The safest place to position your car seat is undoubtedly on a rear seat, rather than up front. In the back, your child is much better protected from injuries caused by frontal impact, including objects coming through the windscreen, and broken screen glass. If your car has a middle rear seat that’s level and wide enough to take the child seat properly, and has a three-point seat belt or ISOFIX points to fit it with, this position is even safer as it puts your child as far away as possible from the effects of a side impact. However, this does mean that you’ll need to get into the car yourself to put a very young child in his or her seat and fasten the harness.
If you need to use only one of the outside rear seats, choose the one that’s most often nearest the pavement when you park – this will help protect you and your child from passing vehicles when you are getting in the car. This is particularly important with baby seats that you carry outside the car, and which require you to open the door fully if you are securing them with the car’s seat belt.
Children up front
If you want to put a child in a rear-facing seat in the front passenger seat you must, by law, deactivate the front passenger airbag – check your car’s manual if you don’t know how to do this; if this option isn’t available, don’t put your child here. This is because the force of airbag hitting the back of the child seat could lead to an enhanced risk of brain injury.