I don't use carseats - Page 9 - Mothering Forums

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#241 of 328 Old 05-23-2006, 01:07 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Jwebbal
Ha, I wish. I fully support public transportation and have tried to use it for years. However, it is just not practical where I live. It takes more than twice as long to get somewhere by train or bus, the schedules are limited (how many times have we read on this post about people having to take taxi's because the bus or train stopped running?), and they are certainly not convienient. I have to drive my car to the train station to get to it on time (bus takes forever and doesn't run on the same schedule), the train takes at least twice as long as it would if I had to drive, and to arrive at my destination I have to take at least another bus or two which takes even more time. Not to mention that if I want to be somewhere past a certain time I can't get back.

I know in other places it works much better, and I have used those systems when traveling, but here it just doesn't work, yet. Oh, and it can also be very expensive when you consider train and bus fares together.
I know that public transportation is very difficult in some places. I was trying to make a point to those people who claimed that they would definitely lug car seats around no matter what. Of course there are always exceptions (like your exception for not being able to use public transportation). The op made a case for some possible exceptions, where using car seats just does not make any logical sense (without the knowledge/ accessibility of portable car seats) I have made a conscious decision to rely on public transportation. As a result both my children and other children in my city are safer. My decision to use only public transportation has, on one occassion, forced me to travel with my daughter in a taxi without a car seat. It's certainly not something that I promote, but I believe that it is something of a reality when you rely exclusively on public transportation. I believe this is what the op was getting at.
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#242 of 328 Old 05-23-2006, 02:47 AM
 
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Yes imagine when you don't have a car, everywhere you go takes twice as long and can cost a lot in fares. Even in places where public transportation is well supported it *still* isn't the most convenient thing especially when you have small children. And that is a reality for many people, me included.

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I fully support public transportation and have tried to use it for years. However, it is just not practical where I live. It takes more than twice as long to get somewhere by train or bus,
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#243 of 328 Old 05-23-2006, 09:55 AM
 
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#244 of 328 Old 05-23-2006, 10:03 AM
 
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What I am understanding from this thread is:

Even though public transportation is safer than riding a car (in most places, but not where the OP lives), it's okay not to use it because it's not convenient, takes longer and costs more,

It seems that from what I've read on this thread, since those same reasons were not applicable for not using a carseat, and since we know the risks children run by riding in a car vs a bus, we should all use public transportation (in spite of the difficulties) or stay home?

And I'm serious. I don't own a car, originally for financial reaons but have recently been considering not owning one for ecological and safety reasons and also because I think my children benefit a lot from the interactions with other people on the bus and the slower pace it brings (less stress since I'm not driving, etc.).

But taking the bus is hard, when it's far, long, etc. and I sometimes get frustrated because I can't go places or it takes too long.

What I'm saying here is that I don't see any difference between some of the reasons given for using a car (albeit with a carseat) and not taking public transportation (where it's safe) and some of the OP's reasons for not using carseats which were considered by others as irresponsible...
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#245 of 328 Old 05-23-2006, 10:42 AM
 
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I know how pathetic this sounds but, I am always fascinated by public transportation when I travel to a city. It is usually my favorite part of the trip, especially the subway system.

Where I live, public transportation involves a dirt road and, a sturdy pair of shoes!
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#246 of 328 Old 05-23-2006, 11:00 AM
 
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I 100% agree that this country needs to be focussing on public transit. Not just for people who cannot afford thier own cars but everyone. We have "public transit" here but it is one second hand shuttle bus that runs on demand only and for $5 per person each way. Taxis (which are also rare) are much cheaper. This is a small town but I do think public transit could work if half of the population of this town agreed to use it rather than thier cars. Frustrating. Luckily I can walk almost everywhere. But there is zero excuse for large cities like Detroit to not make transit safer, easier, and more accessible to all people.
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#247 of 328 Old 05-23-2006, 03:13 PM
 
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Originally Posted by firstwomantomars
What I'm saying here is that I don't see any difference between some of the reasons given for using a car (albeit with a carseat) and not taking public transportation (where it's safe) and some of the OP's reasons for not using carseats which were considered by others as irresponsible...
Exactly!
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#248 of 328 Old 05-24-2006, 12:28 PM
 
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I don't know, for me it comes down to a story I heard once on Oprah of a mom who hads two young kids and was only 5 minutes from her home. She got a ride from a friend in a truck and it only had one carseat so she put her baby in teh seat and held her toddler on her lap. Safest place for a babe to be right? In moms arms. Well, they got rearended and her toddler flew out of her arms and over teh overpass they were driving on at that moment. She crawled out of the car and found teh blanket her child had had covering her but could not find her child. The toddler was pronounced dead on teh scene. The risk is worth enough for me to insist on always using carseats. When my kids do cry I suck it up till we can pull over or get to our destination. There is no absolutes. Kids can die even IN carseats. Just my own personal feelings...
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#249 of 328 Old 05-25-2006, 02:04 AM
 
