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Not tightening straps for infant carseat - Page 5

post #81 of 123
If you bought a nice piece of pottery or a great bottle of wine, wouldn't you wrap it in some newspaper and wedge it between something so it's not rolling around all willy nilly?

It sounds like you really don't want any adivce on how to resolve the car seat issue, but instead want someone to come along and say "Meh, she's 4, she's old enough to ditch the carseat." Nearly every suggestion has been shot down pretty defensively.

Your argument about crossing the street is kinda ridiculous. Of course you can cross the street. But you follow the rules of the traffic that keep you safe, like holding your kid's hand, walking at the crosswalk, and walking on a green light. Certainly with all those precautions, there's still a risk, but by following the rules of pedestrian traffic, you've reduced the risk. Same with carseats. The risk is still there, but if you use the carseat properly, then you've reduced the risk.

My children can make some of their own choices. My daughter can wear a plaid shirt with striped pants; she can choose carrots instead of apples; my son can choose between going to the park or going to the library. But some things are not negotiable. Carseats are one of them. Same with wearing a helmet when my son rides his bike. There's no choice. Well, actually he does have a choice: he can wear the helmet and ride his bike or not ride his bike.

I want my children to be happy and healthy, just like you and just like most everyone else. But it's kind of unreasonable and unrealistic to think that they can experience childhood and life in general with no discomfort, with no having to do stuff that they just don't want to do.
post #82 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kivgaen View Post
I considered the option that maybe she just loosened it for the moment while she was carrying the car-seat and that she would tighten it up again before driving off in the car (I HOPE that was the case!)...
If you were to see me going in to pick up my older children at preschool, this is *exactly* what you would see with my 6 month old if I carried her inside in her car seat.

Given that I do this myself, I'd be unlikely to say anything if this was *all* I saw of the situation.
post #83 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by GranoLLLy-girl View Post
I like this response...it doesn't seem condescending and I wouldn't at all be offended by it.

But how do you keep your kids from pushing the chest things down while you are driving?

Thanks! We did the pulling-over and waiting until the car seat was being used properly. I would warn them ahead of time getting in to the car that it would those rules. I had some pretty willful kids about it but it didn't last too long. Now they like it nice and snug. Just part of our family's culture around car safety I guess.

Carolynn
post #84 of 123
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wifeandmom View Post
If you were to see me going in to pick up my older children at preschool, this is *exactly* what you would see with my 6 month old if I carried her inside in her car seat.

Given that I do this myself, I'd be unlikely to say anything if this was *all* I saw of the situation.
It wasn't until I saw what she did the next day before I actually said something. Same situation, baby in the car-seat with loose straps. She parked her car next to mine and she just plunked him in, went over to deal with the older child and didn't touch the straps.

I myself was tightening up my DD's straps when she was waiting for me to close the door so she could get into her car to drive off. THAT's when I said something, cause I knew she hadn't tightened them!
post #85 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kivgaen View Post
It wasn't until I saw what she did the next day before I actually said something. Same situation, baby in the car-seat with loose straps. She parked her car next to mine and she just plunked him in, went over to deal with the older child and didn't touch the straps.

I myself was tightening up my DD's straps when she was waiting for me to close the door so she could get into her car to drive off. THAT's when I said something, cause I knew she hadn't tightened them!
I replied before reading. I always get annoyed with myself when I do that.


I'm glad you said something and even better is the fact that she was receptive to what you had to say.
post #86 of 123
Slamming my fingers repeatedly in the car door would hurt less than reading this thread.
post #87 of 123
What are the child restraint laws in Canada?
post #88 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by wifeandmom View Post
What are the child restraint laws in Canada?
It varies by province. I believe Ontario is the only one to have a booster seat law. Most other provinces have laws for kids under 3 is it? Your provincial government web site should have the laws for your province.

