “big man”. He helps me read the map and look for Hwy signs. It keeps his baby sister (in the middle seat) from grabbing things out of his hand and tossing her bottle at his head. However, I am beginning to wonder if I made the right decision…
I am in the 25% of parents that allows their 8 – 10 year olds to ride up front. The American Academy of Pediatrics now recommends that all children should ride in the back seat until they are thirteen years of age. This can vary, because children grow at different rates. My son is close to ninety pounds and extremely tall for his age. Others take years to “grow into themselves”. Nevertheless, thirteen is a good guideline.
It is jarring to realize that automobile crashes account for the most deaths of children each year. Many of these young victims were improperly restrained. There are car seats, booster seats and clips for a variety of sizes. Be sure to secure your child in a restraint that fits him securely.
The holiday season is right around the corner and we are planning a couple of long trips. I think it is time to reconsider my flawed decisions and take a step back. I am going to choose safety first for my son and put him in the back seat from now on. He might put up a fuss, but I think the added protection is worth the headache. I hope you choose to do the same. For more helpful information like this, please check back daily.