or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Car seat culture in Europe
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Car seat culture in Europe

post #1 of 147
Thread Starter 
So, one thing that I have noticed since joining MDC is that there are rather a lot of threads regarding carseats, of all things. I can't quite figure out what all the fuss is about. Honestly, we just went to the store, told the store person our DD's age, and he showed us the type of car seat that we should buy. I have no idea what this 5-point harness thingy that everyone is talking about is supposed to look like. In any event, our DD is 2.5 years old (turns 3 on August 10) and has this carseat, which to me looks like a 3 point harness and not 5 point so am a bit confused.

We bought the carseat in France and now we live in Italy. All other children her age in France and Italy (that I have seen, in any event) have the same kind of carseat. Are we all committing some kind of egregious error?

Another observation: The other day I was in a friend's car. DD was installed in her car seat and my friend's daughter was installed in the same type of carseat on the other side of me. My friend's daughter (same age as DD) was clearly tired and cranky and started to cry and reach out to her mamma. We were in heavy traffic in central Rome. Her mother promptly removed her daughter from the carseat and brought her to the front seat to sit on her lap, while the car was driving.

I did not condemn or scold my friend for doing this, or even say anything at all, as I think that in Italian culture, parents tend to believe that their child's emotional well-being is as important as his or her physical safety, and while my DH and I would be more likely just to tell my DD that she had to stay in her carseat until we arrived at our destination (unless it was practical to stop somewere), I certainly understand this point of view as well.

Given that this is an AP forum, I would be interested in others' feelings about this kind of reaction to a crying child in a carseat.

Hope I have not opened a can of worms.
post #2 of 147
That picture *looks* like a 5pt harness. Two on the shoulders, two at the hips and one between the legs.

-Angela
post #3 of 147
I realize that people not only in different parts of the world handle things differently, same with people in the US, but we made a decision not to get DS out of his carseat while the car was moving. Yes, a few times he howled and it was AWFUL. But it was only until we could get off the highway and console him.

He is now almost 2, and seems to have an understanding that there is no getting out of the carseat while the car is moving. It’s a little easier since he understands more and is able to play with toys and such…

We also have broken a “rule” we made when we first bought our new car, which was “no eating in the car.” He now has little snacks (nothing overly messy but raisins or dry cereal for example) as well as his sippy cup and that seems to help.

The carseat you have shown seems fine to me. We did a bit of research, but also didn’t find it an overwhelming task to pick out a carseat.
post #4 of 147
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by alegna View Post
That picture *looks* like a 5pt harness. Two on the shoulders, two at the hips and one between the legs.

-Angela
Edited: there are 2 straps coming from the shoulders and hips that join in the centre to connect to a thing between the legs. Is that 5-point harness?? To me it would be 3-point harness because you are only connecting 3 straps together, in effect.
post #5 of 147
Thread Starter 
Sorry to go off topic on my own thread but alegna, I just noticed that our daughters are one day apart in age. Almost twins!
post #6 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmlp View Post
So, one thing that I have noticed since joining MDC is that there are rather a lot of threads regarding carseats, of all things. I can't quite figure out what all the fuss is about. Honestly, we just went to the store, told the store person our DD's age, and he showed us the type of car seat that we should buy. I have no idea what this 5-point harness thingy that everyone is talking about is supposed to look like. In any event, our DD is 2.5 years old (turns 3 on August 10) and has this carseat, which to me looks like a 3 point harness and not 5 point so am a bit confused.

We bought the carseat in France and now we live in Italy. All other children her age in France and Italy (that I have seen, in any event) have the same kind of carseat. Are we all committing some kind of egregious error?

Another observation: The other day I was in a friend's car. DD was installed in her car seat and my friend's daughter was installed in the same type of carseat on the other side of me. My friend's daughter (same age as DD) was clearly tired and cranky and started to cry and reach out to her mamma. We were in heavy traffic in central Rome. Her mother promptly removed her daughter from the carseat and brought her to the front seat to sit on her lap, while the car was driving.

I did not condemn or scold my friend for doing this, or even say anything at all, as I think that in Italian culture, parents tend to believe that their child's emotional well-being is as important as his or her physical safety, and while my DH and I would be more likely just to tell my DD that she has to stay in her carseat until we are arrive at our destination (unless it was practical to stop somewere), I certainly understand this point of view as well.

Given that this is an AP forum, I would be interested in others' feelings about this kind of reaction to a crying child in a carseat.

Hope I have not opened a can of worms.
I think you see a lot of car seat threads because car seats are an important part of parenting. I highly doubt all if Europe is committing an error, rather just using the car seats available to you there. (I've read that the testing is more stringent in Europe so...) In the US, you see a lot of the same car seats as well. I think as long as the car seat has been tested and is not under recall, it is much better than not using anything.

As for your friend taking the baby out of the car seat, Maybe I'm being harsh here, but I find that to be a very irresponsible thing to do. I would never take my baby out of her car seat in rural Utah, much less heavy traffic in a big city, like Los Angles. I have a DD who HATES her car seat, and does cry quite regularly in it. I talk to her sing to her, explain why I won't hold her, but she stays in. Sometimes she stops crying sometimes she keeps on. I've pulled over, but there are many times pulling over is dangerous, so we plug on. I don't like her crying, but sometimes there is nothing I can do. I do not consider this CIO as I'm not trying to teach her to sleep though the night, rather just go to grandma's house.

I believe my DD's emotional well being is very important, but my first job as a parent is to protect her physical well being. Because without physical well being, there is no emotional well being. Bluntly, you cannot AP a dead child. Heavy traffic is very dangerous, as I'm sure you are aware.

