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the issue of infant carseats in our country - Page 8

post #141 of 188
If your baby was in a sling nursing and you were in an accident the only way there would be ANY safety afforded is if the thread and the fabric are made to withstand a weight of 4500 lbs--and that's for a 10lb child, as the child grows, so does that other number. I think this is something that most have no concept of until they see it, it's one thing to read it and hear it, etc but it seems unimaginable just in writing. I was never very good in physics, I was more of a biology student but it was that one accident I saw that killed dad and baby that cemented it into my head. Mom said over and over, we weren't going fast, I had a good hold of him--but how can any woman be expected to hold onto 4500 lbs!! Sling or no sling. The force something gets thrown at during a collision is just far too massive.

On the original question as to why it became a larger issue than say breast feeding or circ'ing, I think the ultra basic answer to that is that car seats have a more immediate gratification of saving lives. In north america we don't see or hear about children actually dying from formula or from being circ'd. Also, it's something we can make an enforcable law for. A law that has been proven to save lives--so I think that's why the huge focus. To make a law that all babes must be breast fed will never pass for a number of reasons, 1) It is true that not all women can breastfeed and no matter how small the number may be, it would be hard to force women with bf trouble to breastfeed (regardless of how we see it, for some, pain is a perfect reason not to breastfeed) 2) Many women don't breastfeed because of medications that they must be on that can't be can't be passed on and yeah, the drug companies have clout! Now, that said, I have extremely bad rhuematoid arthritis and I was desparately waiting until my pregnancy was over so I could get back on my meds--I was afraid I wouldn't be able to take care of her with the pain I had--anyway, I tried to breastfeed but prior surgery resulted in me not producing so much as a drop of milk. Now I had worked out a plan that would have allowed me to breast feed and be on my meds, but it would have involved supplementation 2 days a week--most just aren't willing to go to that much trouble-KWIM? On circing, again, if we made it law, it would be seen as a huge insult to many religious groups, and while I am one who thinks no religion should support the mutilation of children, there are people who believe very passionately that their child must be circ'd--I have no concept of this, cause, well, I'm Scottish, the only thing I'm that passionate about is butter

I think you would find in Canada, the incidence of breastfeeding is MUCH higher and the incidence of circ'ing is much lower. In my small town there isn't even a doctor who will circ your child, if you give birth in the hospital I did, you need to book an appt in Toronto to have your child circ'd. My hospital has videos by the dozen's on breast feeding and almost as many on why NOT to circ. In canada formula samples are not given out (you have to write in to the company and request them) In Canada, while our health care system covers darn near everything, you will have to cough up the money if you want to circ your child. The canadian government has gone all out encouraging breast feeding. As far as I know, all hospitals with OB units have lactation consultants on staff at no charge to the patients. Every piece of literature I got before and just after Molly was born had copious information on why and how to breast feed and how to handle common problems. So it is a cultural thing to an extent and I think the US culture is just more strongly driven by economics.

Another thought on why the huge push to carseats and "back to sleep" these are things we can frighten people into submission on. There are real and well documented statistics on how these things save babies lives. The same level of fear just doesn't exist with say "You must breastfeed or your adult child will be more prone to obesity and your child may have more ear infections" KWIM??? We are (fairly justly so) afraid of having our children die and therefore when that is the threat it carries more weight. Does that make sense??
post #142 of 188
too many cars, too much driving, not enough public transportation - what about kids in bikeseats on bikes in a car culture?

I ff so my kid had a bottle...

