Air BagsAir bags can injure or kill children. Never put a rear-facing child safety seat in the front seat of a vehicle with an air bag. Children are safest when properly restrained in the back seat, whether the vehicle has an air bag or not.
Side air bags are equally dangerous for children, especially if the child’s head, neck or chest is close to the air bag when it deploys. Since children 12 and under should ride in the back seat, check with the dealer and/or read the owner’s manual for information and warnings before you purchase a vehicle with an activated rear side air bag. Some manufacturers have determined that their side air bags impose no significant risk to children.
Sometimes placing a rear-facing infant seat or a child in a safety seat in the front passenger seat may be unavoidable. Under these circumstances, an on-off switch that will allow you to manually turn the air bag off can be installed. However, you must get authorization from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) before any dealer will make the installation. Such request forms are available at your dealership, AAA offices, local state motor vehicle offices and NHTSA.