Friday, January 20, 2012

"I didn't ride in a car seat, and I turned out fine."

"I didn't ride in a car seat, and I turned out fine." What an infuriating response to the topic of car seat safety for kids. It occurs to me that the children who didn't ride in car seats and DIDN'T turn out fine may not be here today to make such remarks. It's very sad to say, but it's true. The resistance to car seat safety is something I have never been able to understand. Our children grow up so quickly and move on to so many new things. Before we know it they're off doing their own thing with their own people. Sometimes we have frighteningly little control over their safety in the world. One simple thing we can do as parents, though, is provide a safe, modern, expert-approved car seat that will hold them in the safest possible way in the case of an accident. Of course an accident could happen and they could be fine in the wrong sized seat, or in no seat at all, but is that something you want to take a gamble with or is that something you want to take every precaution with? Personally, I'm not taking any chances with my children's lives. Bug is comfortably riding in a five point harness at the age of 5 1/2 years, and BooBoo is rear-facing at 22 months. They both know that they're riding in the safest way for their size.

Over and over again there are stories about children being injured or killed in car crashes because they were in the wrong seat for their size, or in no safety seat whatsoever. It's heartbreaking.

"A WOMAN facing charges of dangerous driving causing the deaths of a niece and nephew had no child seats or booster seats in her car" reports the

"One child was riding without a seat belt or other restraint and suffered a leg injury. Another child had a shoulder belt on and had bruises and abrasions. The other was in a child safety seat and was not injured."  This is from a report by The Daily Fairfield.

From a Kentucky news station, ABC 36"A rear seat passenger, Jada Hayes, 7, of Mount Vernon, the daughter of Tony Hayes, was airlifted from the scene to U.K. Hospital where she died Sunday from her injuries.  State Police said she was not belted-in."

Even in India! The location doesn't really matter, children everywhere are safer in car seats. "The four-month-old boy, Ayush Nimkar, who died in a car crash on Palm Beach Road on Saturday could have been saved if the car he was travelling in had a baby car seat."

"The five-year-old girl who died after being catapulted from a car on Boxing Day was not properly restrained at the time of the crash" in this Sydney Morning Herald report.

"... Hershey was driving southbound on snow-covered and slippery roads when her son, not identified, got out of his child seat and climbed on her lap" reports the Washburn County Register. The little boy who climbed out of his seat was the only person killed in this single-vehicle accident.

The list goes on and on if you keep looking. "Investigators say a 2-year-old boy who died and his 8-year-old sister who was critically injured were not secured in child safety seats when their car was hit head-on" in this report that comes from the Detroit Free Press.

There are some details and some important steps to learn when it comes to strapping in your children safely, but it's well worth it. The new rules about car seat safety for children from the ages of birth to adolescence are based on many, many years of strenuous research. There is no conspiracy to get people to buy new car seats - and believe me, I tend to be a conspiracy theorist myself. But keeping young kids rear-facing as long as possible, and then in a five point harness as long as possible after that, and then riding in a booster so that the car seat belt can safely protect them without putting their internal organs at risk - these are good, valid, safe practices that certainly won't HURT your child. Nobody plans to get into an accident, but we carry car insurance on our vehicles and our drivers and passengers just to be safe. Doesn't it make sense to transport our children in the recommended way, just to be safe?

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