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the issue of infant carseats in our country - Page 7

post #121 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by applejuice
What was your point in posting this anyway?
Feel free to take it to PM.
post #122 of 188
Oh and to wax further on the subject of our changing culture, though *it* has already been stated before I think that the US is

1) a particularily heavy car using country
and
2) a country who embraces the idea of "buying" safety and health. Honestly, in the case of car safety (barring just never using a car) car seats are probably your easiest, most economical choice. But in many other areas people just want to outlay the money and forgo the time & effort
3) often very concerned with appearances. Carseats are something easily seen so easily enforced/enforcable wheras many other parenting decisions are easier to slip "under the radar" as it were
4) has lots of expendable $. And no one wants to think about if their child died and could have been saved by the outlay of $50 (when, in the grand scheme of things, $50 is not that much ON A GLOBAL SCALE for most people in the US)
post #123 of 188
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TiredX2
Oh and to wax further on the subject of our changing culture, though *it* has already been stated before I think that the US is

1) a particularily heavy car using country
and
2) a country who embraces the idea of "buying" safety and health. Honestly, in the case of car safety (barring just never using a car) car seats are probably your easiest, most economical choice. But in many other areas people just want to outlay the money and forgo the time & effort
3) often very concerned with appearances. Carseats are something easily seen so easily enforced/enforcable wheras many other parenting decisions are easier to slip "under the radar" as it were
4) has lots of expendable $. And no one wants to think about if their child died and could have been saved by the outlay of $50 (when, in the grand scheme of things, $50 is not that much ON A GLOBAL SCALE for most people in the US)
yes, this makes good sense to me!

But for example, I wonder, why don't we do the same with breastfeeding? and who makes these decisions on what campaigns to do and which ones to not do?? I remember that last year when this whole breastfeeding ads being watered down thing happened, I thought to myself, this is silly. If these people are willing to show a dying child in a carseat accident why not show the WHO saying that one million children die every year because of not being breastfed. Or the money we are WASTING by having this lovely "second choice" of baby feeding. Obviously, it's not exactly the same, but I wonder who makes the decisions that some issues are more urgent than others. I also agree with you that as a country we use cars A LOT and this is a big reason why carseats are a big thing (with all reason!) thanks for elaborating
post #124 of 188
Hmmm- I hadn't thought of the breastfeeding/circing thing in global terms. You are right that children in other countries die because of the formula propaganda (watering formula to extend it, unclean water, etc.) and we could think of female circing as part of the circing issue... So while those are generally not life-or-death issues in the U.S. they are other places.
post #125 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by loving-my-babies
1) to discuss the reasons why we, humans, label each other and determine what right is and what wrong is, sometimes being wrong ourselves in the process.

2) to discuss the influence that society has on us, like for example, campaigns. How as americans we have stopped the smoking rates from going up because of our campaigns, or we have increased carseat use rates, etc...
You are bringing up a larger philosophical issue that comes up here all the time. It's the issue of whether we should blame individual parents (or individuals, generally) for their bad decisions, or whether we need to create public policies to reduce general risk.

We have a big problem with this issue here in the US (and since this board originates in the US, on the MDC board as well.) Our culture has a very limited sense of social contract. We would prefer as much as possible for people to be entirely free to make their own decisions, and we would like to be able to blame them if those decisions are wrong!

Take the issue of breastfeeding, as we often do. There are public policies at work that have reduced breastfeeding rates, and there has been a public campaign by mothers and other activists to bring them back up again. Yet we still get into spirals of discussing whether you should judge a woman who is feeding her baby with formula, etc. etc.

With carseats I think the general trend is positive. Carseat use is becoming increasingly normal. Carseats, though flawed, are improving as a way to ensure children's safety. (Oh my gosh, it was so scary to try to even buy one, they've all been recalled at least once! ) I think it's a good thing for states to be willing to extend themselves to make laws about carseat use, when there seems to be so much public good in their use. Only some states in the US have motorcycle helmet laws.

(Here's a link to a chart on helmet laws, for your interest:
http://www.gwrra.org/helmetlaws.html )

I don't really want to judge all the individual parents who do or don't use carseats 100% properly. I do want to come out in favor of campaigns to increase carseat use, as they seem to have had a positive impact.

