Why is Merchandise the only consideration concerning Auto Safety? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 51 Old 01-09-2004, 05:49 PM
 
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My question is this: Why the hell is a (required by law) carseat $250? And if that's the safest, does that mean folks who can't afford the $250 shouldn't have a baby? That drives me insane. "The safest is XYZ. You can get it for a discount at ABC Store for $235! Bargain!"

Carseats expire in five years. But your kid has to be in one for six to eight.

Why oh why didn't I invent carseats!? I'd be a gazillionnaire!

Yes, I use a carseat. We bought the one we thought would work best for us. It didn't cost $250. But I really truly do love my kid. I swear I do.

Okay. So that was my rant. A lot of us moms here look suspiciously at formula companies and crib manufacturers and vaccine makers...but then we buy the gold-plated carseat and feel good that we got the best! Yes, I want my child to be safe and the safest place is probably in a doorway in our home. But we gotta go and I won't be robbed. If my $50, $80 or $100 seat isn't safe enough, someone's got some 'splainin to do ...why the hell is it on the shelf?

More on topic: I'd love to go days without being in the car. It's just not possible where I live. I think that's sad, too.
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#32 of 51 Old 01-09-2004, 06:05 PM
 
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pageta...I'm in Nebraska, too. Hi.
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#33 of 51 Old 01-09-2004, 06:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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chellemarie, you're funny...not in a "you remind me of a joke way" just funny! I’ve always envied you mamas here at MDC who can just "tell it like it is" AND especially when you can spell something like splainin ...that's just so cool!

Mama to DD September 2001 and DD April 2011 *Winner for most typos* eat.gif
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#34 of 51 Old 01-09-2004, 07:57 PM
 
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semi-T :

When I was young <cough, cough>, I had a safety harness in the car and, when I outgrew that, I had a booster seat. My booster seat was an eight inch thick, dense foam cushion covered in dark red vinyl with white piping. I would sit on it then fasten the lap belt over my lap and tighten the strap.

This was in the days when seat belts were something EXTRA you had to PAY for. My father was pretty involved in worker safety in his job so he took safety pretty seriously at home.

One fine day in 1971, my father's good sense let him down and he let my mother drive the car. They had been fighting for weeks and I suspect she might have had some wine at the friend's house we had been at (daylight hours, by the way). We were driving along one of the dozen hills in Minnesota (not a lot of 'em out there) and went off the road and ROLLED down the hill. Twice. Then we stopped, right side up. We had bounced on these rolls, so the front windscreen had buckled/broke dramatically.

I was fine. Belt held and I was wedged into this dense foam cushion. My mother was fine (unfortunately) as she was behind the steering wheel and had her belt on. My father's head had collided with the windshield as it was collapsing inwards. He had his belt on. We all walked away from the accident. Actually, at my father's urging, we were running, as he was concerned about the state of the fuel tank.

Moral of the story?

No matter what car seat you buy, the most important safety device is your brain.
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#35 of 51 Old 01-09-2004, 11:00 PM
 
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sohj - Amen to that! Sorry to hear about your mother.

ICM - Thank you! I love it when people tell me I'm funny.
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#36 of 51 Old 01-12-2004, 01:06 AM
 
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PEEVE: When folks say "I HAVE to drive a lot because I live out in the country." Um, no, if you live somewhere far from where you can obtain your needs, without public transportation options, you have to drive a lot because you CHOSE to do so. It's like folks saying "I have to file bankrupcy because I have all this debt and I don't want to move to a smaller house."
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#37 of 51 Old 01-12-2004, 02:23 PM
 
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srain: I second that. When I've lived waaaaaay out in the boondocks, we just drove into town about once every two weeks for supplies. (edited to say, after thinking about this, I think it was more like once a month. Time just went by for me at its own pace.) Maybe we drove somewhere for a barbecue at another farm. But even that wasn't more than once a week.

I've got a theory that there's a whole lot of people who have a romantic vision of how great it would be to live out in the real country, but then they are so terrified of actually being alone with themselves that they work really hard to turn that country into suburbia. And they are succeeding.