ETA: Here's some info for

Ontario http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/saf...eat/choose.htm
Saskatchewan http://www.sgi.sk.ca/sgi_pub/roadsma..._article4.html
Alberta http://www.calgaryhealthregion.ca/he...PC/carseat.htm
post #89 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by roxyrox View Post
If she is 4 can't she go in a booster seat? Would she like that better? Some of the boosterseats even have high backs. I think most 4 year olds here aren't in harnessed seats anymore for the most part. I feel your pain though. My ds hates his carseat too. We drive far less often because of this because it is just too stressful. I think if a child is strapped in, and they aren't too short for the seatbelt (which a booster would fix) then an actual carseat isn't that much safer really. (although maybe the law is different where you are, is that the problem?)
Kids should stay in their harnessed seat until they reach the limits of their seat, rather than focusing on age. Every step up in a car seat is a step DOWN in safety. I.E. rear facing safest, then forward facing in harness, then booster seat. A regular seatbelt, even in a booster seat, can cause damage to a child's internal organs or spine if the child wasn't seated EXACTLY properly (and what child does sit properly all the time) or if the child's body isn't strong enough to withstand the impact. A 5-point harness which keeps them seated properly is much, much safer. Here are a couple of crash test videos comparing impacts in a 5-point harness and a booster:

http://www.oeamtc.at/netautor/html_s...cosipriori.mpg
http://www.oeamtc.at/netautor/html_s...xicosirodi.mpg

That being said, if a harnessed car seat is causing one's child mental and physical trauma, that is completely resolved by the proper use of a booster seat, then even I would consider the properly used booster seat at 4 years of age. A high back booster with side impact protection would be my choice if moving a child to a booster at that age.
post #90 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by m9m9m9 View Post
So you are trying to tell me that an adult of average intelligence can not look at the straps and realize they are loose? Ridiculous. Of course they know. They don't tighten them on purpose.
DH isn't an adult of "average" intelligence. He's tremendously intelligent...maybe not the smartest person I've ever met, but probably in the top five, and definitely in the top ten. He doesn't know how tight the straps are supposed to be. He's more sold on the value of car seats in general than I am - much more. But, I'm the one tightening the straps.

I think for many people it doesn't feel right that safe should equal uncomfortable. I know I have trouble with it. I wouldn't feel safe strapped in like that - I'd feel trapped.
post #91 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by wifeandmom View Post
What are the child restraint laws in Canada?
They're changing. I haven't looked lately. Last time I looked, dd could be moved to a booster, so if I was just looking for "permission" as LouCostello suggested, I've have moved her a long time ago, and never had this discussion at all.

I was trying to make the point that people can hate carseats, not jump on the "let's make it a law that every child be in a booster seat until they're 12", object to legislation in general, and still not be horrible parents. If it makes people feel better to be judgmental on this issues, so be it. Considering the number of kids I've seen strapped in their seats, while their parent zips around traffic, doesn't signal, runs red lights, etc., etc., I don't count carseats for much.

LouCostello: My point about crossing the street is that I've seen so many people say "if someone you loved was in an accident, you'd..." and "if you'd seen what I've seen, you'd...." about putting kids in carseats.

a) I do put my child in a carseat. Unless somebody can tell me how to put the chest clip back up from behind the wheel, then nobody has actually given me a solution to the problem. It's not safe, because dd moves the clip - trust me, I stuff her in there as horrifically tightly as I'm supposed to (and nobody could have made me keep that clip up, either - some people are very stubborn - I was, and dd is more so).

b) My one experience with almost watching one of my children get killed was when he and I were crossing a street. We were crossing on the walk light - we waited for traffic - we looked both ways - and someone stopped at a red, then booted out into the intersection, turning left, when we were already crossing...and almost mowed ds1 down. So, telling me that if I'd seen all these accidents, I'd value carseats makes about as much sense as if I told you that if you'd been with us, you'd never cross a street again.

I'm not defensive about dd's hatred of her chest clip. I'm frustrated. I freely admit to having taken her out of her seat to nurse on one occasion several years ago. I freely admit to not using a seat on several occasions with ds1 (we didn't have one). I have no reason to be defensive about the damned clip, because I'd just as soon not have the seat at all.
post #92 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by TechnoGranola View Post
A regular seatbelt, even in a booster seat, can cause damage to a child's internal organs or spine if the child wasn't seated EXACTLY properly (and what child does sit properly all the time) or if the child's body isn't strong enough to withstand the impact. A 5-point harness which keeps them seated properly is much, much safer.
"Keeps them seated properly"...maybe that's the whole key to why dd and I both hate these things. I'm constantly shifting my position when I sit, whether in the car or otherwise. DD is the same way. I can't imagine being forced to sit with my body in the same position for a half hour or more at a time. DD doesn't suffer from the severe muscle tension that I suffer from...but she suffers from a much greater inability to sit still, in general. She needs to move, and her range is very limited by being forced to sit "properly" for extended periods.
post #93 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by m9m9m9 View Post
So you are trying to tell me that an adult of average intelligence can not look at the straps and realize they are loose?
Uh...yeah. I mean, I'm pretty sure we're not born with the instinctive knowledge of how tightly to strap our kids into carseats, nor do I think it's reasonable to expect someone to just figure out that the straps should be tight enough to fit a finger or two under but not loose enough to pinch a fold in. Or where exactly the clip should go. Why on earth would I expect anyone to know that, regardless of their IQ, unless someone told them?:
post #94 of 123
Quote:
So, telling me that if I'd seen all these accidents, I'd value carseats makes about as much sense as if I told you that if you'd been with us, you'd never cross a street again.
I respectfully disagree.

