Never place an infant in a rear-facing child safety seat in the front seat of a vehicle with an active front passenger air bag.
- All children under 13 are safest sitting properly restrained in the rear seat. They should use child safety seats, booster seats, or seat belts appropriate for their age and size
- With the exception of transporting an infant in a rear-facing child safety seat in the front seat of a vehicle with an active passenger air bag, which should NEVER be done, there may be occasions when a parent or caregiver has no other option than to place a child in the right front seat, such as:
- In a pickup truck or sports car with insufficient rear seats, a side-facing seat, or no available rear seat, or
- If a parent is transporting too many children for all to ride in the back, or
- If a child with a medical condition requires monitoring, and another adult is not available to accompany the driver.
If transporting a child under 13 in the front seat is unavoidable, be sure to take the following steps to help lessen the risk of air bag-related injury to the child*:
- Ensure the child is using the appropriate child restraint for his/her age and size .
- Make sure the child is sitting with his/her back against the seat back and not leaning forward into the deployment path of an air bag.
- Move the seat as far back as possible.
- If the vehicle is equipped with advanced air bags (see the air bag warning label on the sun visor), check the passenger air bag status indicator light and verify that the passenger air bag is OFF.
- If the vehicle is equipped with an air bag ON-OFF switch, set the switch to the OFF position.
* When faced with having to choose which child to place in front of an air bag in the front seat, select the child who can best be relied upon to maintain the proper seating position. This may not necessarily be the oldest child, but the child who is most likely to remain securely restrained at all times.
To minimize side air bag-related injury risks to children ...
- Ensure that children do not lean or rest against chest-only or head/chest combination side-impact air bags (SABs). Note: NHTSA has not seen any indication of risks to children from roof-mounted head SABs. Many roof-mounted SABs now extend rearward to include the second and even the third row seating positions. Search the vehicle database by make, model, and year to determine if your vehicle has SABs and if so, what kind.
- Check the vehicle database to ensure that your vehicle's SABs meet Technical Working Group (TWG) voluntary standards for side-impact air bags. Search the database by make, model, and year, and then refer to the SAB Out Of Position Testing entry under Air Bags. TWG standards compliance is also included in the NHTSA Buying a Safer Car brochures, which are published for each model year.
- If your vehicle does not meet TWG standards, check your owner's manual or contact the vehicle manufacturer for safety recommendations on where your child should be seated in that vehicle.