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Are children really safer in the back seat?

Your child wants to ride next to you in the front seat of your vehicle. You've heard that children are supposed to ride in the back, but you're wondering if they're really safer in the back seat. With all of the safety devices in modern cars, does it matter where they ride?

It does. For one thing, some of those safety features can be a serious hazard to kids. For example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention points out that airbags can be deadly when they strike young kids during an accident. Modern vehicles all have multiple airbags, and they can save an adult's life, but you don't want to expose kids to that elevated risk.

The CDC says that any child who is 12 years old or younger should always be in the back of the car. They should also be strapped in with proper restraints.

These restraints are critical. The CDC points out that an infant who is in a car seat is 71 percent less likely to pass away in an accident. For kids between the ages of one and four, the risk of death drops by 54 percent.

Even after children are too big for car seats, being in the back and in a booster seat can help tremendously. For those who are between four years old and eight years old, the risk of serious injury drops by a full 45 percent when the kids are in a booster.

Even taking these precautions does not fully eliminate the chance of Child Passenger Safety," accessed May 16, 2017

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