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I don't use carseats - Page 14

post #261 of 328
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrayn
I have a wagon, the kind you pull kids in, I would strap my 2 toddlers into their car seats and sit each car seat into the wagon and pull them to the bus stop, if the bus doesn't have wheelchair access things then I would ask the driver to help me lift the wagon/kids into the bus and I would hold the wagon in the aisle while we drove to the store.
Once we were in teh store I would ask a cashier or someone to keep the wagon and car seats behind the counter until I was finished shopping.
When done shopping and the car/taxi comes, I would put the wagon in the trunk and strap the seats in.
I know that you are trying to suggest some solutions, but I can tell you that a wagon absolutely would not work on public transportation. I live in a big city with a very good public transit system. Our family is carfree by choice. We totally rely on public transit. Some of my experiences with kids on public transit include:

Last week I saw a mum with a full-size stroller on a streetcar during rush hour. She had the stroller pulled as close into her seat as possible, but was being harassed by the driver that she was clogging up the streetcar. I let her know that she had as much right to use public transit as anyone.

A coworker taking her DD (an infant) to daycare so she could go to work. Another passenger kindly suggested that she might want to wait til after rush hour to use the transit system with her child.

Suggesting that families have less right to public transit than others during peak periods works my last nerve. And it may not come down to "planning". When you need to travel, you need to travel. Perhaps you're on your way to work/daycare. Perhaps you're going to a doctor's appt. I'm not going to keep my kid out wherever we are extra long just so others are not inconvenienced.

While a lot of the routes in our city do have WC accessible "kneeling" buses, a lot don't. There has been many a time when I've wheeled my stroller up to the kneeling bus and the driver can't even be bothered to put it down (the push of a button from his seat). Some drivers (or other passengers) willingly offer to help you get your stroller on board, but many don't. I've even heard drivers say that they are not "allowed" to leave their seats (yah, unless its to stop the bus and get coffee and a donut at Timmy Ho's).

I've got pretty good mommy muscles and a very lightweight stroller (12 lb Mac) AND a petite kid. In a pinch, I can lift my stroller on my own onto a bus. I have yet to see how ANY stroller can get onto a streetcar with just one person - the doors are just too narrow. But perhaps I have just never figured this one out. I have conciously avoided riding on streetcars with the stroller, we mainly stick to the subway system. We chose our neighborhood and house because they are 2 blocks from the subway, in an area that we could afford.

We do usually ride during rush hour, to and from work/daycare. We can usually find at least a seat for DD - many people will kindly give up a seat to her (she's 4). But a few weeks ago, it was packed, and no one did. The car stopped very suddenly, and a 300+lb man almost landed on top of her.

To me, this thread has been partly about trying to raise awareness that there are challenges for families who don't live in the burbs with their own vehicle in the garage and installed car seats. So I'm just adding my own public transit experiences here.
post #262 of 328
Rhondda, I've had many similar experiences on the public transport.

I always take our stroller too because there is no way I'm going to carry a toddler and whatever purchases I've had to make during our outing. Our stroller (aka the shopping cart) also has a boogie board so my preschooler can ride on it when he's tired of walking.

I once had a busdriver tell me to fold down the stroller before getting on. Yeah right, how to manage a runaway toddler, a preschooler, and groceries while folding down a stroller on the street. aaaaahhhhhhh!!!!!!
post #263 of 328
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrayn
I have to go grocery shopping several times a week an will have to walk to a grocery store that is almost 2 miles away, not too far but if I had 2 toddlers and I had to use public transportation on the way there but a car on the way back here is what I would try:
I have a wagon, the kind you pull kids in, I would strap my 2 toddlers into their car seats and sit each car seat into the wagon and pull them to the bus stop, if the bus doesn't have wheelchair access things then I would ask the driver to help me lift the wagon/kids into the bus and I would hold the wagon in the aisle while we drove to the store.
But then I haven't tested this idea so maybe it wouldn't work, maybe the bus aisles are to small or some other unknown problem.
Most bus systems do not allow you to block the aisle way as it is a hazard in the event of an evacuation. Strollers have to be placed under the seats and unfortunately most strollers now are super bulky and even folding them down it's difficult to shove them under the seats. More often than not we end up taking an entire two seats just for the stroller because it won't go under the seat. I'm fairly certain they wouldnt allow a wagon. We're barely allowed 2 grocery bags.
post #264 of 328
We can take a stroller on the bus here (we have a small one - not an umbrella stroller, but close to it). If the wheelchair spaces aren't occupied, we can keep the stroller open with ds2 in it. But, if the wheelchair spaces are taken, it has to be folded and pulled out of the aisle. DH and I have ridden buses more than once with a baby in our laps and one hand holding the folded stroller as flush to the seats as we can. It's very difficult. We've only bused anywhere as a family a couple of times since Evan arrived. I've been thinking of trying again, now that I'm finally almost back to normal from the section.
post #265 of 328
You can take strollers on the bus here too.
post #266 of 328
I was in a horrific car accident on May 11th 2006, just over two weeks ago. I had all of my children correctly in their seats, my youngest baby rear facing, I had the seats installed by a proffesional just a few weeks before (I make sure my seats are installed correctly every few weeks by either the police or fire dept)

Anyways, we were hit head on by a driver under the influence at around 65mph, the only person in the van not wearing a seat belt was my husband, he is a grown man, and didn't want to wear his. He dearly payed for this. His arm went flying and was amputated He was in surgery for hours and HOURS on May 13th, he was air lifted out 100 miles away for emergency surgery, his arm is back on, but he will never ever have full use of it again, it's just on there for his own emotional well being because everyone wants an arm, yk? The docs knew that, and saved it for looks. It probably would have been this bad even if he had of had his seat belt on, I don't know.

