View Poll Results: When do your kids ride in cars without booster seats and when do they sit up front?

27. You may not vote on this poll
  • No car seat/booster: Age 6

    1 3.70%
  • No car seat/booster: Age 7

    3 11.11%
  • No car seat/booster: Age 8

    8 29.63%
  • No car seat/booster: Age 9

    6 22.22%
  • Up front: 6-7

    1 3.70%
  • Up front: 8-9

    0 0%
  • Up front: 10 -11

    3 11.11%
  • Up front: 11 - 12

    3 11.11%
  • Up front: 13 and Up

    14 51.85%
  • Never!

    3 11.11%
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  1. #1
    Senior Member Evolved
    Join Date
    Sep 2013

    Default What age for kids to be out of all seat restraints and ride up front?

    Out of curiosity about others' thoughts and practices on child safety stuff...

    At what age did/would you have your kids out of all car restraint/safety devices (i.e. car seat or booster seat)?

    At what age did/would you have your kids ride 'up front' regularly?

    We chucked the booster seat officially when kiddo turned 8 - that's the age at which it is legal in my state.

    My state doesn't have a law regarding kids (once out of the car seat/booster seat ages) in the front seat. So I haven't decided on when to allow this. He's been in the front seat a couple of times since turning 8. I'm thinking one of my biggest concerns will be whether he can avoid distracting me, lol.

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  3. #2


    It's a weight issue, isn't it? That is what I always went by...Newton's 2nd law and all that about seatbelts' ability to stop our kids from flying around? And the counter (3rd law) about airbags in the front seats and adult seatbelts hitting the kids' hips at an odd angle?

    my kid is skinny and tall so too bad if she was in a booster seat forever...she's too much of a lightweight to sit in the front either.
    Eclectically homeschooling 8th grade dd, who likes science as much as art...

  4. #3


    We went strictly by state law. However, the booster seat was uncomfortable for my tall ds. It would cut off his circulation in the thighs since his legs were too long for the seat. However, by weight, he was still under.

    Homeschooled two kids for 11 years, now trying to pay it forward

    Daughter -- a University of Iowa graduate: BA in English with Creative Writing, BA in Journalism, and a minor in Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies

    Son -- a Purdue University senior majoring in Computer Science, minoring in math, geology, anthropology, and history

  5. #4


    It's over 8 or 57" here, but I don't think they ticket. I know someone who chucked it at about age 4.

    dd28 rode up front forward facing in the second-cheapest car seat at the thrift store.

    ds8 was rear facing when he was 4. There's no way I'd chuck the booster, but I'd love to have him up front in my car since I don't have airbags, but the law says over 13.

    ETA: I put a booster-aged child up front and squished his parent between the car seats in back once when I had no other option and didn't get a ticket, which is what the law says to do, but I seriously don't want to attract any unnecessary attention from less informed officers at this time.
    Last edited by IEF; 01-18-2016 at 04:36 PM.

  6. #5


    I think it's age 12 and probably some height and weight requirement here (to stop using a booster). DD is 10 and still in hers. I don't know about the front seat; it's not on my radar yet.

  7. #6
    Senior Member Enlightened
    Join Date
    Apr 2015


    State law for us is 8 as well, so DS was in a booster until maybe a month or so after he turned 8. I know that many of his friends had been out of boosters years earlier, though. He is going to stay in the back until at least 12, at which point I'll look at how the seat belt fits him in the front.

  8. #7
    Senior Member Arrived ejsmom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011


    We followed the state law and/or recommendations. Age 4-8 required a booster (and I believe we had weight recommendations.) DS started sitting up front probably around age 11. I don't remember exactly. There were height and weight recommendations, so we followed those.

    Since your state doesn't have a law you have to follow, you may want to look at your specific vehicle recommendations for what is safe in the front seat as far as height, weight, whether or not your front and side airbags have sensors, and that sort of thing.
    Last edited by ejsmom; 01-18-2016 at 05:37 PM.
    homeschooling one DS, age 13.

  9. #8


    CA law says 8 yrs old for both booster and back seat, or height exemption of 40 inches.

    DS10 still likes his booster seat. He can see out the window better and has cupholders. If he has friends with him, though, they sit back in row3, no boosters. Sometimes on the way home from the
    grocery store (the closest store to our house) I let him ride in the front and let DS3 sit in the booster instead of his 5-point cage. TBH Im surprised the 5-point has lasted as long as it has - DS3 hates it. I imagine keeping him in a booster until hes 8 (or 16, the way laws are going) is going to be a problem.

    Maybe Im too blase about safety. Im not that worried about how long they stay in booster seats.
    Homeschooling DS13, DS6.


    My spelling was fine, then my brain left me.

  10. #9


    I go by the height recommendations. Both my 10 year old and my 8 year old are still in booster seats. My 10 year old is on the short side so I'm keeping her in a booster until she meets the height recommendation (requirement?) of at least 4'9". They were in 5-point harness car seats until about 2 years ago (they are the same size so I was fine moving my younger one out of the car seat at the same time by older one was ready). I wasn't a stickler on rear-facing, the recommendation wasn't as old as it is now, but I did keep them rear-facing until they were over 1.

    My daughter is 10, and at her last check up, the pediatrician said 'you know she is still supposed to be in a booster, right?' He was a bit shocked when I told him yes, she is still in a booster. I guess most parents aren't aware.

    It will be a few years before I let her sit in the front seat on a regular basis. My husband occasionally lets her sit up there if he's picking her up alone on a short drive, but we wouldn't ever let her ride up there on the highway at this point. She's small so, once again, it's a size issue. I'm small, too. According to the air bag notice in the front, I barely meet the size requirements for sitting up front!
    Spending my days learning with DD 10 and DS 8.

  11. #10


    DS was in a booster until he was 8 - but it was starting to give him problems at the end, he was too big.

    The front seat, I don't know. It is not an issue right now and I am sure he will be big enough soon.
    A mama who teaches college writing, as well as help her 12-year-old in
    choosing his own life adventure. Using Global Village School to support our desire to develop a sense of social justice and global awareness.

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What age for kids to be out of all seat restraints and ride up front?