Car seat culture in Europe - Page 4 - Mothering Forums
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#91 of 147 Old 04-10-2007, 03:03 PM
 
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Originally Posted by kalimay View Post
I am just trying to get the facts. Someone said it was illigal in "some states" for a child to ride in front if a rear seat was available. I can't find any besides Washington. Does anyone know of any others? Thanks.
New Mexico is another.

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Also the link provided, I think to verify the 35% injury rate for children under the age of 12 riding in the front seat listed the rate as 26-35%.
Perhaps you don't feel this way, but when it comes to safety I go by the "worst case scenario". Even 26% is much too high of a chance to risk it. But it can be up to 35%, then that's what I'm going with. Definitely not worth the risk either way, though.

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#92 of 147 Old 04-10-2007, 03:05 PM
 
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So I guess I am saying we should drive less, or judge less. The person I quoted was saying she puts her kids in the car to drive from costco to target in the same parking lot, but she harnesses them so it is all good.
Considering a significant percentage of accidents happen in parking lots, I do the same thing. I wouldn't say "it's all good", but I would say that it's better than not having them restrained.

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People are judging the European car culture harshly when again I feel that we are putting our children at greater risk.
How are Americans putting their children at greater risk than Europeans?

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#93 of 147 Old 04-10-2007, 03:26 PM
 
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Originally Posted by North_Of_60 View Post
Kind of OT, but I think we should have a carseat forum. Full of stickies, and moderators who are car seat techs. I think it would be great!
psst... http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=625944 (please post)

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#94 of 147 Old 04-10-2007, 03:28 PM
 
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YEAY!! Although I am somewhat bummed that it was not *my* idea.

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#95 of 147 Old 04-10-2007, 03:31 PM
 
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but if the stats for some european countries for fatalities is lower than here in the US than in Italy (15 per capita compared to 10 per capita) and in Italy children ride less often in cars and walk more than our kids here in the US do, then perhaps the chances of fatality is actually higher in cultures that don't use car seats like we do, because even while the rate is lower, it sounds like they are in the car much less? Makes perfect sense. So if say you live in Africa, where the fatality rate in car accidents per capita is probably very low, but you almost never ride in a car, when you DO ride in a car, your chances of being killed are much higher, get it?

so basically, yeah, the laws of physics still exist in these other countries, so when they take their kids out of a car seat, they are still putting their kid at risk.
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#96 of 147 Old 04-10-2007, 03:42 PM
 
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I guess the judgement about taking chances with your child is just a little much for me when in the US you are taking a risk putting them in the car at all, even if they are rear facing in their britex.
The people harping on European culture and car seats seem to not acknowledge that even with all of the safety measures we "overprotective American mommies" employ we are still putting our children at risk driving here.
The issue is putting the kid in the car, period. Be it in France, Italy, Japan, or the US. Fact is that US kids probably ride in cars more, hell, look at how big our country is compared to other countries? Mass transit exists less here, cities and towns are more spread out many times, one can take much longer car trips and our lack of decent city planning cuts down the ability to walk from place to place. So we spend more time in cars, that's just fact. And the fact is that every minute spent in cars makes us more likely to be in an accident, and car seats used properly protect us from being injured, or seriously injured in car accidents. I hardly view us as being overprotective, I mean, we could all just eschew seat belts and watch the death rates soar.
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#97 of 147 Old 04-10-2007, 03:43 PM
 
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Originally Posted by alegna View Post
Does the manual say you can tether RF? There are just a handful of seats on the market designed that way.

-Angela
Ack, no, I don't know where I got that... I just checked.
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#98 of 147 Old 04-10-2007, 03:44 PM
 
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Did you know that if you were involved in a crash and were traveling 30 miles per hour, your 10 pound child would now weigh 300 pounds?

The weight times speed = restraining force

Also, Newton's theory of gravitation and motion states an object in motion continues to remain in motion at the original speed until acted on by an outside force.

