Car seat culture in Europe - Page 5 - Mothering Forums

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#121 of 147 Old 04-12-2007, 10:02 AM
 
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I do think it depends where you live though. When I lived in an urban area I walked everywhere with my son in the carrier or stroller. He was almost never in the car. I still live in the city but it's all residential and (sadly) there is less to walk to. It's true the transit situation is terrible, but it is also more spread out. We don't all go for walks in malls.
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#122 of 147 Old 04-12-2007, 11:30 AM
 
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Originally Posted by cmlp View Post
And that people in the States go for walks in shopping malls: : .
Nice judgement there.... yeah, really accepting of others lives.

People walk in malls because the climate is controlled, the way is paved with no worry about snow or ice, it is well lit and there is security. Not all people walk in malls. I'm still appalled that people in Rome think it is ok to take babie from the car seat and hold them in the front in heavy traffic.

Both judgement, sure. One based on a lifestyle.... one based on protecting and safeguarding children.
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#123 of 147 Old 04-13-2007, 10:57 PM
 
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Well, I've been thinking a lot about this thread, and ways to keep my kids safe in addition to RF and harnessing (thanks cmlp!). For one thing, I sometimes speed. Not a lot, but say, 5 miles over the limit. Every mile counts in a crash though, so I am making an effort to stick to the limit now.

About the walking thing though, I've been thinking about that and I really don't see how it is possible to walk much around here. I live in a sprawling suburban area. Using the now infamous Target to Costco example, I went again the other day and not only are there no sidewalks connecting the two stores, there aren't even any crosswalks.

Even the grocery store across the street from my house has no sidewalks. The sidewalk literally ends once you approach the busy intersection leading into the shopping center. There is a stoplight there, with one lane of traffic going in and two coming out. It could be very dangerous on foot, as opposed to being protected in a car in a low-speed crash.

You'd think I could at least walk to the grocery store in my own neighborhood in America.
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#124 of 147 Old 04-13-2007, 11:00 PM
 
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It's hard, you have to pick where you live carefully, but it's not like it's that easy. Where I live the walkable areas are either really busy urban areas or really, really expensive.

Anyway I'm responding cuz I thought about the infamous Target/Costco thing today while going to the lovely Target and Costco. I think I've driven from one to the other too. I know I walked it once with the little guy in a sling when I wasn't picking up much. But really, walking across a giant, bumpy, busy parking lot with two kids and a cart full of stuff was a little iffy. It's really frustrating, actually. Sometimes I wish I could go into city planning, become dictator, and just raze it all.
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#125 of 147 Old 04-14-2007, 01:30 AM
 
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So, what about leaving the kids at home?
My friend's almost four year old is rear facing and complains everytime he has to get in the car. His legs really do look pretzeled back there. Anyway, it seems extreme to me.
I get that that is the safest way for him to ride, and that someone will say it is worth it if it saves his life but he is still at risk in the car.
Wouldn't it be safer to leave him at home?
I am just trying to get the people who say I would never put my child at that kind of risk even if it was a million to one, do you try to plan you life in way that will put your child in a car as little as possible? Riding in the safest carseat does not guarantee prevention of deadly injury.
I liked the comment about slowing down your speed because I think that is so important and is something all of us can do to keep our children and other children safer. Also if everyone would hang up their phones while driving.
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#126 of 147 Old 04-14-2007, 08:15 AM
 
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Hmmm phones and driving....

Well, in most european states it is illegal to use your phone and drive. You can use handsfree (must be voice activated or controlls on the steering though) but if you are on that and in an accident you are still likely to be prosecuted for lack of care and attention because your phone was in use.

WRT driving simply everywhere because it has been made difficult/impossible not to...... errk! Makes me realise quite why the USA generates so much CO2 compared to most other places!
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#127 of 147 Old 04-14-2007, 08:49 AM
 
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Yeah, much of the US is not well designed for walking. Some of that is deliberate. There was a deliberate effort to use huge amounts of taxpayer dollars to build the extensive highway network. The idea was that the politicians' friends would make a nice living on selling cars, car parts, gasoline, etc. The natural consequence of having that highway network is that people open shops far from residential areas.

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#128 of 147 Old 04-14-2007, 09:52 AM
 
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So, what about leaving the kids at home?

Also if everyone would hang up their phones while driving.
Yes, I should definitely hang up the phone while driving.

As far as leaving my kids at home, I don't really have anyone to leave them with. Babysitters are expensive around here, and I'm not sure how I'd find one. Each neighborhood kind of hogs their own sitters and my neighborhood doesn't have any teenagers. We haven't lived here long enough to really get to know anyone with teenage kids that we would trust. Dh and I rarely go out, and when we do, we call my mom or dad, who are each an hour away. So we really have to plan in advance to leave the kids at home.

