How to install airbags

Child seat on the front passenger seat: you have to pay attention to this

Are children allowed to sit in the front of the car? And can child seats also be attached to the front passenger seat? You can find out under what circumstances this is possible here.

  • By law, children are also allowed to ride in the front passenger seat

  • The airbag must be deactivated for rear-facing child seats

  • But: in the back of the car, children sit more safely

Legally, children and babies of all ages can sit in the front passenger seat. Children who are under 12 years of age or shorter than 150 cm only need to be secured in a suitable child seat on the front passenger seat, as they doChild seat compulsory prescribes. Depending on which child seat you have chosen for your child, important precautions must be taken in the front area of ​​the car to protect your child in the event of an accident.

Danger from active front airbag

Basically, in vehicleswith an active passenger airbag (front airbag), no rear-facing child seatsbe installed on the front passenger seat. A deploying airbag could otherwise hit the child seat shell and thus put a considerable strain on or even kill the child.

If the front airbag cannot be deactivated, the front seat is definitely ruled out for child seats that are mounted against the direction of travel. In most cases, forward-facing child seats can be installed on the front passenger seat, but the child must not sit too close to the front airbag. The front passenger seat must be pushed into the rearmost position, then the child is well protected by the airbag.

The seat belt from the door post should only lead to the side of the child seat. If the belt leads backwards, this can lead to excessive displacement in the event of a crash. Ideally, the front passenger seat is also equipped with ISOFIX holding points. The child's feet must not rest on the dashboard.

Pay attention to warning notices and operating instructions

Even if the legislature does not provide any restrictions for forward-facing child seats on the front passenger seat, you should always pay attention to the instructions for use of the vehicle and child seat manufacturers. There are vehicle manufacturers who generally do not recommend the front passenger seat for child safety purposes because of the possible dangers of an airbag deployment (e.g. for vehicles with a side airbag). The vehicle operating instructions also state whether special child seats may be required in the front passenger seat.

The child seat and the associated instructions for use should also be searched for information. There you will find information on how to place it on the front passenger seat: what you should pay attention to or whether the child seat is not generally suitable for driving in the front area.

How to deactivate the airbag

In newer vehicles, so-calledAirbag key switch offered with which theDrivers can deactivate the front passenger airbag themselves can. Some of these airbag key switches can also be retrofitted in newer models. There are also systems in which the airbag is automatically deactivated by a special transponder recognition in the child seat. However, this only works on a manufacturer-specific basis, i.e. child seats from the respective vehicle manufacturer must be used.

The ADAC recommends using the rear seats for child safety anyway.The safest places for children are especially the back right or back center.The passenger seat for the children should only be considered in exceptional cases.

If the vehicle is equipped with side airbags, you should always make sure that the child does not fall with his head sideways into the effective area of ​​the airbag when sleeping. Preferable are child seats with a good sleeping position or accessory sleeping pillows.

Conclusion: Sitting in the front only under certain conditions

The safest places for children in the car are in the back seat, but they can still ride in the front passenger seat. Taking into account the instructions from the vehicle and child seat manufacturer, it depends on the child seat attached:

  • Rear-facing child seats (Baby seats, reboarders) can only be installed at the front with a deactivated front airbag. If the airbag is active, this child seat is prohibited on the front passenger seat.

  • Forward-facing child seats are always legally allowed on the front seat. The seat should be pushed back as far as possible.

You can find many more tips on the subject of child safety at the ADAC child seat advisor.

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