It is essential that we always buckle our kids up even if we are going a short distance. DO NOT allow anyone to hold your child on their lap. Based on the scenario above, could you hold onto an object if it weighed 300 pounds? Something to think about.

AIR BAGS:

Air bags are proven, effective safety devices. From their introduction in the late 1980's through November 1, 1997, air bags saved about 2,620 people. The number of people saved increases each year as air bags become more common on America's roads.

However, the number of lives saved is not the whole story. Air bags are particularly effective in preventing life-threatening and debilitating head and chest injuries. A study of real-world crashes conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that the combination of seat belts and air bags is 75 percent effective in preventing serious head injuries and 66 percent effective in preventing serious chest injuries. That means 75 of every 100 people who would have suffered a serious head injury in a crash, and 66 out of 100 people who would have suffered chest injuries, were spared that fate because they wore seat belts and had air bags.

The one fact that is common to all who died is NOT their height, weight, sex, or age. Rather, it is the fact that they were too close to the air bag when it started to deploy. For some, this occurred because they were sitting too close to the air bag. More often this occurred because they were not restrained by seat belts or child safety seats and were thrown forward during pre-crash braking.

Beginning January 19, 1998, consumers can choose to have an on-off switch installed for the air bags in their vehicle.

What is an on-off switch?

An on-off switch allows an air bag to be turned on and off. The on-off switch can be installed for the driver, passenger, or both. To limit misuse, a key must be used to operate the on-off switch. When the air bag is turned off, a light comes on. There is a message on or near the light saying "DRIVER AIR BAG OFF" or "PASSENGER AIR BAG OFF." The air bag will remain off until the key is used to turn it back on.

The vast majority of people don't need an on-off switch. Almost everyone over age 12 is much safer with air bags than without them. This includes short people, tall people, older people, pregnant women -- in fact, all people, male or female, who buckle their seat belts and who can sit far enough back from their air bag. Ideally, you should sit with at least 10 inches between the center of your breastbone and the cover of your air bag. The nearer you can come to achieving the 10-inch distance, the lower your risk of being injured by the air bag and the higher your chance of being saved by the air bag. If you can get back almost 10 inches, the air bag will still help you in a crash.

Should a pregnant woman get an on-off switch?
No, not unless she is a member of a risk group. Pregnant women should follow the same advice as other adults: buckle up and stay back from the air bag. The lap belt should be positioned low on the abdomen, below the fetus, with the shoulder belt worn normally. Pull any slack out of the belt. Just as for everyone else, the greatest danger to a pregnant woman comes from slamming her head, neck or chest on the steering wheel in a crash. When crashes occur, the fetus can be injured by striking the lower rim of the steering wheel or from crash forces concentrated in the area where a seat belt crosses the mother's abdomen. By helping to restrain the upper chest, the seat belt will keep a pregnant woman as far as possible from the steering wheel. The air bag will spread out the crash forces that would otherwise be concentrated by the seat belt.

There are 2 different types of occupant protection "systems". In plain terms our cars are built with passive protection...features built in that do not need any outside action by the person, and there is active protection...as the name implies this requires the person to do something.
Passive examples: automatic safety belt systems, and all air bags.
Active examples: Manual safety belt systems, and child restraint systems (safety seat).

The air bags function is passive. They are designed to work in conjunction with and not exclusive of, your vehicle safety belts.
There are frontal air bags and side impact air bags. When one speaks of a side impact air bag, technically this also encompasses the "curtain" because technically speaking it is a side air bag device. I did not make that clear enough in my prior post.
Frontal air bags are typically for the driver, the front passenger, and/or the knee.
Side impact bags consist of the chest (door OR seat mounted), the chest/head combo (seat mounted), and the head only (roof rail mounted and is typically referred to as THE CURTAIN air bag.

Currently, crash testing shows the head only air bag (THE CURTAIN) has minimal interaction with kids seated in the outboard positions. As long as your CRS's are properly installed, there is little if any safety risk to your child when the CURTAIN deploys.