Living out in the boondocks is not easy. People staking a claim on the prairie in the 19th C. often went insane from the isolation. There is a reason that settlements of people....all the way back to the stone age.....tend to be groups. It is hard to survive without. This was done away with in the US in the 19th C. when the US gov't was in a big rush to populate the land west of the Mississippi with the white man. People had to live on their claims for a certain (large) percentage of the year. They couldn't live in a town and go out to farm it. The land was broken up into squarish rectangles. It is hard to have a town at the center of squarish rectangles....strips of land work much better for that.

And, now, we have people living in the real country who drive long distances every day. They don't really live "on the land", they sleep there and live elsewhere...like in their cars.
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#38 of 51 Old 01-12-2004, 02:43 PM
 
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srain and sohj, thank you for posting what I didn't have the guts to say. I kept thinking it, but didn't say it. I'm with ya, sisters.
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#39 of 51 Old 01-12-2004, 03:53 PM
 
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#40 of 51 Old 01-12-2004, 03:57 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by srain
PEEVE: When folks say "I HAVE to drive a lot because I live out in the country." Um, no, if you live somewhere far from where you can obtain your needs, without public transportation options, you have to drive a lot because you CHOSE to do so.
Oh, you mean I don't HAVE to drive 15 miles to get groceries for my family? Are you suggesting that I let my family starve? Or do you know something I don't know? I.E., do you know of a grocery store that is closer to me?

Yes, we CHOSE to live in the country, because we LIKE the quality of life in the country. And the town we CHOSE is the town that my husband grew up in, a town he loves. And it has the best school-system in our state. There are lots of other reasons we CHOSE this town, but I won't get into it here. Regardless, I'm not going to CHOOSE to live in a city just so we won't have to be in the car "so much." That's assinine. Also, most of the state we live in is quite rural anyway, and we're not moving to a state that is more "metropolitan" just so we don't have to be in the car "so much." Why should we move away from family that we love very much and are close to, just so we don't have to use our car? Your whole assertion is incredibly assinine and presumptuous. You do not know people's situations.

And beyond that, I'm not going to just sit in the house all day every day just to satisfy YOUR insistence that I keep my child out of the car. My child likes to have new experiences, see new things, visit friends and relatives. She likes going to new places. She much prefers that to being at home, in fact, where we fall into a boring routine and do the same thing all the time.

If you're just going to sit around at home all day every day because you're afraid of everything, then that's not much of an enjoyable life.
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#41 of 51 Old 01-12-2004, 06:29 PM
 
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Corvus...I'm kind of agreeing with you, sort of.

It's not practical for me to walk my kids to school, daycare and then me to work. Really. It's also not practical for us to brave the elements and walk to the grocery store. We dont' live that far out of the way, even. Our community is just not set up for walking. I do think that's sad, but I'm not going to move to the part of town that is within walking distance of the store and the post office and such. And if I moved closer to work, my husband would have to live on the other side of town to live closer to his job.

I.don't.think.so.

We can't protect ourselves from every germ, commercial, bad idea, idiot or injury. We can do things to reduce our contact with those things, but there comes a point where it's excessive and your quality of life is diminished for all the worrying and attempts to avoid this or that.

As consumers and parents, we need to be mindful of who is reaching into our pockets and why the safest carseat is so expensive and why, if our children are to remain in carseats for 6+ years, you can't fit more than one seat in a regular old car - forcing many parents to dish out MORE money for a minivan.

I should have invented carseats AND gone into auto (minivan) sales. I'd be a babillionnaire!
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#42 of 51 Old 01-12-2004, 06:52 PM
 
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Corvus, I'm sorry you're so offended by this thread. You sound very angry, but I haven't shared other threads with you, so I don't really know your communication style. I feel you may misunderstand the intent of the previous posts. They are not condemning you, telling you how to live, or saying people should cower in their homes. You sound happy with your life. You've chosen to live in the country, which equates to choosing to drive a lot. We're just pointing out that both are choices and they are interlaced, they do not stand apart with one being a choice and the other being an unexpected or uncontrollable fate.

