Oh I can't believe some people (car seat safety) - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 48 Old 04-03-2003, 10:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My sis and I were in subway after our weight watchers meeting tonight (low fat subs..mmmmm). There was a guy there with a baby in one of those bucket carriers. First off the baby was about 9 months old and feet were hanging way over the age, way to big for the thing. Secondly the chest plate was down around the baby's waist, the straps were so loose I could have taken the baby out without unbuckling it, and they were right off the baby's shoulders. Then as we were going to my car we saw him strapping the car seat in, in the FRONT seat of his truck, propping a bottle in the baby's mouth and then taking off. I was dumbfounded! I can't believe people are this unsafe! It makes me feel so bad for that baby because if they were in an accident the baby wouldn't make it.

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#2 of 48 Old 04-03-2003, 11:23 PM
 
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not defending this individual, but a lot of trucks don't have airbags or have them w/a switch you can turn off for just this reason. i didn't know that, but a fellow playgroup mom had a truck and works as an engineer for a car co. and she filled me in b/c many trucks only have a front seat.

like i said, not defending, yet in his defense...

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#3 of 48 Old 04-03-2003, 11:47 PM
 
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A lot of people confuse "rear facing until one year of age" to mean they have to be in an infant car seat for that long. The straps being that loose is a common thing, too. I don't know how to approach people when I see that, though. Ugh.

As far as the front seat. If there's no airbag, it's not alarming to me, I guess. A lot of people drive pickups here and what else are they going to do? My ds is often in the front seat...his seat fits better there and I can keep an eye on him without being overly distracted from the road. I know backseat is safer, but since he'd be in the back on the SIDE rather than the middle, it's marginal. If I had an airbag, he'd never be up front.

I get a lot of sideways glances when strapping him in or getting him out. I feel like I should have "There is no airbag" painted on the side of my vehicle.
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#4 of 48 Old 04-03-2003, 11:52 PM
 
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I see so much worse things around here. Babies riding in their mommy's laps in the front seat, babies but in car seats without being buckled in, I even saw a woman with an infant seat on her lap. You can't say anything to anyone without them getting offended and cursing you out so I just look at them and shake my head.
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#5 of 48 Old 04-04-2003, 01:43 AM
 
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I saw the exact same thing today except it was a van. And the man who drove up with his baby in the front seat facing front, proceeded to leave him and his 5yo brother alone in the car while he went into the bank! I was shocked since I had just read that thread in TAO. I have left Tay in the car to run in somewhere, but a 5yo! And leaving him in charge of a baby! And the windows were rolled down. Someone could have reached in, unbuckled the baby and walked off. So sad!
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#6 of 48 Old 04-04-2003, 01:44 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by trishshack
babies but in car seats without being buckled in,
I was horrified 2 weeks ago to get home from the grocery store to find that one baby wasn't strapped at all. It is a 15 minute ride on a major road. I gotta get more sleep!
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#7 of 48 Old 04-04-2003, 02:31 AM
 
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About two weeks ago I let my MIL and her mother take my DD to her(DD's) great-grandmothers church for a visit. I also let her take my explorer b/c the car seat base is in it. I was utterly shocked when she came back and not only was she just holding my DD, but she was also driving. I could *not* believe it, WTH was she thinking? The church was 10 mins away on a 55 mile an hour road. Needless to say I tore her a new one and she will NEVER take my DD (or any other children we have) anywhere!
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#8 of 48 Old 04-04-2003, 05:03 AM
 
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Oh my goodness, Candy!!!!!!!!! I would freak out! Wow! As it is, I don't know if I will let MIL take ds2 anywhere until she gets a thourogh car seat lesson......she'll strap him in, of course, she's all for safety; but I don't think she'll bother to check the straps to tighten them, or put the chest place in the right place. I had to teach dh how to do it as well. My aunt IL on the other hand, is more like me and is super safe and super paranoid, so I know she'll always buckle him correctly.

I am so glad your dd made it home safely.

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#9 of 48 Old 04-04-2003, 01:33 PM
 
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Candy - Obviously she knew you wnated her in the carseat. You gave her your whole car for that purpose. Some people just don't get it.

As for the guy: I would cut him some slack. First of all I loosen the straps and slide down the chest plate when we are hanging out in places because I want dd to be comfortable and I fail to believe that any sort of restrictin can be comfortable. He may have tightened up when he got to the car (i doubt it but we can hope) Also someone here said it doesn't matter if thier legs are hanging over so long as thier head doesn't go above the top of the seat. The leg thing gas always concerned me but I guess it is OK.