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I just have to step in here and say that it is NOT safe to ever stop on the shoulder of a highway, freeway or busy road--in an emergency if a child is choking, etc, might be the only exception, and then you should pull off as far as possible. I know this has been somewhat addressed, but whenever I see a post about pulling over to nurse the baby, I feel like I need to post that pulling over on a highway means exiting and finding a parking lot or similar safe place. My fil was a police officer and saw many accidents happen when a car was pulled over on a highway or freeway and other drivers were confused/intoxicated and hit the parked car, or swerved into it. My brother once ran out of gas on a busy highway and had to pull off onto the shoulder. He was getting a gas can out of the trunk and happened to look up and see a pickup truck hurtling toward his car. He jumped out of the way, the truck rearended his car and pushed it around 100 ft. down the shoulder.

So, kinda off topic, but please ALWAYS find a safe place to pull over and nurse or tend to your little ones. If might mean a few more minutes of crying, which is so painful to hear, but never as painful as losing a child in an accident.

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#250 of 328 Old 05-25-2006, 02:42 PM
 
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Originally Posted by 3boobykins
I just have to step in here and say that it is NOT safe to ever stop on the shoulder of a highway, freeway or busy road--in an emergency if a child is choking, etc, might be the only exception, and then you should pull off as far as possible.
I totally agree, unless it's a rural road with barely any traffic, but as for busy streets and highways, definitely not advisable. A previous poster suggested that she had been on a trip before where there were no places to pull over (like rest stops) for a long portion of her trip, therefore nursing while someone else was driving was her only option. But I suggest that even if she didn't know the areas well, she could easily have gotten off at an exit, looked for a nearby restaurant, gas station or even a parking lot, and stopped for a few minutes or half an hour and nursed. If that exit proved to indeed be unsavory or unsafe in some way, then go to the next one, but I would assume that this would be an extremely rare occurrence.

Yes, some babies like to nurse for an hour and yes, two hours of nursing would certainly add a lot of time to a regularly 3 hour long trip, but then perhaps it isn't a good idea to go on a long road trip, or simply budget 5 hours into the trip and bring some good books to read or a portable movie player to entertain yourself and the other passengers.

Planning, yup, planning...

As for car seats on buses, no, it's not necessary. I can see that having a baby bucket with the handle up, might provide some extra protection to the baby, should the bus get in an accident, but otherwise, at least the bus is such a large vehicle that it would accept much of the force without transferring much of the collision onto the passengers, far less so than a car in the same accident.

I don't feel the same way about taxis. Parents may choose to accept the risk of the "what ifs" of riding in a taxi without car seats, but those babies and small children certainly didn't get an educated choice or say in the matter.

Yes, indeed, things are different around the world but it doesn't change the fact that it is far safer to have your child properly and safely strapped into a car seat or booster than not to.
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#251 of 328 Old 05-25-2006, 08:39 PM
 
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I'm sorry, but I just don't see a comparison between life in a place with little/no traffic and life in the U.S.

In the past three years, I've been involved in two serious car accidents. Before that, I was never in a car accident at all! Why? Because a) I've got a licence now (I didn't get my license until I was 25 years old) and b) I spend a lot more time in cars than I did before. The more time you spend in cars, the more likely you are to be involved in an accident.

I can't imagine telling someone who lives in a very different place that they should always have their kids in carseats. In fact, I can think of places where carseats would be very far down on my list of safety concerns for children. People can always tell horror stories and give you the what-ifs, but the fact is that everyone is in a different situation. I don't worry too much about, say, the potability of our water, because I don't think it's a major risk to my children given our lifestyle and where we live. I worry an awful lot about car safety, because given our lifestyle and location it's definately something to be concerned about. I don't expect everyone around the world to have the same priorities that I do, that just doesn't make sense.

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#252 of 328 Old 05-25-2006, 09:00 PM
 
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Originally Posted by eilonwy
I don't worry too much about, say, the potability of our water, because I don't think it's a major risk to my children given our lifestyle and where we live. I worry an awful lot about car safety, because given our lifestyle and location it's definately something to be concerned about. I don't expect everyone around the world to have the same priorities that I do, that just doesn't make sense.
Is there a limit to the number of things you're allowed to concern yourself with? I worry about water so I have a good filter. I also worry about car safety, so I have my kid in a carseat whenever we're in a car, no matter how inconvenient it is. I don't see why one concern would preclude another, even if it is *more* of a concern.

Every time you get in a car you're at risk of getting in an accident, regardless of how often or seldom you're in one.
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#253 of 328 Old 05-25-2006, 09:13 PM
 
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Is there a limit to the number of things you're allowed to concern yourself with?
Only if I want to be able to function. I have to have priorities, and I have to draw the line somewhere. I only have so much time, energy, and money to devote to keeping myself and my children safe.

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Every time you get in a car you're at risk of getting in an accident, regardless of how often or seldom you're in one.
Of course this is true, but every time you wake up in the morning, there's some risk of *something*. There's a risk of getting struck by lightning every time I walk out the door (yes, even when it's sunny) but I don't let that keep me from taking my kids to the park.