I "get" that you hate carseats. I don't like them myself. They are a pain in the butt to install sometimes. Kids don't like them.

It also hurts when you cannot let your child do what they want to do sometimes.

I am speaking from my heart when I told you about my family's experience. I would not wish it on anyone. Ever. It was and continues to be a form of hell.

Can you turn the clip around so it is harder for her to get at? Or is she big enough for a booster? I didn't see if anyone else asked you that, so forgive me if I am repeating.
post #95 of 123
Quote:
I don't think car seats are a litmus test for good parenting, and some of the rhetoric around specific, very expensive car seats, bothers me.

However personally, I don't at all believe in the "well THIS is dangerous so THAT safety measure shouldn't be important" argument.

There are dangers that we can't protect our children from, there are always things we can't and don't do, yes. That is the reality. But how exactly does the presence of one danger mean that we shouldn't address another one? THAT I don't get. Are you saying that we all pick our battles? Well yes to a certain point - but society dictates other points, like leaving a 4 year old home alone is not legal, and riding around without a car seat is not legal.
I think the most honest answer I can give is this: after many, many years of reading threads online, I have consistently seen carseats cited as a source of ongoing, intense, serious distress and trauma for some families. Not just "my child doesn't like the carseat", but major, hysterical, screaming to the point of vomiting with some babies and children. That goes on for months. And years. And does. not. get. better. Also, to a lesser degree, the carseat issue is a major source of disharmony for many parents and children as a discipline issue--it's a very common reason for parents to feel they are going to "lose it" with a toddler who refuses to cooperate.

I have seen a host of comments over the years that begin "I saw a woman holding her baby in the backseat of a car in the lane next to me, and I took down the license plate and called the cops immediately!!".

That attitude is one I cannot reconcile with all I have heard from ap families struggling with carseats over the years. I can get behind the importance of carseats, and the necessity of using them. But I can't make the leap to judging a parent instantly if I witness them not using one. I don't know the story. Perhaps the baby was screaming and vomited. Perhaps the baby was crying, and the mother was just overcome with emotion. Perhaps the baby has a medical condition. I just can't make the leap to saying the mother in that car is a terrible parent and needs to be handed over the to the police!

There is this forced assumption that if a parent isn't using a carseat they are reckless and selfish. Yet the most consistent "offenders" of the carseat rule that I've seen in real life, were attachment parenting families who reached the breaking point with a hysterical screaming baby because of their heightened sense of attachment!.It's like we want to say "Attachment, attachment, attachment..." to each other, unless we are in the car, and then it's "Okay, now get over it".

I think it is very easy to bulldoze past all of these attachment and emotional problems in the name of "safety first". Of course safety is of paramount importance! But it really disturbs me that we seem to force these threads away from an exploration of the underlying attachment and emotional issues. It just becomes "Oh my GOD how could you IMAGINE not using a carseat just because your baby is crying??". Like the very need for that kind of discussion is somehow intolerable?

Carseats do not foster attachment. They foster safety on the road. So yes, babies are safer. But babies are also spending far, far more time out of the arms of caregivers. I wouldn't expect some babies to handle this well, because it isn't normal or natural for an awake infant and toddler to be strapped in awake, immobilized, out of contact from a caregiver. That some children can't handle this very well seems not just understandable, but inevitable. People take babies from home to car to store without ever picking them up. And while again, it's easy to shove this aside and say "Not me, I never do that, I make sure my baby has a lot of time in arms"...I'm talking about society in general. And there are babies and children who do not handle carseats well even when the time is limited to use in the car.

Just to be clear: I am saying that it's very easy to trump this discussion by focusing only on safety. I think that is frustrating, because the underlying attachment and emotional issues are so real for many people. I am not suggesting anyone stop using carseats, and I am not condoning driving around without one. So, please don't imply that, because it won't be accurate. I am simply saying: Even for loving, ap families, this issue is not simple, and there are real attachment issues related to carseats that we should be willing to acknowledge.
post #96 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
I can do what about it? If I take the clip off and turn it around, I won't be able to do it up...or undo it. I barely can now.