I want to reiterate that side impact air bags (EXCLUSIVE OF THE CURTAIN STYLE) should not be used if your children are seated in safety seats in outboard positions.
This is based on current crash testing. Someday this may change with the advent of new technological advances, but not for now.

The auto industry has developed voluntary test protocol for assessing these safety risks. Some of the info comes FROM the vehicle manufacturer's so use your own discretion. Check this out:

http://twg.iihs.org/
SCROLL DOWN TOWARDS THE BOTTOM. Pay particular attention to each of the files whose authors are the vehicle manufacturers. Interesting stuff if you have time to read all of it.

And lastly...here are some warning acronyms you may find in your vehicle and what they mean:
SRS - Supplemental Restraint System
SIR - Supplemental Inflatable Restraint
Air Bag
SIPS - Side Impact Protection System
SIAB - Side Impact Air Bag
IC - Inflatable Curtain


For more information on child passenger safety, please go to the MDC resource section found here:

http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=429165


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#99 of 147 Old 04-10-2007, 04:30 PM
 
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So I guess I am saying we should drive less, or judge less. The person I quoted was saying she puts her kids in the car to drive from costco to target in the same parking lot, but she harnesses them so it is all good.

People are judging the European car culture harshly when again I feel that we are putting our children at greater risk.

And yes, if we are taking about taking known risks and making them less, move to or work toward living in a more walkable community.
Okay, from piecing together the posts in which you refer to my post, I get what you are saying. You're saying based on the statistics about how we drive more than other countries, that it is safer to walk from one store to another than to drive, even if I harness and RF my kids.

Fair enough.

But that doesn't change the fact that in situations where it is not possible or not reasonable to walk, it is safer to be restrained than to be unrestrained. It is safer to rear-face than to FF, and it is safer to use a harness than to use a booster seat.
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#100 of 147 Old 04-10-2007, 05:45 PM
 
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But that doesn't change the fact that in situations where it is not possible or not reasonable to walk, it is safer to be restrained than to be unrestrained. It is safer to rear-face than to FF, and it is safer to use a harness than to use a booster seat.
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#101 of 147 Old 04-10-2007, 05:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay, from piecing together the posts in which you refer to my post, I get what you are saying. You're saying based on the statistics about how we drive more than other countries, that it is safer to walk from one store to another than to drive, even if I harness and RF my kids.

Fair enough.

But that doesn't change the fact that in situations where it is not possible or not reasonable to walk, it is safer to be restrained than to be unrestrained. It is safer to rear-face than to FF, and it is safer to use a harness than to use a booster seat.
But that doesn't change the fact that ultimately, it is safer (and more ecological and better for your health in general) to walk.

It is truly a ridiculous point to say that "I am so much more safety conscious than those Europeans because I am strict about car seats and only put my child in rear facing blah blah blah" when Europeans are in far greater numbers using the safer and healthier alternative of just walking from A to B.

Kind of like saying that you are so great because when you take your kids to McDonalds every week, you order the salad for them, whereas when I take my kids to McD once a year, I get them a Big Mac.

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#102 of 147 Old 04-10-2007, 06:11 PM
 
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But that doesn't change the fact that ultimately, it is safer (and more ecological and better for your health in general) to walk.

It is truly a ridiculous point to say that "I am so much more safety conscious than those Europeans because I am strict about car seats and only put my child in rear facing blah blah blah" when Europeans are in far greater numbers using the safer and healthier alternative of just walking from A to B.

Kind of like saying that you are so great because when you take your kids to McDonalds every week, you order the salad for them, whereas when I take my kids to McD once a year, I get them a Big Mac.
I understand what you're saying, I really do.

But if there was a 25% chance of dying of a heart attack from eating that Big Mac once a year or a .5% chance of dying from a heart attack from eating that salad once a week. . .which would you take?

Different countries, different geographical layouts, and different cultures. But it's not safe, nor practical, to take the casual attitude about carseats and apply it to the US. Things are just so spread out in the US, particularly in the western half, that walking everywhere is not a possibility. And, as a result, we probably do spend much more time in the car than our European counterparts -- which statistically increases our chances of a fatal accident.

