Is it safe for my four-year-old niece to sit in the front seat of my car, where there is an airbag?

I'm a little confused by the information out there about whether a child can sit in the front seat of a car with an airbag. My niece is four. I have twin babies who go in the back in their car seats. My niece has a booster seat. Could she sit in the front seat of my car, which has an airbag? Could all three children go in the back? I only have a lap belt in the middle.

Asked on 30 July 2011 by LT, via email

Answered by Honest John
No problem. The airbag rule is for rear-facing baby carriers. If you sit a forward facing child in a front passenger seat (where legal) the airbag is more likely to save his life than cause him any harm at all. But wise to move the seat-back as far back from the airbag as you can. Some child seats require Isofix tethers. But a lap belt, or straps from the lap belt mounting are more effective in holding an ordinary child seat in place than a lap/diagonal inertia reel safety belt.
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