Cultural relativity is not MDC's strongpoint.
post #143 of 188
no time to read the whole thread, but i wanted to chime in and add my .02.
i always jumped in the backseat and let dh drive when dd needed me or needed to bfeed-she's 2.5 now, and i still do it. but. i never ever take her out of the seat. it's easy to bf a carseated baby once you get the hang of it, even if youre small busted, which i totally am. maybe not every mama can physically do it, though, and in that case i'd suggest you stop the car before taking your baby out of the seat.

it IS a big huge deal to have a baby riding unrestrained. most accidents happen in the blink of an eye, and NOBODY knows how they will turn out. you could lose your grip on your child and they could be killed or seriously injured from hitting the inside of the car, flying OUT of the car, crushed between the dash and seats or seats and floor or seats and roof...it's just way way too risky.

the ONLY time i would make an exception would be if dd were seriously hurt or injured and i had to get her to the hospital myself. i would probably hold her and pray alot. i pray that never happens.

car seats being cruel....
i think they're cruel when parents leave their babies/toddlers stuck in them all the time. i think it's cruel to ignore your child's cries after a point-we all know the difference between fussiness that will probably pass and distressed crying. if your child needs you, pull over and do what you need to do.
post #144 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by shannon0218
If your baby was in a sling nursing and you were in an accident the only way there would be ANY safety afforded is if the thread and the fabric are made to withstand a weight of 4500 lbs--and that's for a 10lb child, as the child grows, so does that other number.
yea, this is what I thought. Is that at highway speeds? It must be more for higher speeds and less at a slow speed?

If it's possible to make seatbelts that hold a person in an accident, it's got to be possible to make a sling that can hold a baby.
post #145 of 188
What a thread.

Carseats are not cruel, sorry, but that is, um, well... stupid. If your baby hates the carseat than what is actually cruel is you taking them somewhere, not the seat itself. I know from where I speak because I have a carseat hating baby. She has hated it since the day she was born and it has caused me to skip many an activity out of the desire not to make her cry. I drove my kids (alone) 1,000 miles in December and it took me 3 full days because we stopped constantly for her to get out and get away from the seat.

I have never taken her out of her seat when she was crying, I would NEVER do that. She will survive crying, I just don't see how that is in any way, ever ever ever justifiable. She is 17 months and rides rear-facing even though she would probably cry less forward facing... again, I don't care, I only care about her safety.

I'm not sure whether the argument that "we survived" in the days before carseats was actually being made or just being used to stir the pot. I certainly hope that wasn't an actual argument.
post #146 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by benjalo
yea, this is what I thought. Is that at highway speeds? It must be more for higher speeds and less at a slow speed?

If it's possible to make seatbelts that hold a person in an accident, it's got to be possible to make a sling that can hold a baby.
Even if there was a sling that could hold a baby there would be the chance said baby would be crushed by the adult's body. Even though an adult is restrained there can still be impact with the body of the car.
post #147 of 188
Quote:
If it's possible to make seatbelts that hold a person in an accident, it's got to be possible to make a sling that can hold a baby.
One of the reasons carseats and seatbelts work is that they are anchored to immovable objects. A sling, on a person, can never be that stable.
post #148 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by loving-my-babies
I agree that carseats are SUPER important, but if I had to put that in a scale and compare it to breastfeeding (since THAT is such a choice here) I'd say carseats are less important than breastfeeding, because carseats only save you IF you have an accident. Not breastfeeding is damage one can't repair.
You can be a breastfeeding mom and a mom who uses a carseat. The two are not mutually exclusive. You don't know when you might have an accident. That's why they're called accidents. If your child isn't in a carseat when you have that unanticipated accident, the chance that your child will day is WAY WAY higher. I guess it comes down to whether you're willing to take that risk. Me? Never.

And I would definitely feel less charitable toward a mom who doesn't put her kid in a carseat than a mom who ff. It's the difference between giving you baby the best infant food or adequate infant food versus doing your best to keep your baby safe in the car and not doing anything to keep your baby safe.

Namaste!
post #149 of 188


Quote:
Originally Posted by Kavita
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 . . . .
While it seems reasonable that that is part of it, I think an even larger (sadly) part may be an inability to understand the car seat directions.

