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Babies in the city - car seat question - Page 2

post #21 of 30
Thread Starter 
Thank you everyone for your feedback. I think we'll plan to take a bus or train from the airport and avoid taxis. I agree that putting dd in danger if it's preventable is not an option...sometimes though the hotel transportation from the airport is a van, not a bus. I guess I'll call to find out and just be prepared to check the carseat if I have to...

We'll just plan to wear her in her beco as much as possible.
post #22 of 30
I just wanted to add that we have a Britax Marathon and we bought the GoGo Babyz (of something like that), which was a great tool for taxi use. If you haven't seen these, basically it's like two wheels with a retractable handle that you attach to your carseat that turns it into either a stroller or a piece of rolling luggage.

And you don't have to detach the wheels to install it into the car or cab, FF at least. I don't know about RF, but I don't see why not.

Once you move into the convertible or toddler seats, the whole stroller combo doesn't really apply anymore and lugging a Marathon through the city without this gadget is a nightmare to say the least.

Good luck!
post #23 of 30
Legal, feasible and safe - I vote safe.
It can be a hassle lugging a car seat around, but having a baby in any other situation during a crash is not a good idea. Cabs, buses and trains have all been known to be involved in crashes, would you consider them safer than a car?
I don't think anyone has dummy tested a baby in a baby-carrier in a crash. I would just use my imagination: The adult gets flung forward till the seat belt jerks, What would happen to the baby? It kind of gets folded, no? What would happen to the baby's back? The head has no support and gets thrown forward too, what would happen to the neck? I might be wrong about all of this, but I don't think baby-wearing is a solution.
post #24 of 30
I'm not sure I understand, PP, how do you use a car seat in a train or bus? They don't have seat belts or LATCH, at least in NYC.

It's not a matter of hassle in terms of cabs often, it's a matter of impossible. You simply can't push around a bulky car seat or two or three while doing your groceries, appointments, shopping, etc. You are only one person. How do you use 2 GoGo Kids on an everyday basis and manage to get a weeks worth of food? City living is just different, in many ways. Because many of us rely on car transportation SO MUCH LESS often than the average American, I'd say we have a much lower chance of getting into a crash. Buses and trains AND WALKING 99% of your day are so much safer.
post #25 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Altair View Post
It's not a matter of hassle in terms of cabs often, it's a matter of impossible. You simply can't push around a bulky car seat or two or three while doing your groceries, appointments, shopping, etc. You are only one person. How do you use 2 GoGo Kids on an everyday basis and manage to get a weeks worth of food? City living is just different, in many ways. Because many of us rely on car transportation SO MUCH LESS often than the average American, I'd say we have a much lower chance of getting into a crash. Buses and trains AND WALKING 99% of your day are so much safer.
I 100% agree with you about buses, trains, and walking

For the taxi though, it really is a matter of compromise or not I think. I will not ever put my children in a moving car/truck/van etc without proper restraint barring true emergency (that I can't even think of right now).

I have two kids, both in carseats. I have taken a cab to do my shopping and put both seats in the cart and worn the baby while the preschooler walks and just put what I'm buying in all around the seats. I have taken both kids in seats to appointments and uninstalled the seats and kids and taken them inside and then reinstalled and gone on from there afterwords. I have done it by myself many times.

It is a *huge* pain in the butt with two kids. It is not something I enjoy doing at.all. I take the bus or walk whenever it is at all possible. And yet I will not compromise on car safety knowing the stats. It doesn't matter if you are in a car one time in a year... if that is the time that some other careless driver hits you it just doesn't matter. I don't use carseats because it's the law, I use them because I know that by and large they have huge potential to make the difference between life and death or permanent injury to my child. It is a *huge* hassle, and yet it is worth it. The statistics bear out driving in a vehicle as one of the least safe things most of us do.
post #26 of 30
Taxis are definitely not exempt from seat belt laws, just that the taxi driver is not going to pass up a fare because you don't have a car seat. It's not up to him to keep your child safe. What if you get into an accident while traveling in the taxi without a car seat or child safety restraint? How would you feel if your child were injured? It would be much worse then the hassle of lugging the car seat around.