I find the general attitude about car seats to be kind of odd, too. So, c'est la vie. To each their own. I'm just happy that I didn't have to be strapped into one of those things as a child.
You seem to have a very serious case of yesbutitis.

If it's that much of a problem, you can 1. Stop driving, 2. Get a different seat, 3. Rig up something that will keep her from moving the chest plate.

My youngest daughter wouldn't be here today without being strapped into a car seat.

But whatever, it's your kid.
post #97 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
My kids are always in their car seats. I feel like a crappy parent for it. I feel borderline abusive when I'm making dd's seat "secure" and she starts to scream. I don't believe that regular, incremental damage to a child's emotional well-being is always worth the trade-off against the small possibility that we may be in an accident on any given trip.
I really have the strongest urge to take you by the shoulders and shake you, HARD.

I cannot even begin to imagine how you would think that losing your child -- even though it's a "small" risk -- is somehow less traumatic than periodically pissing them off by putting them in a car seat.

I certainly hope you never find out whether that's true or not.

It isn't, by the way. Risking a child's life is NOT worth it.

At least you do use a seat, which is better than way too many other parents out there.
post #98 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by heartmama View Post

I have seen a host of comments over the years that begin "I saw a woman holding her baby in the backseat of a car in the lane next to me, and I took down the license plate and called the cops immediately!!".

That attitude is one I cannot reconcile with all I have heard from ap families struggling with carseats over the years. I can get behind the importance of carseats, and the necessity of using them. But I can't make the leap to judging a parent instantly if I witness them not using one. I don't know the story. Perhaps the baby was screaming and vomited. Perhaps the baby was crying, and the mother was just overcome with emotion. Perhaps the baby has a medical condition. I just can't make the leap to saying the mother in that car is a terrible parent and needs to be handed over the to the police!
Some things are just so rarely acceptable that calling the police when you see a baby unrestrained is *absolutely* a reasonable thing to do. Is it *possible* that the reason said baby is unrestrained is unavoidable, that the parents had no choice, it was an emergency, etc etc etc?

Sure it is.

But if I see a baby not in a car seat on the road, I'm going to err on the side of safety and let the police determine if indeed there was just cause for breaking the law and putting that baby in danger.

Is the parent terrible for not using a car seat? I have no idea, and I'm not taking any chances. If there truly are extenuating circumstances, I figure the police can make that determination.

There have been two times I didn't use a car seat. If someone had called the police and they had attempted to stop me, they would have had to follow me straight to the ER doors. First time it happened, one of my DD was 3 years old with a temp of 106.8. When I say I threw her in the car and tore out of the driveway headed to the ER, that is an understatement. The hospital at the time was 7/10ths of a mile on the military post where we lived. Had it been several miles away through traffic, I'd have likely stopped to buckle her in. I made a judgment call that day, one that I pray I never have to make again because I've never been that afraid in my life.

The second was also a trip to the ER, that time with my then 2 year old son who awoke at 3am screaming at the top of his lungs and unable to move his head at all. Again, I literally flung us in the vehicle and prayed the whole way down the hill to the ER.

Otherwise, four kids and almost 6 years of parenting in all, and we've never taken a child out of their car seat while the vehicle was moving. Ever. Their life is more important than them not crying. Or at least my children's lives are worth more than them not crying.

I'd rather have a hystercial, screaming, inconsolable baby than a dead one any day. I really don't get why that is so hard to understand.
post #99 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post



If you really want to solve my problem, tell me where to go to get rid of the freaking legislation, so I can get rid of those cages in my van.
It sounds as if your DD is technically old enough by law to go in a booster seat. Those are MUCH MUCH MUCH less restrictive on their movement. It sounds as if you are *choosing* to continue with the use of a 5pt harness when there is no legislation that requires you to do so.

Problem solved.

Unless of course you are hoping for legislation that allows your children to ride around completely unrestrained with no seat belt at all. If that's the case, you are unlikely to find support for that wish.
post #100 of 123
Quote:
I'd rather have a hystercial, screaming, inconsolable baby than a dead one any day. I really don't get why that is so hard to understand.
:

I've had both. I wouldn't wish a dead baby on anyone, no matter how, well, there's really no way to say it without violating the UA, they may be.
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