My two younger children, were UNTOUCHED! We were hit head on, the police estimated around 65mph or maybe more, and my childrens seats never moved an INCH! I was knocked out, but when I woke up who knows how long later and opened the back door, my younger two were UNTOUCHED! Not a scratch on em. If I hadn't had them in a seat they would be dead, I am %100 sure of that, I would have been burying my children.

My older child was also correctly seat belted, but I made the mistake of putting grocerys in the back of the van where she was sitting, and a can of freaking soup flew up and put a hole in her forehead so big a ball would fit in it. She is fine after 40 or so stiches and staples. I will never ever ever be able to forgive myself for putting grocerys back there EVER!

So, my dh has lost all ability to work for a long while, we are totally without and suffering, our only vehicle is gone, the guy had NO car insurance so we are getting crap, but I have my children! And I honestly do thank my carseats and belts for that.

And, if any of you would like to see a picture of my dhs arm as of today (its BAD, I mean so bad Id probably get knocked off of this board for showing it) but I would be willing to email it to you, so you can get an idea what might happen to you or your child. Also have pictures of my van, my daughters head wound too, I can show you.

This is WAY OT for this post, but to everyone, please make sure to remove things from your car like toys, coffee cups, pens, anything that might act as bullets in a crash, I learned the HARD way and now my young daughter has a terrible terrible scar on her face. And it's ALL MY fault for putting grocerys beside her! I had "NO idea that would happen, it honestly never crossed my mind.

I know everyone here uses carseats, but Im writing all of this for maybe one reader who doesn't, yk?

I am just so thankful that I had them correctly in their seats. I was a person who NEVER EVER thought that I would be in a car crash, sometimes I would think about being in one, and one part of my mind would tell me "that will never happen to us" but it did. If you could see the pictures you would be really really speachless. It was a terrible wreck, Im honestly still in awe that we lived through this.

I am so thankful!

I just wanted to share this with all of you. Im sad, and still in shock. I cry alot, and am depressed over this. We are young, and my dh will possibly never normally carry around our children ever again. I just thought I would share if anyone is here right now!

Thanks for listening! If you would like to see pictures you can pm me and Ill show you.
post #267 of 328
Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetangelbrynlie
Thanks for listening! If you would like to see pictures you can pm me and Ill show you.
Oh Sweetangel, I am so so sorry to hear about this car accident and yet I am so so thankful that your family is relatively okay, still with you. Today, I drove around with my children firmly and safely in this Britax boosters with side impact protection but with tons of stuff on the passenger seat and on the floor in front of it. Never again, I swear!!! Stuffed toys only! Thank you so much for sharing your story. I can't thank you enough. I hope that things get better for your family and that you find a way to financially take care of the things you need taking care of.

Perhaps Modest Needs could help you with something at this tough time or sometime in the future. Take care!
post #268 of 328
Thank you so much RiverSky for your words. Id love love to talk about my accident, but Im so afraid mothering will move it on me. Which board would I be allowed to make a post like "i was in a car accident" and talk about it?
post #269 of 328
Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetangelbrynlie
Thank you so much RiverSky for your words. Id love love to talk about my accident, but Im so afraid mothering will move it on me. Which board would I be allowed to make a post like "i was in a car accident" and talk about it?
I really think that it'd be a great thread for you to start in TAO "Talk amongst Ourselves". I can't think of any other forum that would be a better fit.
post #270 of 328
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fiercemama
Call me an idealist, but I can't believe that they can make adjustable seats for adults and put a DVD player in the back seat, but they can't create a universal safety system for children in cars and planes. I think its about priorities.
I have a hard time believing that they could do this; as an adult, I have only been in one position in one vehicle (Ford Windstar) which fit me properly with no adjustments (rather, I was able to adjust it to fit me without doing anything odd to it). I'm kind of short, but at 5'1" I'm well within the range of normal hieght for an adult woman. I've driven several vehicles that simply did not accomodate my hieght. My thoughts on this are exactly the opposite: If they can't make a seat that adjusts to fit 90% of adults, how on earth could they begin to creat a universal safety system for children who are growing so much more quickly and who have different safety needs from one another? If they ever did come out with a "universal" child restraint system, I don't think I'd ever be able to bring myself to trust it. The "universal" (and it's not even close to standardized) system for adult seats doesn't fit me, and I see people who are very close to my size and build all the time, so how could I expect anything to fit my son when I've rarely seen a child built the way that he is?
post #271 of 328
Yes I am also 5"1, and trying to get a car seat to work so I can sit comortably, see through the windshield, reach the pedals, etc can be a nightmare.
post #272 of 328
The only thing I have to say on this subject is this:

Regardless of how much you love your child,
Regardless of whether or not you think you're doing the right thing,
Regardless of whether or not your child cries,
Regardless of what local customs in your area happen to be,
Regardless of the effect of CIO on the developing brain,
Regardless of whether you're buckling your child across your lap or letting them crawl around the back seat,

The laws of physics are universal. They are not open to debate.