My SIL came over one day with her niece. They got where we were going first and neice was sleeping in the guest room so i didn't see her until we were ready to leave. She was easily 14-18 months 25-30 pounds and still in her infant seat. Wearing a winter coat no less. And SIL brother hadn't bothered to give them a carseat lesson (BIL and SIL don't have children yet) since they didn't have children it was easy for me to give them a lesson without offending - they knew it didn't look right. I must have spent 20 minutes adjusting straps and rethreading to make it fit her but obviously she never rode in it right. I don't know what I said )(I know I mentioned she was far to large for that seat) but SIL called me a couple of hours later and asked whay kind of carseat they needed to buy because they were buying one that afternoon. I don't know if SIL or her brother was buying it but they took my word as gold. I think they might have even been calling me from the store.

My point is that sometimes people don't know what they are doing is bad (I know, they could read the freaking owners manuel) but if they are a reletive, babysitter or a non custodial parent they might just not have the information they need to do it right and I don't think they will be offended if you gently help them. heck they may even be thrilled that thier child is now safe.

Oh and one of the worst things I have seen is the infant seat turned around to be forward facing. Wrong and dangerous on so many levels.

The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it.  We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.

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#10 of 48 Old 04-04-2003, 02:40 PM
 
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I read somewhere that the installation instructions for carseats are written at a 10th grade reading level, which is a bit hard for a lot of folks. Sadly. Plus, a lot of us are motivated to educate ourselves about these things, but it's not as if you need to take a class before you become a parent. So a lot of people probably just don't know any better. I seriously doubt these folks want to endanger their kids (not that anyone said that--I'm just mentioning it).

Most of us never rode in carseats when we were little, so, if you don't happen to be educated about it, then maybe you just learn from what your parents did, and feel good about that. Hm. what's my point.... I guess I'm certainly not defending this behavior (we read the manual 3 times!), but I can kind of understand it?
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#11 of 48 Old 04-04-2003, 04:25 PM
 
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"but it's not as if you need to take a class before you become a parent"

But my husband has to have a license to go fishing. Sigh. There could be a parenting basics everyone has to pass before they can leave the hospital.

Question #1: "Is this an ass or an elbow?"

LOL

Even smart parents don't read the directions...or get confused by the info the receive from the doc.

I read my directions and everything. What I don't understand about carseats is why the safest one is the most expensive one. Ticks me off.
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#12 of 48 Old 04-04-2003, 04:26 PM
 
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One of my best friends used to do car seat inspections for our city. You should HEAR the stories she has to tell. They would do spot checks at intersections. She said so many people would drive with their babies on their lap and then look totally puzzled when she told them it was illegal and how dangerous it was. Some had kids several months old and didn't have any type of carseat installed!!!! (I'm not sure if they had homebirths, but if it was a hospital birth I don't know how they made it home. We were ready to leave the hospital after the birth of ds and had to wait about an hour to have someone come up and inspect the carseat my newborn was in. The service was sort of wasted on me - being that my best friend had aready fixed everything up for me - but for some people, it is totally necessary!!)
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#13 of 48 Old 04-04-2003, 04:36 PM
 
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I just wanted to point out also that I take a car seat saftey very seriously. I have read and reread the instruction manuels. after dd #2 was born I stopped at a car seat saftey point because I had nothing better to do and both of my seats failed on several points!!

Also with #1 I didn't know anything and my used seat (noone had ever told me it was bad to buy used and I got it from once upon a child where they swear it has been saftey checked) it didn't have the owners manuel and it didn't have the chest clip. It makes me shudder to think of how completely unprotected she was. Fortunately she only was in the seat for a few months. Ont he other hand why the he!! didn't anyone tell my childs life was in danger. If she hanging from the side of a building someone would have told me. If she was on fire someone would have told me. if she was choking on a small toy they wouldn't hesitate. For crying out loud tell when I don't have my child in an appropriate child seat. You can get them from the hospital for $5 (didn't know that either). believe me I would not have hesitated to get a new one if I knew the one I had was so bad.

When I see a baby who isn't properly in there carseat sometimes i will just jump in and adjust the straps while playing with the baby. Twisted straps really annoy me. Not just because it is unsafe but it can't be comfortable. is it so hard to make your child comfortable. I actually use that angle sometimes. something like "These pesky staps just twist so easily. Here sweetie let me treat you to some comfy straps" That way parents get the hint without (hopefully) feeling judged. they just think I am doting on thier baby. In the mean time I can face the buckle in the right direction, and slide up the chest clip.