I think policy decisions are based on who is lobbying. There is no "anti-car safety" lobby. There is a lobby of formula manufacturers, and as we saw with the recent public health campaign for breastfeeding in the US, the formula makers have more power than other concerned constituencies (like breastfeeding moms!)
post #126 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by loving-my-babies
But for example, I wonder, why don't we do the same with breastfeeding? and who makes these decisions on what campaigns to do and which ones to not do?? ...Or the money we are WASTING by having this lovely "second choice" of baby feeding.
We do the same for breastfeeding in that we look for a simple solution that you can get with money (formula/carseats) rather than one that may take more time (bfeeding/changing transportation patterns). And in both cases the more "mainstream" view has something you can see, something you have to buy to be a "good" parent (carseats/formula). And in some ways I think that while there are people who take pride in buying the best, most expensive carseats (even though more $ does not necessarily equal better quality) there are others who take pride in buying the best, most expensive formula (even when more $ does not necessarily equal better quality).
post #127 of 188
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by captain optimism
You are bringing up a larger philosophical issue that comes up here all the time. It's the issue of whether we should blame individual parents (or individuals, generally) for their bad decisions, or whether we need to create public policies to reduce general risk.

We have a big problem with this issue here in the US (and since this board originates in the US, on the MDC board as well.) Our culture has a very limited sense of social contract. We would prefer as much as possible for people to be entirely free to make their own decisions, and we would like to be able to blame them if those decisions are wrong!

Take the issue of breastfeeding, as we often do. There are public policies at work that have reduced breastfeeding rates, and there has been a public campaign by mothers and other activists to bring them back up again. Yet we still get into spirals of discussing whether you should judge a woman who is feeding her baby with formula, etc. etc.

With carseats I think the general trend is positive. Carseat use is becoming increasingly normal. Carseats, though flawed, are improving as a way to ensure children's safety. (Oh my gosh, it was so scary to try to even buy one, they've all been recalled at least once! ) I think it's a good thing for states to be willing to extend themselves to make laws about carseat use, when there seems to be so much public good in their use. Only some states in the US have motorcycle helmet laws.

(Here's a link to a chart on helmet laws, for your interest:
http://www.gwrra.org/helmetlaws.html )

I don't really want to judge all the individual parents who do or don't use carseats 100% properly. I do want to come out in favor of campaigns to increase carseat use, as they seem to have had a positive impact.

I think policy decisions are based on who is lobbying. There is no "anti-car safety" lobby. There is a lobby of formula manufacturers, and as we saw with the recent public health campaign for breastfeeding in the US, the formula makers have more power than other concerned constituencies (like breastfeeding moms!)
very interesting. I also support the carseat use campaigns, because obviously it has done nothing but good- it can't harm a child to be in a carseat and it benefits children because it can save their life. I also agree with what a previous poster said, about children not being able to protect themselves, so the least we can do is make sure they are as safe as possible. I completely agree. It's sad though, to me, that WE can't decide what's important here. See, if I made the rules, circumcision would be made illegal and considered sexual and child abuse. Formula would be made available by prescription only and would be treated as what it truly is. A supplement/replacement for when nursing is not possible (I ff'ed my baby girl from 3 months on, btw, so I know what it's like to not be able to bf for medical reasons) and I would keep carseats mandatory BUT I would create a carseat/safety restraint that would allow the mama to nurse and hold her baby (a girl can dream, right?)
post #128 of 188
Oh, and I also wanted to add that I assume that many changes are the result of "progress" (not progress in the sense of improving, but progress in the sense of something that occurs as time goes one).

I was reading recently that the obesity rates in France are mirroring those of the US in the late 80s early 90s. They are on the same basic trajectory, but 10-15 years "behind". I think you see this ripple effect outwards from the US for many things, but esp for consumer items. It will be interesting to see what has moved "on" from the US in another 10-15 years. (BTW I realize that Europe generally has much safer car seats than the US... just referring to many *general* trends).
post #129 of 188
Thread Starter 
tiredx2.. I wanted to say, I know what you mean. My country is always a bit "behind" the US. For example, people smoke everywhere in Chile right now. malls, airports, stores, restaurants, in front of their children, IN the car with their unrestrained children in someone's lap in the back (it sounds so shocking to me now! I bet next time I go to Chile I'll be looking down on everybody without wanting to, because I am so used to the laws here) and they are just *starting* to get anti-smoking campaigns, stopping cigarrette advertising everywhere, etc.. so I know "where we are going" from where we are right now there. As for the carseats, there is no money in Chile to implement such laws. Most people can't even afford formula there, so they HAVE to breastfeed. and most people don't have cars, so they have to walk or take public buses. It makes me very critical of my country. I could NEVER smoke in front of my children, for example (or not in front of my children, or at all!) but 3 years ago when I was in Chile, even though I didn't do it, it didn't seem all that bad because the danger of cigarretes was not made public. You *knew* cigarretes caused cancer, but you didn't *really* know... kwim?
post #130 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by loving-my-babies
I do use carseats, I think they are VERY important. The reason for my post was another. Klothos, I don't see a reason for your very rude post, since I never said I don't use carseats.
i apologize ~ i sincerely thought you said you take your baby out of the carseat to feed him/her when they start crying.

you're not USING the carseat if you have it in the car and the baby is taken OUT of it.

and fwiw, just because something is a law doesn't make it any different ~ that is, just because carseats didn't used to be mandated by law doesn't make them any less important.