But in the end, knowing what I know now about car safety, I would not risk "eatingthat Big Mac once a year". Perhaps you would, but I would not. Sign me up for a proper child restraint every time, no matter where in the world I might be.

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#103 of 147 Old 04-10-2007, 06:55 PM
 
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Originally Posted by cmlp View Post
But that doesn't change the fact that ultimately, it is safer (and more ecological and better for your health in general) to walk.

It is truly a ridiculous point to say that "I am so much more safety conscious than those Europeans because I am strict about car seats and only put my child in rear facing blah blah blah" when Europeans are in far greater numbers using the safer and healthier alternative of just walking from A to B.

Kind of like saying that you are so great because when you take your kids to McDonalds every week, you order the salad for them, whereas when I take my kids to McD once a year, I get them a Big Mac.
No, but it's certainly fair to say "I am safer IN THE CAR than those Europeans because I am strict about car seats".

Comparing being in a carseat in a car to walking is comparing apples to oranges. It is simply not a valid comparison.

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#104 of 147 Old 04-10-2007, 07:07 PM
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No, but it's certainly fair to say "I am safer IN THE CAR than those Europeans because I am strict about car seats".

Comparing being in a carseat in a car to walking is comparing apples to oranges. It is simply not a valid comparison.
:

Sure, my kids are safest when we're not even in the car.

But you can't compare different situations. If you're talking about car riding, a harnessed kid is safer than an unharnessed kid.
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#105 of 147 Old 04-11-2007, 12:12 AM
 
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I would not take even a 1 millionth of a percent chance of such a thing happening to my babies if it could be prevented by restraining them properly.
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Considering a significant percentage of accidents happen in parking lots, I do the same thing. I wouldn't say "it's all good", but I would say that it's better than not having them restrained.
What I am getting at is that she could walk across the parking lot, even if it is cold rather than get back in the car.
And, and I am serious here, if she does not want to take "even the 1 millionth of a percent chance of a car injury" wouldn't she be better off having someone watch her children at home while she went to costco and target.
We make choices, and yes things are more spread out in the Western US but I still think Americans drive way more than they need to.

There is a parent at my daughter's preschool who sends out links to videos of children who have been fatally injured in auto accidents who might not have been had they been in 5 pt. harnesses. She is also very vocal about never driving a four or five year old in her car unless the parents send them with a britex. She comes off holier than thou and I think really believes that people who put their 4 year olds in booster seats do not care about their children as much as she cares about hers.
This same woman has chosen a coop preschool in the mountains that she has to get on the freeway for about 2 miles then drive up a windy mt. road for about 3 miles. There is a coop preschool 3 blocks from her home that she could walk to.

The way I see it, even in his carseat her son is at greater risk than he would be walking to school. And the poster I was quoting is putting her children at risk when there might be other alternatives to driving them to the store, and I think the self rightous attitude of how could you not be as safety conscious as I am is bugging me.
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#106 of 147 Old 04-11-2007, 12:19 AM
 
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Also the link provided, I think to verify the 35% injury rate for children under the age of 12 riding in the front seat listed the rate as 26-35%.
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Perhaps you don't feel this way, but when it comes to safety I go by the "worst case scenario". Even 26% is much too high of a chance to risk it. But it can be up to 35%, then that's what I'm going with. Definitely not worth the risk either way, though.
Crazydiamond,
I don't think it matters how you or I "feel" about it. It is not accurate to quote 35% if the statistic is 26-35%, any more than it would be accurate for me to quote the same stat at 26%.
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#107 of 147 Old 04-11-2007, 02:21 AM
 
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Oh, I'm so jumping in this thread again.
Of course, I have done a mistake by getting my DD in the front with me, but hey, it's not wierd from where I am from(I'm one of those Europeans!) you will see kinds buckled in the front seat with their seat belts on, nothing weird about it and oh I forgot to say that I just use the car about 20% of the time, becuase I enjoy walking and oh, I almost never drive by myself so DD1 will be in the back seat, so stuff like that almost never happen.