Car seat manuals, on average, are written at a 10th grade level. That is, unfortunatley, higher than the average reading level in the US. While we have had no problems installing our Britax seats, we had one that my DH (MS), my MIL (a teacher) & I (heck, I'm smart too!) had a really hard time figuring out exactly *what* they meant.
post #150 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by dharmamama
You can be a breastfeeding mom and a mom who uses a carseat. The two are not mutually exclusive.
I think the point is how people view them.

Statistically, every child who is formula fed has negative consequences (if they could have been bfed).

Not every child who goes w/out a carseat has a negative consequence.

I think there are two main reasons for this dichotomy:

1) The connection between not using a carseat and harm is much more obvious than the connection between formula and harm.
2) With $50 you can make your child carsafe. Bfeeding can be MUCH harder than just throwing money at it.
post #151 of 188
I saw the issue of child restraints on buses came up again. Earlier in the thread I discussed "compartmentalization" which describes the reasons why most school buses do not and don't have to have seat belts.
But I wanted to come back and add that some states have enacted legislation which does mandate the use of safety belts/or child safety seats on them. These are generally smaller buses, much less than the 10,000 pound behemooths we see every day. Regarding the larger buses, in 1999, New York and New Jersey mandated that seat belts be installed in all new buses. It is rumored that you may see similar legislation in your state soon if not already.
NHTSA has conducted crash tests of buses and it covered body joint strength, roll-over protection, pedestrian safety devices, passenger seating and crash protection, emergency exits, as well as testing improved total structural integrity for the bus' frame.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, with time and advanced testing, will come additional or changed laws and we will probably see the advent of safety belts on school buses in the near future. When we know better, we do better...just another example of the advancement in technology and testing.
I did want to note that at present, the most dangerous time for a child on a bus is upon entering and exiting. They are more likely to be hit by another car and not injured in a bus crash sans safety belt.

BTW for any MDC mama reading who is a CPS tech...NHTSA is working on a school bus specific CPS training coarse.

Dallaschildren
CPS tech and mom to 2 sons in seats both in 5 point harnesses
post #152 of 188
Me again...noticed the posts questioning the possible use of a sling while driving......
Unfortunately, slings are not crash tested, they are constructed of materials not strong enough to withstand crash forces, and your babe would be thrown from your body with deadly force, as a result.

Someone mentioned a similar theory earlier, but just in case some of you missed it:

This is Newton's theory of motion in a nutshell:

Speed X weight = restraining force

So take a car driving at 30 mph X 20 pound child = 600 pounds


You are driving your Honda at 30 mph, you slam on the brakes to miss a squirrel in the road, and your 20 pound child now weighs 600 pounds. No one can hold onto anything that weighs 600 pounds. So if you are breastfeeding and your child is in your lap when this happens, your child will be thrown around or out of the vehicle as if he weighed 600 pounds.

Newton's theory: An object in motion continues to remain in motion at the original speed until acted on by an outside force.

Dallaschildren
CPS tech and mom to 2 sons in seats both in 5 point harnesses
post #153 of 188
When one of my children was crying and needed to be bf, we would always just pull over as soon as possible. I am comfortable being late - as late as I need to be to keep my kids happy and safe.

BJ
Barney & Ben
post #154 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by TiredX2
I think the point is how people view them.

Statistically, every child who is formula fed has negative consequences (if they could have been bfed).

Not every child who goes w/out a carseat has a negative consequence.

I think there are two main reasons for this dichotomy:

1) The connection between not using a carseat and harm is much more obvious than the connection between formula and harm.
2) With $50 you can make your child carsafe. Bfeeding can be MUCH harder than just throwing money at it.

I think this gets at the heart of the matter. People have all kinds of "excuses" for why they can't breastfeed, why they can't so-sleep, why CIO and spanking and daycare is good for their family, why they can't carry their children and blah blah blah ad infinitum.

The solutions to those problems take more than just a chunk of money.

But car seats are easy. Strap the kid in, end of story. Feel fully righteous, even though the parent in question has failed to do just about every other thing (bf, co-sleep, GD, etc) that they might have done to prevent harm coming to their child.