Quote:
Originally Posted by TiredX2
Oh and to wax further on the subject of our changing culture, though *it* has already been stated before I think that the US is

1) a particularily heavy car using country
and
2) a country who embraces the idea of "buying" safety and health. Honestly, in the case of car safety (barring just never using a car) car seats are probably your easiest, most economical choice. But in many other areas people just want to outlay the money and forgo the time & effort
3) often very concerned with appearances. Carseats are something easily seen so easily enforced/enforcable wheras many other parenting decisions are easier to slip "under the radar" as it were
4) has lots of expendable $. And no one wants to think about if their child died and could have been saved by the outlay of $50 (when, in the grand scheme of things, $50 is not that much ON A GLOBAL SCALE for most people in the US)
yes, that. ^

and as for breastfeeding ~ big corporations put their $$ behind the most profitable thing, and for them that's formula. and in countries like the US where *most* mamas here have access to clean water and safe housing, regular doctor visits, access to food (even through programs like WIC) ~ we just don't see the #'s dying from a lack of breastfeeding that we see in 3rd world countries. IF babies were dropping dead from ABM we would se campaigns against it, or manufacturers reformulating it (as happened, for example, when they realized babies were being malnourished -- vit D deficiencies, etc).

circumcision rates *are* dropping ~ through grassroots movements, men seeking restoration, mamas refusing to have their boys undergo the knife... and largely through the spread of information. just a few years ago the US saw something like a 90% circ rate and now that's down around 60%.

post #131 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by TiredX2
And in both cases the more "mainstream" view has something you can see, something you have to buy to be a "good" parent (carseats/formula).
Yep, Money!

Ever wonder why used car seats are so taboo, why we need to constantly upgrade for weight and new technology? If they could find that kind of marketability for breastfeeding, I’m sure it would be “the next new thing”.

And, I agree, we (as a culture in the US) like to spend money on keeping our kids safe and happy.
post #132 of 188
I think the point has been made by previous posters, but I agree that there are cultural differences in car seat use, and also the issue of car safety in general. I have lived in Costa Rica (been a while since then) and traveled throughout Central American and India, which is DH's country of orgin. I think the consciousness of car seat safety is just different in different places. For one, in the U.S. it's probably a huge majority of the population that drives/owns a car. Also, although in Indian cities traffic is incredibly insane and congested with cars, buses, rickshaws, pedestrians, huge trucks, and cows to boot, much more driving is done by professional drivers than by the average citizen (bus drivers, auto-rickshaw drivers, taxis, and private chauffers are much more common than single family cars. For instance my SIL has as a benefit from her company the ability to not only lease a car, but a driver as well.) These guys are GOOD! Driving there is an art, it's like a dance where all the cars/drivers are interacting with each other in an intricate ballet on the road. They are not talking on cell phones, distracted, paying attention to other people in the car--if you weren't completely and totally intently focused on driving at every second you'd just get into an accident about every two minutes!! Here I don't see that kind of sense amongst drivers that we're all kind of driving on the road and in it together--it's very individual. I doubt that there are fewer accidents per cars, but at least in the cities there is not so much high-speed driving, and also there is such a high population of people in general related to the number of people driving that I'm sure that it's not statistically as big a cause of infant death as some other things there.

I also think that in the U.S. we think that death is the worst thing that can happen to us, and we are very out of contact with the day to day reality of death--we do everything we can to separate ourselves from this reality, and have institutions that sort of "sanitize" the reality. We also place a high priority on controlling our fate, rather than accepting what happens in a more fatalistic manner. I think that in places with more widespread poverty, epidemic diseases, high infant morbidity/mortality rates, there is more of a familiarity with the concept of disease or death and a little bit more acceptance that there are things that are just out of our control. There are so many things that can happen with an infant that are totally out of your control in that kind of a situation that a car accident is probably the least of your worries--whereas in the US, a lack of clean water or inability to afford basic medical care or an epidemic disease or malnutrition is probably very unlikely to kill your baby. So it's like the concept of Mazlow's hierarchy of needs, sort of--basic survival needs need to get fulfilled before "higher" needs get fulfilled. The fact that we worry about car seats and place such high importance on them may reflect the fact that statistically, there are not as many things besides a car accident in the U.S. that are likely to kill our babies! Also, we just have lots more baby "stuff" than people in some other places. (Car seats, swings, strollers, changing tables, baby bathtubs, etc etc.)

Just my 2 cents worth! Before anyone begins flaming, yes, I do believe in using car seats and I'm not justifying not using them!!

