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Front Seat - Back Seat...What comes AFTER the Car Seat?

On my way to elementary school each morning to drop off my boys, I see countless children riding in the front seat. My boys (sitting in the back seat) see them as well, and complain daily that it's unfair their Mom is a pediatrician (ha!)...and I think it's unfair that these parents have not been educated on car safety. At least I am presuming they haven't been educated....

According to the CDC, children under the age of 13 should sit in the backseat for safety reasons. Why do they make this recommendation? Because an airbag that deploys while a child is sitting in the front seat will kill them - instantly. Children under the age of 13 are still developmentally immature and usually shorter than an adult. Parents could turn off the airbag for the passenger seat, and sometimes the airbag won't register if the passenger is not heavy enough, but does this mean it's safe? No. IF there was a car accident....IF it was at a high speed....even IF it wasn't the parents fault....that front seat child will go through the windshield or be ejected from the car. In the back seat, it is safer - it will always be safer. And we want our children to be safe - first and foremost.

Motor vehicle accidents continue to be the leading cause of death in children > 4 years of age. Please educate your friends - family - neighbors - or strangers at school who pull up with their 7 year old in the front seat - and accept the eye rolling as a thank you!

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