Monday, August 27

Better Safe Than Sorry...

They were doing a spot for the television station here this morning with Tri-Cities Safe Kids, stressing the importance of safety restraints and proper installation of them. They had to wait a couple minutes for the cameraman to show up, so I asked Ann to look at my car seat in my car to make sure I installed it correctly.
She asked me how old Jack was and how much he weighed and when she got to the car, she said very kindly "you're going to hate me for this, but Jack's car seat should really be rear-facing still."
I was shocked at first, but she explained to me that Safe Kids Nebraska actually encourages toddlers to remain in car seats for up to 30 pounds or 2 years old--which is totally different from the 'word on the street'!
Her explanation is as follows: Pretend you get into a simple fender bender where another driver bumps into the back of your car. Yes, without a car seat, the child would not have a very good chance of survival at all--even from a fender bender, because of the inertia created by the two cars.
If the car seat is rear facing, it absorbs all the impact for the little one. If it is front-facing, it is like asking a toddler to absorb all the impact just like an adult would--which typically causes very severe internal injuries. She said statistics prove that the survival rate is much higher for a child who is rear facing.
So, needless to say, we moved it right back to rear facing and it will stay that way until Jack gains nine pounds. So...for a while!
I just feel bad because we let Jack ride front facing for such a long time. I'm thankful nothing happened.
The segment was really great and it really 'drove' the point home for me. I know a lot of old yucksters always say "well we didn't have car seats when I was growing up and I turned out just fine!" and they make you feel stupid for buckling your kids in. Well, back then, people didn't travel near as much with kids in the car.
And back then, people didn't have cell phones or computers or other technologies either. We take advantage of those things, but we don't protect our kids? Plus, people back then did a lot of other stupid stuff that we wouldn't do now too. No offense...
We have never NOT buckled Jack into the seat, even for quick trips. Yes, it's inconvenient and sometimes he doesn't want to sit there, but we're the adults and it's our responsibility to protect our chilren. There are times when I'm getting him out and I hit my head and I wrench my back and have to bite my tongue to prevent bad words from flying out, but I think it's worth it.
And I'd rather ride with a screaming child than have them eventually riding in a hearse, thanks.
Buckle up your kids. Make sure they're safe. Whether it's a trip 15 miles away or just down the street. Most of you are great drivers, I've seen you in action, but think about all the other idiots out there who AREN'T!
Here's the website for Nebraska Safe Kids:
They have upcoming car seat safety checks in many areas, including where I grew up. They also have car seats for sale which can save parents hundreds of dollars. Check it out!
And I'm officially OFF my soapbox!

-The Vrbi


The Hoskovec's said...

Wow, I didn't know that either! Great info, thanks!

sixbehrs said...

I'm with you--we never make even short trips without buckling the kids in their carseats. But Sonya's only slightly over 20 pounds (and she'll be 2 on Wed.), so I suppose we should turn her back around. Good info.

Anonymous said...

Wow - I"m so glad you found out!! Don't beat up on yourself, guys, at least now you had the chance to do it correctly.

Love you guys,
Grammy Tami

Anonymous said...

We left our kids in car seats until they weighed at least sixty pounds. We recieved a lot of teasing and so did the kids but when we were in a car accident, Jeremiah would not have survied without the car seat. The accident was bad enough the car seat broke. Jasmine was wearing a seatbelt but she was throw into the forward facing seat and knocked out. We don't regret using the car seats for a long time at all.


Anonymous said...

I guess I'm one of those "old yucksters", but the truth is that many cars didn't even come with seatbelts and child seats were unheard of... So that's why we say "Hey - I turned out allright" (Questionable, I know). BTW... I rode in the back of pickups too, and I watched Gilligans Island everyday on a B & W TV!! :o)
P.S. I'm AM glad we have carseats now, believe me! There was a reason so many housewives were valium addicts back in the day. (RIP Betty Ford) It's bad enough hearing them squawk from a carseat. Imagine them "running amok" in the car, too! :o)