In some places, there's a heck of a lot less risk involved in riding with unrestrained children than there is in the U.S.; that's all that I'm saying.

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#254 of 328 Old 05-25-2006, 09:20 PM
 
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Originally Posted by eilonwy
In some places, there's a heck of a lot less risk involved in riding with unrestrained children than there is in the U.S.; that's all that I'm saying.
Which makes me think of what those safaris look like, the types that the OP rides on. I picture one big bump and baby going flying, up up and away.... Yikes. Of course, if that's the only way to get around, I might well be tempted but I think I'd figure out some way to attach my children to me or to the vehicle to limit that flying action.
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#255 of 328 Old 05-25-2006, 10:13 PM
 
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Which makes me think of what those safaris look like, the types that the OP rides on. I picture one big bump and baby going flying, up up and away.... Yikes. Of course, if that's the only way to get around, I might well be tempted but I think I'd figure out some way to attach my children to me or to the vehicle to limit that flying action.
I wonder what they look like, too; if it's what I think it is, I can't imagine such a thing on an American highway.

When my oldest niece was about 15 months old, we went to the mall with my brother and his then girlfriend. I strapped her into her stroller, and the girlfriend looked at the flimsy buckle and said, "That's not much of a seatbelt, I can't imagine that's safe!" I had to point out to her that the stroller was very unlikely to be involved in a high speed collision; that in fact, it's top speed was probably going to be about half a mile an hour, and that it's job was not to restrain Chibi in the event of an accident and save her life, but to keep her from running around the mall unattended. Sure, it's a safety strap, but it doesn't need to be a car seatbelt to serve it's purpose.

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#256 of 328 Old 05-26-2006, 12:50 AM
 
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I am unable to finish reading the thread but I have imagined a way to travel with 2 toddlers, maybe it is too far fetched, I am now in a situation where 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.
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.
This does sound like a PITA but what always nags my mind is what a mom on Opra (the single episode I have watched this year) had to tell the world, she said that just one day, her car broke down and she had her 2 children, she was offered a ride as opposed to walking to get help, she took the ride, didn't use carseats and there was a horrible accident and one of her children died the other was in ICU I beieve that one survived. I would not be able to go on another day without my child alive and so I would just think of that story if I though it was too much of a PITA.
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.
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#257 of 328 Old 05-26-2006, 12:56 AM
 
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Originally Posted by eilonwy
I wonder what they look like, too; if it's what I think it is, I can't imagine such a thing on an American highway..
There was a link earlier that the OP posted to show what the safaris look like but now I can't find it. I went back and looked twice. : Perhaps it was edited out? I guess my thought is that those safaris (sort of like open topped busses with huge tires) don't look as if they are only driving on smooth streets, but perhaps offroad or on dirt or gravel roads, and that's why I can imagine a child (or adult) bumping right out.

I feel extremely grateful that I have a safe vehicle with two safe booster seats for my children and I do understand that not everyone has that privilege.
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#258 of 328 Old 05-26-2006, 01:36 PM
 
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It may in fact be somewhat due to liability, however the main reason is that it would be a nightmare in design if there was one universal integrated seat in every car. A universal car seat that fits every child does not exist. In addition, there isn't a car seat which exists that fits evey car. Our kiddos aren't all the same. Vehicles are too different. Maybe someday, huh?
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.
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#259 of 328 Old 05-26-2006, 01:58 PM
 
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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 just was saying this to DH . . . GPS and TVs and spinning wheels . . . they can certainly have decent, adjustable and safe car seats built into planes, cars and even busses. It is totally about priorities. I think it boils down to who makes or who doesn't make money if car seats are standard or even optional in cars.

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#260 of 328 Old 05-26-2006, 02:05 PM
 
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the link is on post 155 (forgive me for not reposting it)
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#261 of 328 Old 05-26-2006, 02:26 PM
 
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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.
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#262 of 328 Old 05-26-2006, 03:44 PM
 
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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!!!!!!
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#263 of 328 Old 05-26-2006, 04:59 PM
 
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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.

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#264 of 328 Old 05-26-2006, 05:07 PM
 
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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.

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#265 of 328 Old 05-26-2006, 05:28 PM
 
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You can take strollers on the bus here too.

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#266 of 328 Old 05-26-2006, 07:26 PM
 
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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.

my kids are 10, 7, and 4. i'm due any day now
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#267 of 328 Old 05-26-2006, 09:43 PM
 
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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!
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#268 of 328 Old 05-26-2006, 10:17 PM
 
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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?

my kids are 10, 7, and 4. i'm due any day now
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#269 of 328 Old 05-26-2006, 11:10 PM
 
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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.
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#270 of 328 Old 05-27-2006, 09:32 AM
 
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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?

Rynna, Mama to Bean (8), Boobah (6), Bella (4) and Bear (2)
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