Put this another way:

An object's weight times its speed equals its force. This is basic Newtonian physics.

In practical terms, if a car is going at 65 mph and hits a wall, a one-pound object sent abruptly flying in the car would smack another object with a force of 65 mph. I think that's probably how a ball feels when it's hit by Barry Bonds.

Let's say a woman is carrying her twenty-pound baby on her lap in a taxi going 45 mph. The taxi hits some object head-on. The woman will be physically unable to restrain the baby. Why? Because unless she is an Olympic powerlifter and in the Guinness book, the baby will suddenly weigh 900 pounds. The baby will hit the nearest object in front of it with the force of a 900-pound weight being dropped on the floor. The nearest object may be the windshield. It may also be the skulls of anyone in front of it.

Now you have the information. You decide.
post #273 of 328
A wagon on a bus would never work. Even if it had an accessible entryway.

Bus drivers do not have to help you lift your stroller. They never offer IME, and if you ask they often refuse.

Here they are allowed to tell you to fold your stroller. They usually don't, but the mean ones do.
post #274 of 328
If we are mainly concerned with safety here, then, if there is NEVER an option not to use a carseat while in a car than there should NEVER be an option to use a car AT ALL if there is any form of public transportation anywhere in your area.

It has been repetitively demonstrated in this thread that riding in a car is dangerous. Car accidents rank among the first causes of death in North America for children under 5 (someone can correct me here...).

So no matter how inconvenient, long or expensive pubic transportation is, since it's safer, why are any of us using cars????

And if any of us are using cars although it's the second best choice for our children's safety (after public transportation except in OP's case) than why can't OP and others use the second best choice (a car without a carseat) for the same reasons ?

I don't see anyone here giving a good reason to always use a carseat that would not also PROHIBIT using a car at all since we know it is so dangerous.
post #275 of 328
Sweetangelbrynlie...I am so sorry about your wreck. What a horrible horrible thing to experience. Most definately find support by posting your story in TAO. You mentioned the other driver was uninsured? If you are in need of new car seats for the kids, please let me know. I don't know your insurance situation, but if you encounter problems trying to be reimbursed to purhase new seats and find yourself in need of financial assistance, please let me know. I will find you someone local to help you get new car seats for little if any charge. Please PM me if you need help.
Healing vibes to all of you.

DC
post #276 of 328
Quote:
Originally Posted by firstwomantomars
And if any of us are using cars although it's the second best choice for our children's safety (after public transportation except in OP's case) than why can't OP and others use the second best choice (a car without a carseat) for the same reasons ?
I'm sorry, but that makes no sense. Using a car is an absolute necessity for some people. Using a car without a carseat is never a necessity (well, perhaps in case of an emergency, but otherwise, no).
post #277 of 328
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonfly
I'm sorry, but that makes no sense. Using a car is an absolute necessity for some people. Using a car without a carseat is never a necessity (well, perhaps in case of an emergency, but otherwise, no).
Exactly.

Plus, using a car makes our life full and rich and wonderful. Our city has very little public transportation, only 3 routes and the buses run only once every hour and a half AND they do not run on Sunday and most of the area is not even serviced by them at all. Using public transportation is not even an option for many people.
post #278 of 328
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonfly
I'm sorry, but that makes no sense. Using a car is an absolute necessity for some people.
Most people I know (including myself) use cars when it is decidedly NOT a necessity. A parent who drives to one playdate a month without using a carseat is putting his or her child at less risk than a parent who drives their child to a playdate every week WITH a carseat.
post #279 of 328
Quote:
Originally Posted by srain
Most people I know (including myself) use cars when it is decidedly NOT a necessity. A parent who drives to one playdate a month without using a carseat is putting his or her child at less risk than a parent who drives their child to a playdate every week WITH a carseat.
Let's say that both parents are rear-ended on the way to their tenth playdate...the child in the car seat will need chiropractic care, the child without a car seat could be dead.

I really don't think your example is accurate.



ETA: BTW, I'm the mother of a child who has been getting chiropractic care and massage therapy for over a year after being in a vehicle that was rear-ended, fortunately, he was safely buckled into his booster seat or it would have been much worse.
post #280 of 328
Quote:
Originally Posted by RiverSky
Let's say that both parents are rear-ended on the way to their tenth playdate...the child in the car seat will need chiropractic care, the child without a car seat could be dead.

I really don't think your example is accurate.
I'm a statistician. I look at it differently than most people I guess- and have to roll my eyes at parents who think it's okay to have their kids in traffic five hours a week, but get all aghast at the idea of someone taking a trip to the grocery store without a carseat once a week. Guess whose kids are more likely to be killed....
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