Oh and I have a question, about the airbag things and they are reccomended for people weighting from 16lbs on, I weight 97 lbs so, an airbag deploying can kill me.
I have a '07 car, and we don't use the airbags, I don't know how they work, I just know it has airbags.
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#108 of 147 Old 04-11-2007, 09:57 AM
 
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I don't know where people are getting that Europeans walk everywhere...Euros who live in the cities walk, just as people who live in Manhattan walk. However, plenty of people live out of the cities and do drive frequently. My dh's brother has a 45 minute car communte to work every day. His car is small, and doesn't pollute the way an SUV would, but he drives more than I do.

And have you ever been in Rome, say. Or Athens? The smog is as bad an anything you'd breathe in LA. Sadly. But all I am saying is that there are plenty of people (with kids and without kids) driving each day in Europe.
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#109 of 147 Old 04-11-2007, 11:01 AM
 
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Oh and I have a question, about the airbag things and they are reccomended for people weighting from 16lbs on, I weight 97 lbs so, an airbag deploying can kill me.
I have a '07 car, and we don't use the airbags, I don't know how they work, I just know it has airbags.

Please see post # 98 above and it may answer some of the airbag questions you have.

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#110 of 147 Old 04-11-2007, 12:30 PM
 
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I don't know where people are getting that Europeans walk everywhere...Euros who live in the cities walk, just as people who live in Manhattan walk. However, plenty of people live out of the cities and do drive frequently. My dh's brother has a 45 minute car communte to work every day. His car is small, and doesn't pollute the way an SUV would, but he drives more than I do.

And have you ever been in Rome, say. Or Athens? The smog is as bad an anything you'd breathe in LA. Sadly. But all I am saying is that there are plenty of people (with kids and without kids) driving each day in Europe.
ITA. Even in Euro cities, people drive. When I worked in London, I was amazed at the number of people driving in to work (even with the GBP8 congestion charge to drive through the city every day!). My friend was an au pair in Amsterdam and she drove the kids to/from school every day even though they could have ridden a bike or taken the bus/tram. I have friends in the UK that live in the country and they are always complaining that they *have* to drive everywhere. Some people have no choice but to drive. They may make decisions that may mean they drive more or they drive less but it is kind of rude to judge them as you are not living in their shoes. IRRESPECTIVE of whether "they should walk instead", WHILE IN A CAR it is irrefutable that children are safest rear-facing in a 5-pt harness in the backseat.

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Yeah so Americans drive too much, but that seems like a different issue. Statistically speaking it might effect the deaths of chilren in traffic accidents here vs. there, but that would only make it seem like the carseats aren't making a difference, and they are.
Obviously it only takes one time.
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#112 of 147 Old 04-11-2007, 12:47 PM
 
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It is truly a ridiculous point to say that "I am so much more safety conscious than those Europeans because I am strict about car seats and only put my child in rear facing blah blah blah" when Europeans are in far greater numbers using the safer and healthier alternative of just walking from A to B.
I can see that you think I have a self-righteous attitude, and it is clear that it is bugging you.

ALL I am saying is that:

1. "it is safer to be restrained than to be unrestrained. It is safer to rear-face than to FF, and it is safer to use a harness than to use a booster seat."

2. "I would not take even a 1 millionth of a percent chance of such a thing happening to my babies if it could be prevented by restraining them properly."

