An infant or child riding in the front seat
can be seriously
injured or killed by inflating air bags
Prevent injuries by following these safety steps
How can I know if my vehicle has front or side air bags?
Special considerations for pickup trucks and sports cars
Obtaining an air bag On-Off Switch
To do its important job, an air bag comes out of the dashboard
very fast, faster than the blink of an eye. Many people's lives have
been saved by air bags. However, the force of an air bag can hurt
people who are too close to it.
- Infants in the front seat have been killed when
the rear-facing child safety seat is hit with great force by
the air bag causing a fatal brain injury.
- Older children are killed from
impact by the air bag because they are typically “out of position” -
either unbuckled, or not wearing the shoulder portion of
the safety belt.
- During pre-crash braking, the child's upper body
can be thrown forward toward the air bag at the time it is
triggered causing severe head or neck injuries.
Click here to watch an informative air bag video from
Prevent Injuries to adults and children
from Air Bags
by following these safety steps
- Infants in rear-facing child safety
seats must NEVER ride in the front seat
of a vehicle that has an active passenger air bag. Infants
under one year old, and under 20 pounds, must ride facing
the rear of the vehicle in the back seat.
- Children 12 and under should ride properly restrained
in the back seat to protect them from frontal crash forces.
- Children should use child safety seats, booster
seats, or safety belts appropriate for their age and size.
- Every one should be buckled up with upper and lower
body protection on every trip.
- Driver and front passenger seats should be
moved as far back from the dashboard as practical. Make sure
the shoulder portion of the safety belt stays in place and do not lean toward
the air bag compartment.
- If you must put a child riding in a forward-facing
child safety seat or a booster in the front, make sure
the child safety seat is correctly installed, the child is correctly
buckled up with the harness very snug, and the vehicle
seat is moved as far back as possible.
- If the vehicle has side air bags, NHTSA recommends
that children be properly restrained and in a proper
seating position at all times. Check the NHTSA web site for
more information at www.nhtsa.dot.gov.
How to know if your
vehicle has a front or side Air Bag
- To check if your vehicle has air bags, look for the
letters “SRS', “IRS”, “SIR”, “SIPS”, “ SIAB”, “IC” or the words “Air
Bag” embossed on the cover of the storage compartment.
- Look at your vehicle owner's manual to determine where air bags
are located in your vehicle.
- Look for a warning label on the sun visor, vehicle
door, safety belt or vehicle seat.
Special Considerations for Pickup Trucks and Sports Cars
Many newer pickup trucks and sports cars have switches
to shut off the passenger air bags. It is very important to turn
off air bags if there is an infant riding in the front seat in
a rear-facing child safety seat. If the vehicle seat cannot be moved
back for an older child using a child safety seat, booster seat
or safety belt, then the air bag should also be turned off. If
there is no rear seat and no air bag shut-off switch, a rear–facing
infant must NOT ride in the vehicle.
Obtaining an Air Bag On-Off Switch
You may be able to obtain an air bag on-off switch if you can
certify that you or a passenger is in a high risk group. For more
information, contact an auto dealer or the DOT Auto Safety Hotline
at 1-888-DASH-2-DOT (1-888-327-4236) or www.nhtsa.dot.gov. To request the installation of an
air bag on-off switch in a vehicle, you must complete the request form from NHTSA and be approved.
ALWAYS read and follow the child safety seat instructions
and the vehicle owner's manual!