I don't use carseats - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 328 Old 05-19-2006, 07:54 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My babies are 1 and 2 years old. I live in a city in The Virgin Islands where this is kind of common. We have laws about carseats but the police don't enforce them because they know why people don't use them.

I take public transportation. You can't use carseats on public transportation.

I take a city bus occassionally, but usually I take a safari. A safari is like a jeep with 4 rows of seats. I could carry 2 toddler car seats 4 blocks to the bus stop (I have to carry a toddler too, imagine how hard that would be). I would have to pay extra money to bring the car seats on a safari, since they take up 2 seats. My children couldn't use them because there are no seatbelts on safaris. It would be impossible to to hold the carseats and my two children on a safari. I could duct tape them to the safari. Taking car seats on safaris is impracticle.

After I take public transportation to the store I have too many bags to take a bus home. I take a taxi. If I had car seats, I could use them in the taxi. I don't have the car seats. I don't bring them on the safari.

I also take rides from friends. They have their own childrens' carseats in their cars. My 2 car seats don't fit.

I am taking a trip to the states by plane soon. My younger child will not be in a car seat because I can't afford to buy another plane ticket. Either that, or we all stay home.

I can't afford to have a taxi come to my house to install car seats and drive me places all the time. It would cost $20 to go and come from the park for playgroup. If I made a rule that my children must be in car seats they would not get past walking distance of my house very often. Maybe once a month they'd go out. I'm talking about 12 times a year.

If you live in a place where everyone has their own cars maybe you never considered how hard it is for people like me to live up to the rule that a child under 4 (or whatever age/pound limit your state has) Must always be in a car seat.

I hope I don't get a lot of flames
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#2 of 328 Old 05-19-2006, 08:16 AM
 
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When you're in the States, there are churches and hospitals that supply cheap or free carseats. There are also consignment shops that sell used carseats cheaply.
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#3 of 328 Old 05-19-2006, 08:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Please read my post.
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#4 of 328 Old 05-19-2006, 08:28 AM
 
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Are you always staying at the same place? Can't you get some car seats for while you visit? There are also rental places that can rent you seats pretty cheap for while you are here.

I'm not sure what you are seeking in your post - advice or support for your decision?

I can't get behind not using car seats. It's simply not worth the risk to me, accidents happen all the time, I want my kids to be protected if we get into one. If we didn't have car seats to use we would just stay home. When we go on trips we rent car seats or borrow them.

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#5 of 328 Old 05-19-2006, 08:39 AM
 
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i've checked my carseats on a plane before. i'm sure you could do that rather than buy another ticket. that doesn't address most of your post, but it surely would take care of the trip to america.
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#6 of 328 Old 05-19-2006, 08:40 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CinnamonDeMarco
Please read my post.
I did read your post. You said that you're visiting the States soon. I gave advice for that.
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#7 of 328 Old 05-19-2006, 08:42 AM
 
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I dont understand what you are getting at here?
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#8 of 328 Old 05-19-2006, 08:47 AM
 
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I wonder if something like this might be helpful:
sitn'stroll
Expensive, I guess. But if you put a baby on your back, you could maybe load groceries in it? Just an idea.

Not sure what I would do in your shoes. How common are car accidents where you live? Here, most people do not take carseats on the public buses. Smaller vehicles scare me more though.
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#9 of 328 Old 05-19-2006, 08:48 AM
 
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My dad wants us to come and visit him this has come up as one of the logistical problems for us too. Does that mean I need to buy two carseats for a two to three week trip and then never use them again? Yeah, I hear what you are saying.
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#10 of 328 Old 05-19-2006, 08:50 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frowningfrog
I dont understand what you are getting at here?
Yeah, I'm thinking advice on how to help her change her culture's mindset and eventually system is a bit big for MDC, but maybe not...

I remember when my mom thought her cousin's new wife was silly to go to all the trouble to put her kids into a carseat (circa 1972) and she was seriously peeved when I began insisting on a seatbelt at age 16. People used to argue that seatbelts were dangerous, they could strangle you, that you might be trapped underwater and can't get out. It was so much nonsense, but the culture has changed.

When I was in highschool, seatbelt laws were passing and people were upset that their personal freedoms were being trampled.

I've traveled in places like India, for example, where it's difficult to imagine using carseats. It takes a cultural change such as wealthy people donating/putting a car seat into every taxi or somehthing like that before it can happen.
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#11 of 328 Old 05-19-2006, 08:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HelloKitty
Are you always staying at the same place? Can't you get some car seats for while you visit? There are also rental places that can rent you seats pretty cheap for while you are here.

I'm not sure what you are seeking in your post - advice or support for your decision?

I can't get behind not using car seats. It's simply not worth the risk to me, accidents happen all the time, I want my kids to be protected if we get into one. If we didn't have car seats to use we would just stay home. When we go on trips we rent car seats or borrow them.
I live in the Virgin Islands. When I am in the states, on vacation I can use car seats. That is only 2 weeks though. Normally, I don't use them.

The problem isn't that I don't have car seats. The problem is I can't use them very often in The Virgin Islands.