I NEVER said walking wasn't safer if practiced as a community. In a community where drivers aren't as accustomed to pedestrians though, it might not be safer. I don't know.
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#113 of 147 Old 04-11-2007, 01:03 PM
 
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I NEVER said walking wasn't safer if practiced as a community. In a community where drivers aren't as accustomed to pedestrians though, it might not be safer. I don't know.
That's certainly true around here... I fear for my life daily on my walk to work Drivers just don't watch for pedestrians - even when I'm in a crosswalk :-/

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#114 of 147 Old 04-11-2007, 01:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't know where people are getting that Europeans walk everywhere...Euros who live in the cities walk, just as people who live in Manhattan walk. However, plenty of people live out of the cities and do drive frequently. My dh's brother has a 45 minute car communte to work every day. His car is small, and doesn't pollute the way an SUV would, but he drives more than I do.

And have you ever been in Rome, say. Or Athens? The smog is as bad an anything you'd breathe in LA. Sadly. But all I am saying is that there are plenty of people (with kids and without kids) driving each day in Europe.
This is absolutely true. Europeans drive lots, too.** Which makes me wonder how it is that fewer children are killed or injured in Europe given that apparently we are not as safety conscious with car seats. Or are car seats, especially for older children, more a marketing ploy of manufacturers who make a lot of money selling them? Hmmmm.

**Although in the city of Rome, for example, it is pretty unrealistic to drive in the centre, unless you are on a Vespa.

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#115 of 147 Old 04-11-2007, 01:36 PM
 
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This is absolutely true. Europeans drive lots, too.** Which makes me wonder how it is that fewer children are killed or injured in Europe given that apparently we are not as safety conscious with car seats. Or are car seats, especially for older children, more a marketing ploy of manufacturers who make a lot of money selling them? Hmmmm.

**Although in the city of Rome, for example, it is pretty unrealistic to drive in the centre, unless you are on a Vespa.
A guess is that European cars and carseats have more safety features than their American counterparts. So in Europe, most of the deaths or injuries occur when children are not restrained at all. Whereas in the US, with our infererior seats, the injuries and deaths are a mix of unrestrained and restrained children.

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#116 of 147 Old 04-11-2007, 01:48 PM
 
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Are fewer children in Europe killed in traffic accidents relative to the population?

Are there really a lot of deaths due to subpar seats? I know I always read about seats not installed properly.
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#117 of 147 Old 04-11-2007, 01:52 PM
 
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Those European countries have lower birth rates, so less children in the population than in the US. That's at least part of why fewer kids die in car accidents there, there are fewer kids.

♥ blogger astrologer mom to three cool kiddos, and trying to figure out this divorce thing-- Blossom and Glow ♥

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#118 of 147 Old 04-11-2007, 02:42 PM
 
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You can look at current stats and see carseats/boosters are making a difference in the US as far as injuries/deaths to children. The latest stat I saw said car crashes was the #1 killer of kids 3 and up. It used to be 1 and up so I definitely think parents are getting the message, especially about extended rfing!

How often are children in cars in Europe? I know in Japan, everyone walked to school etc, whereas here, parents drive them mostly w/ some bussing. The stats could be skewed b/c there isn't a 'need' to have children in the car, as opposed to here where my kids are in the car anywhere from 2-6x a day. Of course they're at a higher risk than a child who only uses the car a few times a week.

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Seems it would keep them in the seat better? My son's straps can easily fall off his shoulders without the clip.
In Europe, the straps are slightly closer together I believe. If the straps on his seat are as tight as they should be, this shouldn't normally be a problem. I'm not saying toss your chest clip, I was just explaining it's not what keeps a child in the carseat (as many people think), so it's not really an intricate part of the seat IMO.

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I have a q do US car seat laws apply to citizens abroad?
US carseat laws only apply to those in the US, even if you're just visiting. Physics laws, however, apply to everyone.

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Hate to hijack, but while I have the attention of some brainy carseat techs, can I ask why it's safer to tether my marathon rf? The local tech here just used a pool noodle (for a very slight angle to give my oddler a tad more room) and said it's just as safe. ?? I got links from the carseat board, but they didn't actually answer that. Also, with the marathon rf, the front passenger seat feels like it's sooo far forward in our subaru, it almost feels unsafe to ride there (and uncomfy). Are all those safe, rf'ing marathons out there doing this, or does our subaru stink for another reason?