Another thing i do is I am very careful when I look at baby magazines and if the carseat is not installed used properly I am sure to write them and let them know.. (same with bike helmets and backpack carriers). It almost makes more of a statement for it to end up in thier letter sedction about the apprpriate way to do it than to have it done right in the first place. So I would encourage you if you seen it done wrong in magazines or store adds etc. . . that you raise a stink about it.

The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it.  We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.

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#14 of 48 Old 04-04-2003, 06:34 PM
 
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I have always heard that they are supposed to be in those bucket ones until they are atleast 1 year even if their feet do hang off the end. When dd was born the first time I went anywhere I stopped at the police station to make sure I had installed her car seat correctly, and I had

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#15 of 48 Old 04-04-2003, 07:11 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by laralou
I was horrified 2 weeks ago to get home from the grocery store to find that one baby wasn't strapped at all. It is a 15 minute ride on a major road. I gotta get more sleep!
ive done this b4. UGH! i had strapped the infant carrier in the car with the seatbelt (no base) and then, sicne i had doen some strapping, i felt like i had strapped in ds. but no. he was just sitting there with no buckle on! i have never been so mad at myself!
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#16 of 48 Old 04-04-2003, 07:25 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Gr8flmom
I have always heard that they are supposed to be in those bucket ones until they are atleast 1 year even if their feet do hang off the end. When dd was born the first time I went anywhere I stopped at the police station to make sure I had installed her car seat correctly, and I had
They are supposed to be in a rear facing seat until at least one year old and 20 lbs, although going longer is safer, until they are at the limits of their seats. Most babies outgrow the infant, pumpkin or bucket seat long before they are a year old.
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#17 of 48 Old 04-04-2003, 10:18 PM
 
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Its not all that surprising, take for example the stupid warnings companies have to put on their products. (ON Hairdryer: Do not use while sleeping : )
The world is full of folks who for some reason just don't get it.

Chelly
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#18 of 48 Old 04-04-2003, 10:45 PM
 
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My dfd is 2, and goes to daycare. She travels by their bus, which is a 15 seater GMC Savannah van. They do put her in a car seat, but she is never strapped in properly. The chest clip is never ever done. And the seats look like they are too old to be in use. I just hope the size of the van will protect her.
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#19 of 48 Old 04-05-2003, 12:27 AM
 
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Today dh and I were driving down a hugely busy city street, and I looked over and saw a mother and father sitting in a pickup truck cab. In between the mother and the father were two little kids whose heads I could barely see the top of. And ont he mother's lap was an infant in a baby seat. I could not believe it. Wouldn't common sense tell you that isn't at all safe? I guess that's why they tell you that common sense is anything but common...:

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#20 of 48 Old 04-05-2003, 01:00 AM
 
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I have always heard that they are supposed to be in those bucket ones until they are atleast 1 year even if their feet do hang off the end.
The two things to watch for is if the baby reaches 20 pounds OR if its head is less than one inch below the back of it. My tall skinny dd outgrew her infant seat length-wise way before she reached the weight limit.

Quote:
She said so many people would drive with their babies on their lap and then look totally puzzled when she told them it was illegal and how dangerous it was.
In India they rarely use careseats. I brought Abi's carseat with us and when she was riding in it people kept saying it was too restrictive or uncomfortable and I should just hold her. No one could see that a carseat was necessary, they thought that a baby would be secure enough in an adult's arms! I left our infant seat behind for SIL's future baby, but not sure if they will really use it. :-(

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#21 of 48 Old 04-05-2003, 08:10 PM
 
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I may get flamed for this, but we all grew up without carseat just fine.

I absolutely think that a carseat is the safest place for a child and I have never made an exception with my child, but I think we forget carseats have not been around forever. I was really surprised when my super prude, straightlaced mother once asked if it was really necessary to go through all the lugging around and jiggling and bouncing it takes to get the carseat in tightly. Initially, I was motified! But it did give me a little perspective. It is not likely that one going to get into a car accident (I know, at the same time it isn't exactly rare either).

It is lame to do a half-assed job of getting your kid into the carseat, and it is sad to think that if they did get into an accident the child would not fare as well as if they had been properly buckled in. At the same time, I think our generation takes carseats awfully seriously.
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#22 of 48 Old 04-05-2003, 09:19 PM
 
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I lived in Italy for two years and it was common practice for babies to be held in a parents lap in the front seat.

