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On Car Seats

June 3, 2008

I’m pretty passionate about car seat safety, though I try to keep my opinion to myself unless asked.

As Pia just turned one, and that’s the “magic” age to turn her, I thought I’d blog about it.

We extend rear face. That means my one year old is still rear facing, and will be until 30 pounds. The thing is, one year AND 20 pounds is MINIMUM. Now, where in life do you typically do the bare minimum? If you really don’t, why do it now, when it’s the safety of your child?

I don’t understand many of the “reasons” I hear from people. They feel like excuses.

People say that their legs will be hurt if they are rear facing. Maybe – but I’d rather broken legs than death or a life long disability. It’s not really debatable that it’s safer – it’s fact. In a frontal crash (70some % of crashes are frontal) babies necks are just too unstable.

Another reason I’ve heard is it’s easier – well it’s easier to let your kid cry, or give them whatever they want to eat all the time, or not give them baths – so why do the “easy” thing now? And I honestly don’t see how it’s easier. You put the kid in the seat – facing front or back, it’s the same action.

The one that I really roll my eyes over is “they are so much happier!”. Ummm, sorry but safety trumps happiness any day of the week. I mean, seriously – you going to give in when they are teenagers on something potentially unsafe because it will make them “happier”?? Doubt it. It’s not like I don’t understand what it’s like to have a kid that hates her car seat. Pia does – she screams A LOT in it. I’ve heard the “it’s distracting when my kid is screaming, so it’s safer this way”. Umm, what do you do when your kid screams when they are forward facing? Exactly. You can’t do anything then either. Trust me, I’ve got two kids – Pia hates her car seat, and sticks her feet in Nana’s face the whole time, so Nana cries. It probably would be easier for me to turn Pia around, but I won’t. I’ll deal.

People view turning their children at a year a “milestone” – it’s not.

Nana is now three and someone recently asked us if she’s still in a car seat. Answer is yes. She will continue to be in a car seat (5 point harness) until 65 pounds, then in a backed booster, then a backless booster until I feel that she’s safe in a seat belt. I don’t care if it’s embarrassing for her, or whatever. I cherish my children. I want to do everything in power to keep them safe. This is important to me!

I’ve heard the “our parents never used car seats and we’re safe!” – I probably shouldn’t even touch this one, it’s that asinine. Kids died “back then” – a lot.

This is the car seat we’re getting for Nana:
http://www.gracobaby.com/catalog/product.aspx?modelNumber=8J00BRV&productID=1402&tab=features&CategoryID=&subCatID=

The car seat law in Texas is: 36″ AND 5 years they no longer have to be in a booster or car seat. Legally, I could now put my three year old in a booster. That baffles me – her body is not meant to be in a booster right now. She’s way too little (and she’s 36″ tall right now) – she would have bad internal injuries should we get into an accident if she was in a booster. I couldn’t live with myself if something happened and it could have been prevented had I done the “bare minimum”.

I really believe in this. My intent with this blog isn’t to piss anyone off, but to inspire them to do the research. I won’t post any of the sad YouTube videos, you can find them yourselves. Just please be smart and safe.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Karly permalink
    June 4, 2008 12:59 am

    I so totally agree with you. I guess people can do whatever they wish with their kids (back in the day, there were no seat belts, let alone car seats), but I don’t mind being the “mean mom” and my kids are precious.

    Great blog.

  2. Lauren permalink
    June 5, 2008 3:24 pm

    Here, here!

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