One slightly OT thing, but still on the subject of car seats: I was thinking about them a lot lately b/c we were looking for one for our baby-on-the-way. I mentioned to my mom that we had decided on a convertible seat, and she was asking about what type of seat we were looking at. I was telling her about the top rating by consumer reports, the excellent crash test results, blah and etc. Her question: "Does it have a handle?" So I pointed out that I was not planning on being the type of parent who carried the baby around in the car seat 24/7, seemingly in the attempt to never have to actually hold or touch my baby!! She agreed but was also making the point that sometimes if the baby is sleeping and you have to pop in somewhere it's nice to just not have to wake the baby up taking it out of the carseat. (Which I'm sure is true, but still . . . . ) I read somewhere that something like 80% of all carseats are incorrectly installed and used. I started wondering if the fact that so many people in this culture seem to treat car seats like they are meant to carry or seat a baby in a grocery store or a restaurant or even dangling the huge carseat with the baby in it along in a mall or street fair or such, results in people sort of forgetting that they are first and foremost safety devices meant for use in the car? Do people just sort of get sloppy about them for this reason, and especially if they are always in/out of the car? Just a musing . . . .
post #133 of 188
Quote:
I read somewhere that something like 80% of all carseats are incorrectly installed and used. I started wondering if the fact that so many people in this culture seem to treat car seats like they are meant to carry or seat a baby in a grocery store or a restaurant or even dangling the huge carseat with the baby in it along in a mall or street fair or such, results in people sort of forgetting that they are first and foremost safety devices meant for use in the car? Do people just sort of get sloppy about them for this reason, and especially if they are always in/out of the car? Just a musing . . . .
Wow...I hadn't thought of it in that way!
Maybe...if it's primarily a mobile chair, the "keep your child alive" part becomes secondary.
Hmmm....
post #134 of 188
What do you think about nursing your baby in the sling : on a back seat while somebody else's driving? I think it seems practical, though not as safe as carseats.. :
post #135 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by oetien
What do you think about nursing your baby in the sling : on a back seat while somebody else's driving? I think it seems practical, though not as safe as carseats.. :
I imagine the physics involved in a car accident would be likely to pull the baby out of the sling. Even if it didn't, I'd be worried about what the extreme forces would do to the baby's neck as it was thrown deeper into the sling. The fact that the sling is tied around the mother's neck and back could probably cause severe injury to her as well. Her hips and one shoulder would be restrained by her seat belt while the rest of her upper body is being yanked forward by the force of the baby (for as long as it remains in the sling) flying forward. The reason most car seat straps are only rated to 40 lbs. is because beyond that, the force of the child's body could rip the straps from the car seat! Even with a small baby, I have to wonder how a sling would hold up.
post #136 of 188
Loving-my-babies, I'm sorry this wasn't the conversation you wanted to have. I think it's an interesting discussion, and the last page or two of this thread has gotten into some of it in the way you had in mind. Just for kicks, I decided to go back to the OP and see if I could get some clues as to why the discussion might have taken the turn it did.

Speaking for myself (and it seems others had a similar reaction), it seemed in the OP that you were characterizing carseat use as secondary to comforting one's baby (you bf your ds "countless times" in a moving vehicle). Most of us don't see it as an either/or situation and have very strong feelings about car safety. You are obviously very anti-circ, so it might help to think about what your reaction would be to a post that wanted to explore why so many people got so excercised about circumsision since in other cultures (even ours in some places) it is accepted without question and isn't life threatening. What if the poster said something like, "after all, shouldn't people care more about preventing child abuse and promoting breastfeeding?" I think you would rightly see that as a false choice. I read your OP in a similar way.

In addition, your questions about media campaigns seemed to imply that the importance of car seat use was being somehow exagerated in a manipulative sort of way. (I understand you may not have intended to imply that, but it's what I took away from your post when I first read it.) You asked our thoughts about this and we gave them! You gotta be prepared when you ask MDC moms to spout off on something! :LOL

Anyway, I don't mean to critize you further. I just thought I'd share why I had the reaction I did to your OP. Maybe it will be helpful to you in some way, maybe not. I think other pp's have made any points I would have about why some public interest campaigns happen and others don't, so I bore everyone by repeating things that have already been said.
post #137 of 188
I'm not advocating the sling method, but I've often wondered what a crash test would look like in a case like this. OBviously, no shoulder strap across the front of the sling, but still across the adult, between her chest and the baby.
post #138 of 188
I was told I could not wear my baby in a sling on an international flight for safety reasons.
post #139 of 188
yea, they all say that, but how could it be less safe than babies in the lap?
it could certainly be less safe if the seatbelt were around mom and baby, but I just can't visualize the safety risk otherwise.
post #140 of 188
I guessing, could be wrong, that the baby in the sling would cause horrible injuries to the mother and still be unable to save the baby while if the baby were in arms it would fly free. Horrible thought but it was all I could come up with.
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