The really scary scene was when I saw a toddler riding a moped, scooter, etc., standing on the running board, just in front of the driver. Yikes!
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#23 of 48 Old 04-05-2003, 09:34 PM
 
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You know what, Christie, I agree! I also always use a carseat, but everytime I read a carseat safety thread, I wonder about the balance between safety and quality-of-life. I would put my dd in the front seat in a heartbeat (rear facing, no airbags) if my seatbelts would allow it because she is SO much happier when she can see me. I love to borrow my husband's pickup (again, no airbags) because she is so much more content. I have even considered turning her around before 12 months (she hit 20 pounds a while ago) and although I decided not to, it is more due to the fact that she's going through a good phase in the carseat and i don't think it would make a difference, than her age.

The truth is that cars themselves are not safe, and I really have a hard time judging people who put their children's mental and emotional well-being first. I remember times that my dd would scream non-stop, and that can't have been good for her. I also believe (if I'm gonna be flamed, I might as well lay it all on the line) that being too fearful of things can attract those very things into happening. Therefore, if I am not afraid of getting into an accident, I truly believe it is less likely to happen. That said, I too cringe when I see infants and young children out of carseats. I also think that there are more people on the roads going faster than they did say, 50 years ago, therefore, I'm not sure how vaild the "none of us were in carseats" point really is. Just a thought.

Anyway, I've always wanted to post my feelings on this subject. Is there anyone out there who agrees, or am I just gonna get slammed?




(edited to clarify the last point)
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#24 of 48 Old 04-05-2003, 11:57 PM
 
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I agree that the "none of us were in a carseat" is a valid ARGUMENT against carseats. I used it as such, but I really meant it as reminder.

I am sure that if I were to say "none of us were in a carseat" too often, I'd run into someone whose infant brother was seriously or fatally injured. We have carseat laws for a reason afterall.
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#25 of 48 Old 04-06-2003, 01:07 AM
 
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Also 20-30 years ago people didn't drive as much or as fast as they do now. Also cars weren't equipped with dangerous safty devices.

The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it.  We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.

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#26 of 48 Old 04-06-2003, 01:16 AM
 
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There also weren't as many cars on the road and they were made of steel. I am not here to start a debate or flame anyone but I think that we should do what will best protect our children. In the days when there were no car seats women were also strapped to an operating table and put under to give birth to their children but we no longer do that, save for extreme cases. Women breastfeed so that their children will have the very best. Some people vaccinate because they think that it is the best way to protect their children from disease. Some don't because of the dangers of side effects. It is a proven fact that a properly installed and used child safety seat can signifcantly increase a child's risk in avoiding serious injury or death in an accident. I would never compromise my children's safety on the assumption that it is not likely that I will get in an accident today, tomorrow, next week, next month or next year.
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#27 of 48 Old 04-06-2003, 05:56 PM
 
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Also not mention the accidents that are caused by children not in a carseat. i know we would be much more prone to running of the raod if I was constantly reaching in the back to speratre my children.

The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it.  We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.

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#28 of 48 Old 04-06-2003, 06:06 PM
 
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In december there was a little girl killed in Cincinnati because she wasn't in a carseat...she was 2. Of course the car also had 13 of those dvd player screens and the driver was watching a dvd...it was on the rearview mirror!

I have also gotten home from somewhere and then noticed....tracy is strapped in the seat...but the seat isn't strapped into car! (no base) I'm luckily it didn't go sliding around cause we lived on a very windy turny road!

Single Mom to 2 amazing little men. T(7) and B(5)
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#29 of 48 Old 04-06-2003, 07:57 PM
 
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Cars didn't used to be made with seatbelts. Many people fared just fine. Does that mean I'm going to skip putting on my seatbelt? NO WAY!!! Cars are so much bigger now, they are made out of fibreglass and plastic rather than steel, there are so many more cars on the roads now, and I witness horrible road rage on a daily basis. Driving has become an offensive sport it seems. People feel that the road is theirs and, by golly, if someone pulls in front of them -- How dare they??? People think nothing of cutting people off then slamming on their brakes to turn at the corner, rather than planning ahead and changing lanes safely to make their corner.

Too much has changed in the 33 years of my life to make "we didn't have carseats and you did just fine" a valid arguement, imho.
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#30 of 48 Old 04-07-2003, 12:54 AM
 
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"I may get flamed for this, but we all grew up without carseat just fine. "

Well, the people who DIDN'T have carseats and DIDN'T grow up just fine can't really chime in here with their two cents worth, can they??
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