I posted this becasue I think some people think, "I would NEVER not use a car seat. All children must be in car seats and if Moms don't use them, they are negligent. PERIOD" and they haven't thought about it like how I am explaining it. I used to live in a yuppish suburb and I used to think the same way. I'm just trying to get people to see another point of view.

I know many people in my same situation and I've never heard of anyone who stays home all the time because they can't use car seats. If HelloKitty were in this situation, and chose to stay home for weeks-at-a-time, until her children were all 4 years old, I would respect that. I'm not going to do it though.
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#12 of 328 Old 05-19-2006, 08:53 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PumpkinSeeds
My dad wants us to come and visit him this has come up as one of the logistical problems for us too. Does that mean I need to buy two carseats for a two to three week trip and then never use them again? Yeah, I hear what you are saying.
No, you could rent them for that period of time.
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#13 of 328 Old 05-19-2006, 08:55 AM
 
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Thanks, I didn't know that.
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#14 of 328 Old 05-19-2006, 08:58 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CinnamonDeMarco
I posted this becasue I think some people think, "I would NEVER not use a car seat. All children must be in car seats and if Moms don't use them, they are negligent. PERIOD" and they haven't thought about it like how I am explaining it. I used to live in a yuppish suburb and I used to think the same way. I'm just trying to get people to see another point of view.
Oh, you think that we think that all the babies in Sudan, for example, should be in car seats or their parents are negligent? That doesn't make sense to me. I think that people are aware that things are done differently in different cultures, but that the States is rich enough to make sure that everyone has and uses carseats. No one is saying that someone in India should use a year's income to purchase a carseat, or did I miss that thread? I seriously do not mean to be snarky. I just feel that you're maybe underestimating people. Maybe I'm overestimating them.
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#15 of 328 Old 05-19-2006, 09:15 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by RubyWild
Oh, you think that we think that all the babies in Sudan, for example, should be in car seats or their parents are negligent? That doesn't make sense to me. I think that people are aware that things are done differently in different cultures, but that the States is rich enough to make sure that everyone has and uses carseats. No one is saying that someone in India should use a year's income to purchase a carseat, or did I miss that thread? I seriously do not mean to be snarky. I just feel that you're maybe underestimating people. Maybe I'm overestimating them.
Not everybody thinks "Babies must be in car seats PERIOD", but I'm sure some do. It is because they didn't consider other people's lifestyles (for lack of a better word) I said "I used to think that way." I don't think that is offensive.

ETA: On the thread about irresponsible parents someone posted about a Dad comming out of a taxi holding a baby in no car seat. That was how he was irresponsible. I thought, "That could have been me comming out of a taxi with no carseat." That is why I started this thread.
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#16 of 328 Old 05-19-2006, 09:19 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CinnamonDeMarco
Not everybody thinks "Babies must be in car seats PERIOD", but I'm sure some do. It is because they didn't consider other people's lifestyles (for lack of a better word) I said "I used to think that way." I don't think that is offensive.
I'm not offended. I just really don't understand your point. I do think that babies should be in carseats, but I realize that this isn't possible right now in all cultures. I guess I'm not your target audience.
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#17 of 328 Old 05-19-2006, 09:21 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RubyWild
Oh, you think that we think that all the babies in Sudan, for example, should be in car seats or their parents are negligent? That doesn't make sense to me. I think that people are aware that things are done differently in different cultures, but that the States is rich enough to make sure that everyone has and uses carseats. No one is saying that someone in India should use a year's income to purchase a carseat, or did I miss that thread? I seriously do not mean to be snarky. I just feel that you're maybe underestimating people. Maybe I'm overestimating them.
I saw a thread that said something about a man getting out of a taxi without a carseat and with a babe in hand. I don't know if that's what sparked it for the OP to post, but I certainly hadn't thought of that sort of situation before. I think it's reasonable not to use a car seat in certain situations.

Having said that I also have used the intentional NON-use of carseats to the intentional use of formula. I meant that for people who have their own car and just don't think carseats are that important.

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#18 of 328 Old 05-19-2006, 09:26 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CinnamonDeMarco
.

ETA: On the thread about irresponsible parents someone posted about a Dad comming out of a taxi holding a baby in no car seat. That was how he was irresponsible. I thought, "That could have been me comming out of a taxi with no carseat." That is why I started this thread.
I guess I'm puzzled as to what the point of this post was. When I say, 'every baby/toddler/child' should be in a car seat, I am referring to those countries were it is possible. Here in the US, for example, there is NO EXCUSE for not having a car seat.

Even the man in the taxi had no excuse. Everybody I know who lives in a city keeps a car seat for taxi rides.

I wouldn't suggest taking a car seat on public transportation because it has no seatbelts. That would sort of defeat the purpose.

It's sort of like you are accusing us of some sort of discrimination or offensive behavior or thought when none has occurred. I'm confuzzled.
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#19 of 328 Old 05-19-2006, 09:32 AM
 
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It's sort of like you are accusing us of some sort of discrimination or offensive behavior or thought when none has occurred. I'm confuzzled.
I agree. I think it's the American tendency to say, "Everyone should ______" and mean all Americans, but that people in other cultures hear this to mean that we think everyone in the world should _____.

