Never let babies sit in car's front seat

In most parts of the western world, it is an offense to drive a car with a kid below 5 years of age who is not strapped to his own car seat. However in India or most of the developing world, kids standing between the front passenger seat and dashboard is very common. I have even seen the cases where parents proudly let their little kids handle the steering in a moving car in their lap. Its not a laughing matter. A child in the front seat can cause a serious accident or get seriously injured in case of an accident or even hard braking.

There is a reason for having such strict laws abroad. Children are curious by nature and they are bound to meddle with all the controls and buttons they find on the dashboard. And once they are bored with the dashboard, they will invariably turn their attention to the gear stick or the steering. In-fact the first time my car was hit from behind was due to a child playing with the gear stick in the rear car.

No matter how much you scold or ask a child to behave, such things are bound to happen and thus it is always advisable to make children sit in the back seat with an adult. If you do not have the luxury of having an adult with you all the time with a child, please invest in a car seat till the time your child is grown up enough to wear seat belt. Car seat can also be put in the front.

Even if the child is behaving at her best and silently standing in front, a hard braking may be all that throws the child onto the dashboard (or windshield) leading to an injury.

It has to be inculcated as a non-negotiable habit. The child should not feel that crying or requesting would help her get her way to front. It is a hard thing to do but please don't compromise with safety of your child even at her own protests.

It has been over 16 months since Tweety was born, and never has she sat in the front seat. Always an adult member of family sits with her in the back seat. In order to keep her engaged we have kept in the seat back pocket a few of here light and sound toys. She still gestures sometimes to come in front, but refusing to ensure her safety is more important.

Please ensure you follow this advice as nothing is more important than your child's safety.

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