And someone mentioned airbags. Why are they unsafe for kids if they protect adults? (not that mine ride in front, but just wondering.)
First, I would ditch the noodle. An older child doesn't need to be as reclined and that's part of the tether's job is to help recline the seat to the right angle. Like was mentioned, the tether reduces the amount of time the child is feeling the impact of the crash. In an untethered seat, the child has to go forward w/ the seat and then back towards the rear and then finally come to a stopping point. In a tethered seat, the child goes forward and then stops so is feeling a lot less impact of the crash. YOu can look in your manual (page 22 I think it is) to show anyone who wants to know about rfing tethering.

Airbags deploy at about 200mph. They are made to help reduce injury to a person who is safely strapped in their seatbelt and who has fully formed bones, so 15 and up approx. IMO weight has nothing to do w/ it, but age and overall size. You do need to be at least 10" away from where the airbag deploys though for any size. Airbags are not meant to keep people from being ejected, that's what seatbelts are for, they are just meant to add extra protection, not to be used instead of a seatbelt. The airbag can cause serious damage in a child who is 1) rfing and 2) who is not big enough to properly use a seatbelt w/out a booster. My kids ride ffing in DH's truck in the front in a harnessed seat w/ the seat all the way back and I'm fine w/ that.

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I have the Cosco (I think) carseat that was on sale at Walmart a few months ago. To get it at the correct levelness I use the tether, and tether to a metal piece below the passenger front seat. Safe? It moves less than if I roll up towels to put under it.
NOT safe, Coscos are NOT made to tether rfing.

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Should I turn off the airbag when I'm pg? I did toward the end of my pregnancy last time even though I got up around 200 lbs.
If you are closer than 10" to the dashboard, turn it off. if not, it's safer w/ it on.

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AJ (5/03), Evan (12/04), Ilana (11/06), Olivia (2/09), and Unity (8/2012)

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#119 of 147 Old 04-12-2007, 04:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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How often are children in cars in Europe? I know in Japan, everyone walked to school etc, whereas here, parents drive them mostly w/ some bussing. The stats could be skewed b/c there isn't a 'need' to have children in the car, as opposed to here where my kids are in the car anywhere from 2-6x a day. Of course they're at a higher risk than a child who only uses the car a few times a week.
To give you an idea, we live in Rome, Italy and my daughter is in a car approximately twice to 4 times a week. Two times on Saturday and two times on Sunday, maximum. No car on weekdays.

It is not that the statistics are "skewed", as you say. I think that the study itself acknowledges the fact that the stats result in part from America being such a car culture, which is, in itself, a problem. I think that it is incredible, for example, that there is no efficient, high speed train between LA and San Francisco. And that people in the States go for walks in shopping malls: : .

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#120 of 147 Old 04-12-2007, 05:38 AM
 
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I am a European - from Ireland. And we have VERY strict carseat laws. Unfortunately we have a high rate of road accidents and fatalities so there has been a huge push towards car safety. All children have to be restrained in some form until they have reached a certain height (escapes me now as I only have a baby). They aren't allowed in the front seat until they are at least 12 or 13. And you can have no more than 3 people in the back seat. You will receive penalty points (which can lead to having your license suspended) if you don't comply with this.

There is NEVER any excuse to not strap your child in. And there is NEVER an excuse not to use a seatbelt. Any unrestrained person in the car, be it child or adult, as well as possibly being catapulted through the front window, is also a deadly flying object in the car who can cause serious damage to restrained passengers.

Not to mention, unrestrained children can be far more distracting and thus more likely to cause accidents (as all it takes is your attention to be diverted for a second for an accident to happen).

In our car (and myself and DD only drive in it a few times a week), everyone is in carseats or has seatbelts on, or the car isn't started. No ifs, or buts. If DD cries, we wait until we find a safe place to pull over and then I jump in the back seat with her. At 8 months, she realises that she won't be coming out of the carseat until the car stops and is a little angel in it (wasn't always so as a newborn).
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