Anyway, I try to imagine what it would be like if I was still living abroad but had a child with me. I really don't think that I would assume that women on MDC were talking about me when they were making sweeping generalizations. But, hey, MDCers might start waking up and come in here and surprise me.
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#20 of 328 Old 05-19-2006, 09:37 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CinnamonDeMarco
I posted this becasue I think some people think, "I would NEVER not use a car seat. All children must be in car seats and if Moms don't use them, they are negligent. PERIOD" and they haven't thought about it like how I am explaining it. I used to live in a yuppish suburb and I used to think the same way. I'm just trying to get people to see another point of view.
That's all I wanted to know. I couldn't understand what you were getting at - I thought you were asking about advice for your trip to the states. And I was responding to my feelings, living here in the states. If I lived somewhere else where they were not as easy to use I might do things differently. I really don't know.

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#21 of 328 Old 05-19-2006, 09:40 AM
 
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I never read the thread you were referring to so I'm sure that led to the confusion here about what the issue was.

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#22 of 328 Old 05-19-2006, 09:44 AM
 
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Not everyone has driving conditions as we do. There are a lot of places that don't use carseats but they don't have near the crashes or traffic we do. Besides that many places are more concerned with bigger problems on keeping a child safe (safe drinking water, health care, ect)other than a carseat. I think if you contacted the police dept of the city you are visiting they could have a carseat ready at the airport for you to use while you are visiting the states.
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#23 of 328 Old 05-19-2006, 09:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Even in the states it is hard for some people to use car seats. It's not just an issue for people who live abroad.

The man in who was called irresponsible in the other thread was probably living in the states. Maybe it is very hard for him to use a carseat, just like it is hard for me.

There are people who take public transportaion in the states. I used to live in Philadelphia, which has lots of taxis and the 3rd largest public transportation system in the US. Many people in Philly do not own a car. They use buses and subways with no car seats. There are no seat belts on Philly buses and trains. I was not aware that taxis had car seats available. I doubt they would have 2 toddler car seats available for me to use, if I lived in the states. Imagine if I went to a store on a bus in Philly and then wanted a ride home, or called a taxi to take me home. I'd have no car seats.

I am not looking for anyone to give me permission to not use car seats. I'm not complaining about how some people think car seats must always be used. I am trying to explain why it is hard for me (and others) to use car seats. Maybe some people had never thought about how people like me live.
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#24 of 328 Old 05-19-2006, 09:50 AM
 
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I think it is incredibly risky to be in a car with a young child who is not in a car seat. Buses and other public transportation (without proper car seat hookups) are different. I took DS on a trip when he was very young and we brought a car seat in the taxi to the airport. Taxi drivers around MASS drive VERY agressively so not putting him in a car seat is too risky.

I agree that if someone has access to (or can afford to buy) a car seat then there is no reason that they should not use one. It is a safety tool. As a mother I feel it is my job to keep my son as safe as possible, not putting him in a car seat while he is in my car is not doing that job IMO.

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#25 of 328 Old 05-19-2006, 09:52 AM
 
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Do people use car seats on buses? I don't think I've ever seen a baby on a bus in a car seat or in a taxi unless they are going a distance. Of course I live in the rural south so we don't have a lot of mass transit here either.
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#26 of 328 Old 05-19-2006, 09:57 AM
 
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Why do you keep bringing up public transportation? That has nothing to do with car seats. You can't use them on buses or trains because they don't have SEATBELTS.

And it doesn't matter whether it was *hard* for that man in the taxi (presumably in the US), to use a car seat. It's the law, and it's common sense. Everyone I know who lives in a city keeps a seat on hand if they must use a taxi. You can use an infant carrier for small babies, and there are small convertibles, harness straps, and collapsible convertibles for older babies and toddlers. Saying 'it's hard' for someone who lives in the states where it is the law and carseats are easily obtainable is a non-argument.
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#27 of 328 Old 05-19-2006, 09:57 AM
 
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Public transportation where there is no way to secure a car seat is different and I think most everyone understands that. I'm not sure why you have come to the conclusion that people don't.

If someone in the States in using a car to transport their children without car seats then they are IMO being negligent. Whether the car is their own, a friend's car or a rental.

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#28 of 328 Old 05-19-2006, 09:59 AM
 
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I think that people in my area of the state who drive their own car and have small children as passengers should use carseats.

Our local health department rents carseats for 10 dollars and they'll install it for you.

So when i comment on people I see near me, I know what's available.
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#29 of 328 Old 05-19-2006, 10:03 AM
 
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I live in a big city, and people don't use car seats on buses, but they have to in a taxi.

My mom doesn't drive, but she had a car seat for my sister for when she took a taxi. It wasn't hard.

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#30 of 328 Old 05-19-2006, 10:03 AM
 
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in nicaragua people don't use car seats either, there are no free ones and cost about a one months salary. and everyone takes a bus some people have cars but they are the rich ones.
when dd went down we did n't use a car seat. she was 3.
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