Another point making her taking the baby from the car seat very dangerous. If the car you were in had front airbags, if the airbag were to deploy, it would have killed the baby. The type of accident likely to happen in traffic (slow speed rear or frontal collision) has a high likelihood of deploying the air bags.

I would pitch an ever living fit if someone removed their baby from the car seat in my car. In fact I would not allow it. DD is properly restrained every time we drive, as you never can tell when you will need the car seat until it is too late.
post #7 of 147
I think it looks like a 5-pt, you can see how the straps come down from the shoulders, loop through the buckles and then go off to attach at the sides as well.

That said I agree to some extent - I could not believe the number of small children I see in cars in the UK without carseats let alone the number of carseats/small children in front seats (maybe they have no front passenger airbags). I find it especially odd since the UK fairly recently upped the age of mandatory carseat/booster seat use to something like 10 years and 65 lbs (can't remember exactly - but it seemed much more stringent than the LAWS in the US).

Also I cannot even conceive of taking a child out of a carseat in central Rome. I would not even take my own seatbelt off in Rome let alone take a child out of a carseat. I feared for my life on the streets in Rome!! :
post #8 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmlp View Post
Edited: there are 2 straps coming from the shoulders and hips that join in the centre to connect to a thing between the legs. Is that 5-point harness?? To me it would be 3-point harness because you are only connecting 3 straps together, in effect.
5pt harness means that it goes back into the carseat in 5 places. A 3pt harness only goes into the carseat at the shoulders and between the legs so a child could wiggle out sideways.
post #9 of 147
Yep. It's 5pt.

-Angela
post #10 of 147
I have A LOT to say about this (we lived in Europe, dh is from Europe, dh's family has issues with our safety concerns), but I don't have time now. I will subscribe and come back to this thread as is it of great interest to me.
post #11 of 147
It's an European 5pt, which means no chest clip. The chest clip isn't needed for safety and Europeans require a one handed release seat.

I guess I care more about my child's life then their emotional well being b/c if they are crying in they car, they stay in their seat till we can safely stop. If my friend ever did that while I was in their car, they would've heard about it for a long time...
post #12 of 147
Oh, I've done what your friend did with her baby(mind me I'm Spaniard), I don't think it's irresponsable, she totally hates the car seat, and I can't calm her with anything at all, I do go back with her sometimes.
We don't use a carseat for 5 year old DD, she sometimes rides in the front seat.

DH and I are both Europeans, 100%
No flames please!! I will explain more about it later, I'm interested to see velochic's post.
post #13 of 147
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by intorainbowz View Post
I believe my DD's emotional well being is very important, but my first job as a parent is to protect her physical well being. Because without physical well being, there is no emotional well being. Bluntly, you cannot AP a dead child. Heavy traffic is very dangerous, as I'm sure you are aware.
I'm not quite sure it's that simple, which is why I do not dispute the Italian mindset. If risk of injuring emotional well-being and the risk of physical injury or death were equal, I would agree with your point. But what if the risk of physical injury or death were 1 in 5000 but the risk of emotional damage were 75% or even 100%?

I have no idea what the risks to emotional well-being are but if we are to buy into the whole AP argument about CIO being harmful to babies then I am not sure why CIO would not be just as harmful to babies in carseats. The baby does not know why it is not being responded to, after all. And if the risk of physical injury or death is statistically much much lower, then I understand the desire to respond to the child's emotional needs.
post #14 of 147
Well, I definitely wouldn't do that here, accidents are common and the main streets have a speed limit of 40 mph but people rarely drive below 50 mph. -On the main STREETS, the highways are a completely different matter. People also run red lights like there is no light and swerve around other people without looking. I am afraid to walk on the sidewalks here for good reason. (Look at the brick walls that line the streets, every couple of blocks they have huge holes.)

Here, I stop the car and get DD out but really I have only had to do that a few times. Now that DD is a little older, I feel completely comfortable telling her that she has to wait for me to stop the car. She understands "stop the car" and "park". Her feelings do take a priority, which she knows, but safety is also very important. I do try to accomodate her when possible.
post #15 of 147
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by thepeach80 View Post
It's an European 5pt, which means no chest clip. The chest clip isn't needed for safety and Europeans require a one handed release seat.
Thanks for the clarification.
post #16 of 147
That is a five-point seat

I, too, care just as much about my child's psychological health as his physical safety, but I would never, ever, ever remove a child from a seat in a moving vehicle barring a true emergency. I think that would be horribly irresponsible.
post #17 of 147
You do not have to endanger your child's life to respond to her emotional needs. :
post #18 of 147
Ugh that makes me sound awful.
post #19 of 147
Quote:
I have no idea what the risks to emotional well-being are but if we are to buy into the whole AP argument about CIO being harmful to babies then I am not sure why CIO would not be just as harmful to babies in carseats.
It isn't CIO if your child is crying and you comfort it by talking to your child, even if you can't pick up your child until you can safely stop.

Ersbett, you let her in the front seat? Do you have airbags?

I don't think the point of taking them out is to keep from injuring their emotional well being, and like someone said, you don't have to let them cry, most of the time you can pull over. The peach80, what do you mean about the chest clip not being needed? Seems it would keep them in the seat better? My son's straps can easily fall off his shoulders without the clip.
post #20 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jwebbal View Post
Ersbett, you let her in the front seat? Do you have airbags?
Yes, I have airbags.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Parenting
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Car seat culture in Europe