A new study, of nearly 18,000 children involved in car accidents, found even when children were properly restrained with car seats and seat belts, their risk of injury was lower when they sat in the back seat. Children who sat in the front seat were 40% more likely to be injured.
Researchers are now recommending all children under age 13 sit in the back. The study was led by researchers at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and published in Pediatrics. Researchers reviewed data from crash incidents and followed up with phone interviews. They used four years of data on 18,000 children.
Researchers found it was most important for children under age 13 to sit in the back, even when properly restrained, but for children over age 13, front or back didn't matter.