It's easy to focus on car seats because there are all kinds of HORROR gasp HORROR stories.

But lord almighty forbid we should talk about the GASP horror GASP of cribs. And yes, babies DO die in cribs. It's called SIDS. Co-sleeping babies have as much protection from death as babies who are in car seats, but somehow, that is simply a "parent's choice".

Using a car seat is an easy choice, and therefore people jump on the bandwagon and proclaim every person who puts their infant's immediate needs over the slight statistical risk of a crash...what was the word a previous poster used? Oh yeah... stupid.

And that's okay?

Are we allowed to call formula feeders stupid? People who refuse to co-sleep? Can we call them stupid? How about spankers? Or CIOers? All of these people take a significant risk that they will cause their child harm, but, oh, that's just a choice.

It's nonsense. The hyperbole doesn't change the fact that there are LOTS of difficult choices that parents have to make, and taking a hysterical infant out of car seat to breastfeed in the back seat is NO WORSE than feeding formula, or using CIO or spanking or using a crib.

They're all "choices" and if we're going to respect moms who use formula, then we also have to respect moms who refuse to practice ANY KIND of CIO, whether it's in a car or a crib.
post #155 of 188
I don't know if it's been said but, I would rather have my baby hungry or even STARVING, than potentially dead.

Kailey stays in her carseat no matter what her mood or condition. If it is an emergency we pull over- even on highways, we just pull WAY over.

There have been many PRO carseat posts and I just want to say...yeah what THEY said!
post #156 of 188

A friendly reminder from your mod

Please try to keep this thread on topic. If it starts to become a breastfeeding vs. formula feeding (or CIO, spanking, etc.) debate I will have to close it.

Thanks!
post #157 of 188
Quote:
But you know what, I could care less if an adult doesn't buckle up--they're an adult, they're old enough to know the risks and choose whether or not to take the chance, no adult should make that "choice" for a child who can't speak for themselves or make their own educated choice.
Another problem with unbelted persons is that they become projectiles in the event an accident does occur. The unbleted people can be thrown around the car KILLING the persons who were belted in.

In my car, EVERYONE uses a safety belt or carseat or they don't ride. YES, I have FORCED adults who wanted/needed are ride from me to buckle themselves in. I don't give a flip how pi$$ed they get.
post #158 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaisyRose
Using a car seat is an easy choice, and therefore people jump on the bandwagon and proclaim every person who puts their infant's immediate needs over the slight statistical risk of a crash...what was the word a previous poster used? Oh yeah... stupid.
Yes, I do think it's stupid to put your baby in a 2-, 3-, or 4-ton hunk of hurtling metal and not restrain them. The statistical risk of a child dying from being ff is far smaller than the risk of an unrestrained baby who is involved in an accident dying. It doesn't matter whether the risk of an accident is remote. It only matters what happens WHEN THE CRASH OCCURS. Comparing ff in general to carseat use in general is not a valid comparison, because a carseat's job is not to keep a child safe while riding in the car. Its job is to keep the child safe when the child is involved in an accident. You have to compare ff deaths to deaths of children who were not restrained AND were involved in accidents to have a valid comparison. (Ditto for co-sleeping, etc.)

Namaste!
post #159 of 188
Quote:
taking a hysterical infant out of car seat to breastfeed in the back seat is NO WORSE than feeding formula, or using CIO or spanking or using a crib.

They're all "choices" and if we're going to respect moms who use formula, then we also have to respect moms who refuse to practice ANY KIND of CIO, whether it's in a car or a crib.
Formula provides adequate nutrition for a child. Being unrestrained in a car does not provide adequate safety for a child. It's not a valid comparison.

If you don't want your child to cry in a carseat, pull over.
post #160 of 188
Quote:
I could care less if an adult doesn't buckle up--they're an adult, they're old enough to know the risks and choose whether or not to take the chance
My problem with that argument is that people like Shannon here have to clean up the mess. So it's not just impacting their life.
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