On a personal note, and sorry if it offends, but I'd like to say I believe it is truly wonderful to stand up for yourself, but I'd love to see you share your thoughts using a less abrasive tone. I think it would contribute to better understanding. We're a generally kind and peaceful tribe, interested in sharing and learning.
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#43 of 51 Old 01-12-2004, 07:52 PM
 
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#44 of 51 Old 01-12-2004, 07:52 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by SoHappy
Corvus, I'm sorry you're so offended by this thread. You sound very angry, but I haven't shared other threads with you, so I don't really know your communication style. I feel you may misunderstand the intent of the previous posts. They are not condemning you, telling you how to live, or saying people should cower in their homes. You sound happy with your life. You've chosen to live in the country, which equates to choosing to drive a lot. We're just pointing out that both are choices and they are interlaced, they do not stand apart with one being a choice and the other being an unexpected or uncontrollable fate.
I did not misunderstand the intent of the OP. She is saying that people think she doesn't place much importance on carseat safety, because she doesn't buy a Britax car seat and drive a new car. I would personally never think or say that to anyone. As long as you have an age- and weight-appropriate carseat for your child, it's installed correctly, and you use it every time you get in the car, then I think you are doing all you can to make your child as safe as possible when in the car. But the OP DOES sound like she is lackadaisical about carseat safety, and acts like staying OUT of the car automatically makes her a better/safer parent. It doesn't. Unfortunately, an accident can happen whether you are on the road 1 hour a week or 6 hours a day.

She (and others) are saying that I am putting my child at risk by *oh the horror* putting her in a car. Of course we CHOSE to live in the country; I stated that in my last post. But now that the choice is made, we HAVE to drive a lot to get things done. There is no longer a choice. Get it?

Quote:
Originally posted by SoHappy
On a personal note, and sorry if it offends, but I'd like to say I believe it is truly wonderful to stand up for yourself, but I'd love to see you share your thoughts using a less abrasive tone. I think it would contribute to better understanding. We're a generally kind and peaceful tribe, interested in sharing and learning.
Really? Is this quote by srain considered "kind and peaceful"?:

Quote:
Originally posted by srain
PEEVE: When folks say "I HAVE to drive a lot because I live out in the country." Um, no, if you live somewhere far from where you can obtain your needs, without public transportation options, you have to drive a lot because you CHOSE to do so.
That reads like an attack to me.
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#45 of 51 Old 01-12-2004, 08:54 PM
 
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Boy, I wish I'd discovered this thread before it ran into 3 pages.

Identitycrisismama, I totally get what you are saying. I get a bit peeved about the same thing--that there's always one more thing we must *BUY* to keep our children perfectly safe. Time spent in the car issue aside, I feel that parents are guilted into buying more and more expensive safety equipment.

One winter night when I was 3, I was buckled into an early '70s era car seat, in my mom's *corvair* and we were in a serious accident. The car was totalled. I was uninjured, as were my father, my pregnant mother and my 2 year old brother who was buckled into a similar car seat--one which would have modern parents gasping at its lack of safety features.

Would I use the same car seat for my children? No. But we drive a 14 year old volvo wagon instead of a nice shiny minivan with built in car seats as most women of my aquaintence drive. We can't afford a new car. We can't even afford a used one. I do wonder if the minivan brigade sniff at my old car and think I'm a bad mother for not buckling my little darlings into a state-of-the-art perfectly safe vehicle.
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#46 of 51 Old 01-12-2004, 09:41 PM
 
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Corvus, I was talking about the immediately preceding couple of posts, not the original post. Sorry I wasn't clear.

I do not feel the quote from srain was offensive, but I understand that you did. I don't think the discussion between you and I will turn around and become productive, so rather than risk upsetting you further, I will wish you peace and bow out.
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#47 of 51 Old 01-13-2004, 12:06 AM
 
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I'd like to remind everybody to please try and express themselves in a respectful manner. The purpose of these discussions is to learn from each other, and that's very difficult when the tone gets aggressive and accusatory. One can disagree, raise potentially controversial points, and yet still be respectful.

If you find a post offensive, please do NOT post that to the thread, but contact me or another moderator (if I'm not available) to complain.

I have sent out some PM's asking for post edits. In the meantime, I'd like to ask that people posting to this thread please keep to the topic at hand.