We live in the city and don't have a car. We use the stroller or Ergo mostly and rarely take cabs because my 11 month old has a huge car seat, but I would never have her in a moving vehicle for any length of time if she were not in her seat.
post #27 of 30
Taxis are indeed exempt from seatbelt/carseat laws in many states, but the laws of physics and physiology don't change just because it's a hire car.
post #28 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by triscuitsmom View Post

I have two kids, both in carseats. I have taken a cab to do my shopping and put both seats in the cart and worn the baby while the preschooler walks and just put what I'm buying in all around the seats. I have taken both kids in seats to appointments and uninstalled the seats and kids and taken them inside and then reinstalled and gone on from there afterwords. I have done it by myself many times.
I'm just trying to figure out what this could really look like in NYC, where I live. I have simply never seen a mom be able to spend an entire day out in the city running errands and manage to carry around 2+ carseats plus everything else she needs. You don't have a shopping cart with you the whole day.

We all have our own absolutes. I for one would never live in a place where I needed to use cars to travel. Public transportation and walking is just so much safer and cleaner in my book.

For the record, I've never used a taxi without a car seat, but I understand why Moms are forced to make that choice.
post #29 of 30
When I've lived in smaller cities(like Boise or farther out suburbs of a larger city) you could call the taxi company ahead of time and they could provide a car seat, obviously this wouldn't work if you were just flagging down a taxi on the street. I don't know if this was available in larger metro areas I've lived because I didn't have a baby to worry about then Dragging my friend's kids all over town we just stuck to buses and trains and didn't worry about it...it's cheaper anyway. Car seats aren't really practical public transportation.
post #30 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Princess ConsuelaB View Post
Car seats aren't really practical public transportation.


I don't take taxis for this reason. Well, and because taxis are ridiculously expensive in Cleveland and almost impossible to get if you're not in the central entertainment district. We have fewer taxis per city resident than any other major city in the US. I think if I had to take a taxi in a strange city I would just hold DD tight, promise the driver a big tip to take it slow (and they earn money by the minute, not the mile, after all), and hope for the best. I would not haul a giant carseat with me on a trip somewhere. No way.

I do take DD on the bus all the time, usually in a sling or carrier. I hate dealing with strollers on the bus, and people frequently trip on them or knock into them with bags or umbrellas, so I don't do it anymore. It makes some kinds of urban travel more difficult (a stroller is always easier when you're shopping), but I'm lucky enough to live within walking distance of most of what we need, so I can just walk there with the stroller.

I lived for a year in Chile, and while I was there they were considering passing a carseat law in the country. And the moms I knew were horrified, because there was absolutely no way that they could have managed that. In my neighborhood (a very poor slum), nobody owns a car because it's just too expensive. A car seat is something only a wealthy person can afford. There are a few buses in town, but most of the public transit is provided by colectivos, basically a taxi running on a fixed route that picks up/drops off passengers as it goes along. Frequently parents flag down nearly-full colectivos with several kids and then pile the children into the laps of the other passengers. I often had strange toddlers in my lap on the colectivo route.

None of this is to say that this is safe, right? Because the colectivo drivers only make money if they travel at top speed, and they drive like absolute maniacs. I typically just closed my eyes and prayed when they went careening down the streets. But it is to say that in that neighborhood, at least, people just do the best they can for their kids, and sometimes that means plopping them on a stranger's lap and hoping the stranger holds tight. In the U.S., we are fortunate and wealthy and safety-conscious (and litigation-minded) enough that most children travel in a car seat most of the time, which is undoubtedly safer. But in other countries, that just isn't feasible.

Okay, one last point about carseats on public transit. When I had DD, the urban hospital where she was born insisted that no baby is allowed to leave the hospital unless it is in a car seat. I was like ??? Because don't some babies leave the hospital by bus? It's not possible that every single baby born in that hospital is born to a car-owning family. And carseats are expensive! Not to mention a foolish purchase if you don't have a car and won't be transporting your baby by car. Just another example of a myopically car-centered culture...

ETA: Cartoonist Andy Singer has a wonderful cartoon called "life to death in a car" which is great. It goes something like this: a picture of an ambulance (presumably with a laboring woman inside), then a baby in a carseat in a car, a kid strapped into the backseat of a car, a young adult driving a beater car, a middle-aged adult driving a minivan, an elderly adult driving a big sedan, and finally a hearse. This conversation made me think of it.
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