Thanks!

teapot2.GIF Homeschooling, Homesteading Mama to DD ('02) and DS ('04)  ribbonjigsaw.gif blogging.jpg homeschool.gif

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#48 of 51 Old 01-13-2004, 12:41 AM
 
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I have used secondhand carseats for all 3 of my dds - they are most definitely NOT the most expensive and to be honest I have never even checked where they are on the "safety" rating (if there is such a thing? I assume so as it sounds like some of you have done your research)

I have never in my life ridden in a car seat and my parents used to make trips across our state quite often. I know it's not much of an argument, but I'm alive though I was in an end-for-end rollover accident in my teens that would have surely killed me had I not been wearing my safety belt.

I'm in my car all the time too and I don't have plans to reduce my driving time in the near future.

Why am I posting? I'm just rattling on. I guess to say that I would be one of the few who would not look down on you ICM and chelle - 'splainin! you betcha! so true!

WOHM married to SAHD, living the dream w/our: 3 girls (14,12,10) and 3 boys (7,5,3) and tie-breaker due Jan 2014

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#49 of 51 Old 01-13-2004, 12:55 AM
 
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you did check that they weren't recalled, though, right? I hope? cpsc.gov has recall info going back many years.
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#50 of 51 Old 01-18-2004, 06:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, first I would like to thank everyone for this discussion. This idea had been rolling around in my head for a long time and I was having a hard time with it myself.

What I have gathered is that people who HAVE to drive, CHOOSE to drive, LOVE to drive don’t much like the insinuation that they are putting their children in danger by using the car. I don't blame you!

I messed up my approach specifically because I didn’t want to offend. I really didn’t want this to seem like I was superior because I don’t drive much. I still drive and I “have to”, “choose to” AND “love to”. I think that I straddle the line of automobile safety. On some levels I do all that I can to keep my kid safe in the car, including driving a nice safe car, use a carseat AND limit my driving time BUT on other levels I am very taboo in my opinions of auto safety.

One opinion that I have, which I think would be considered taboo is that all roads are NOT equal. I do not believe that a child driving in inner city grid lock traffic, a child on a country road and a child on a busy high-speed commuter highway are all a the same risk. Dare I say that a child driving through downtown Paris is not in as much need for a carseat as a child on Interstate 95 going through DC during road-rage commuter hell!

That said, I would like to address the issue of my "acting lackadaisical” because it is one of the issues I'm talking about.

My daughter is only in the car an hour a week, strapped into a carseat, however, we use a taxi without a carseat a few times a year (in downtown traffic). Now, even though my child is statistically MUCH, MUCH safer than those of a family who drives for 3 hours per DAY on I95 with their kids always strapped, those people are considered very safety conscious parents and I am considered lackadaisical. What’s up with that?
(This here, I know is very controversial).

Please know that my controversary (oops, controversy…freakin’ spell check!) is not directed at anyone of you. In fact, it is not directed even at the 3 hour/day mamas and papas. I know that people have their own circumstances, as I’ve said many times before.

On that vein, I would like to just give a little support to those mamas who “choose” to live in the country. I never meant to target you. I think the word “choose” should be used very carefully because we all know that what one ACTUALLY chooses varies considerably from person to person.

I do agree that it is a strange choice to move to the country and then expect all of the conveniences urban living and then just spend half your life in the car fulfilling both expectations but I doubt that most people are doing that. For those who are, may I suggest the suburbs? .:LOL

The reason that I try NOT to be judgmental towards people who drive often is because I’m aware of my good fortune in deciding where I wanted to live. We got lucky (in some ways/not in others-but that’s another story) and we were able to really “choose” where we wanted to live. I don’t really know where I’m going with this other then saying that I know that “choice” is a tricky thing.

Sohappy, I hope you are bowing out of the discussion between you and corvus and NOT, NOT, NOT this whole tread. I appreciate BOTH of your opinions.

Mama to DD September 2001 and DD April 2011 *Winner for most typos* eat.gif
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#51 of 51 Old 01-18-2004, 06:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
As long as you have an age- and weight-appropriate carseat for your child, it's installed correctly, and you use it every time you get in the car, then I think you are doing all you can to make your child as safe as possible when in the car. [/B]
I know what you are saying, here. I appreciate how you said "I think" and I DO agree with you.

My issue is that I think “automobile safety” should extend beyond when children are in the car.

I liken this to “safe sex”, which I believe should include a discussion on abstinence. I think that automobile safety should also include a discussion on “abstinence”, KWIM?

Mama to DD September 2001 and DD April 2011 *Winner for most typos* eat.gif
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