And my little one drinks very little from a cup and is still nursing so leaving her at home is tough. In fact, on some forums around here many people seem to feel that leaving a nursling at home should be avoided if possible, especially a really little one. So you kinda can't win if you have to go somewhere, can you?
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#129 of 147 Old 04-14-2007, 12:00 PM
 
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I don't see what's wrong or extreme with 4yos rear-facing, providing the child isn't screaming about it. In the latter case it's certainly worth weighing the advantages/disadvantages. But my child is barely 21 months and his legs are quite bent. He is happy and comfy. I don't think legs dangling is supposed to be comfy either.

And I certainly don't aim to drive as much as possible. I wouldn't buy a house in some cheaper subdivisions b/c I didnt' want to drive all day every day. And sometimes I do even think about leaving them at home for some trips on the highway for that reason, but I"m not going to get paranoid about it. But I think safe carseats and minimizing driving are on the same page. I don't see rearfacing or restraining as paranoid at all. It's just safe. And when I do drive, I want him to be safer. He will probably be turned around soon, as he is 30 lbs, but I'm not looking forward to it.
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#130 of 147 Old 04-14-2007, 06:12 PM
 
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I have a part time job I go to where my kids are able to come w/ me, that's awesome IMO. We leave after dh leaves (he puts in 50+ hrs normally a week), come home during the day and often go back to work before he gets home. There are no grocery stores to walk to. Plus, I enjoy spending time w/ my dh as we shop etc. It's another way for us to feel we both share in our household. Even if we left them w/ MIL, we'd still have to drive to her house. I guess I figure if I have to drive, I'll at least make them as safe as possible.

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#131 of 147 Old 04-15-2007, 02:46 AM
 
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I don't leave DD at home because I like having her with me, feel she spends enough time in day care to very carefully select the times I do leave her. She is also a nursing baby and any pumped milk goes to day care. To leave her for an evening, I have to start stockpiling an ounce at a time about 2 weeks before. That's not really an option.

DH and I like to go together, so leaving him home or me home is also not an option.
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#132 of 147 Old 04-15-2007, 10:41 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Hazelnut View Post
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?
This is one reason why we nixed the subaru - I wanted an adult to be able to ride in the front seat in front of a rearfacing car seat. It is a tight squeeze for sure. Can you put the car seat in the middle seat? That's what I've done the couple times we've ridden in my MIL's subaru.
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#133 of 147 Old 04-15-2007, 10:48 AM
 
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I still do not see the difference between leaving a baby to soothe himself to sleep, with you standing beside the bed saying "there there, mama's here" a la "Ferber" and you sitting beside a newborn baby who is crying in her carseat, telling her "there there, we will be home soon". Both are a form of leaving a baby to cry, the only difference being that the latter is necessary for safety reasons.

DO you give your child candy or soda if he cries to have them? Do you let him watch TV if he cries and insists that he must? No of course not because those things are bad for kids and as a responsible parent you are making decisions every day to protect your kids.

Not letting your child CIO to sleep is vastly different from trying to make sure your baby never ever cries. Babies cry - that is a fact of life. The statistics for driving in the states are actually pretty scary so when people say they would rather have a baby who cries occasionally in a car seat then a dead baby they are being very logical. The risk for a deadly crash is shockingly high.
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#134 of 147 Old 04-15-2007, 11:04 AM
 
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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.
Sorry but I have lots of family living all over Europe and there are plenty of places in Europe where people drive all the time. If you chose a region that was the same size as the US you would have lots of areas where people depended on their cars a lot just like there are regions in the US where people depend on their cars and there are regions where people walk.

The whole "Europeans walk more so it's okay to take their kids out of car seats" is a totally illogical argument as well as a huge generalization.
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#135 of 147 Old 04-15-2007, 11:10 AM
 
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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.

Plus if you look at the link that was posted with fatalities per 100,000 in population the US is roughly in the middle of the pack. There were several countries with higher fatalities per 100,000.
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#136 of 147 Old 04-15-2007, 11:14 AM
 
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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.
Once again my point about different regions of both Europe and the US. I live in MA and my daughter is in the car less then your daughter.

Not trying to one up you, just pointing out that it really depends what area you live in be it the US or EU!
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#137 of 147 Old 04-15-2007, 11:14 AM
 
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I have watched this thread progress and I wanted to add. I live in the southern U.S. and believe me some people could give a flip about using a carseat. I have seen infants on laps, childern in carseats with the seat belt across them, broken carseats, I hve seen kids sitting on carseats and not even strapped in..and my favorite Booster seats for childern under the age of one.

I have seen these things because I look for it. One of my friends call me a carseat Nazi, but I dont' care. I am hoping someday I become certified for carseat inspection.

It doesn't matter where you live, what part of the world, some poeple don't take safety as seriously as others, even when it comes to their own childern. Infact, I have heard comments about not using a carseat because its just another way for corprate America to make money, blah blah. WHile I don't like our industrial complex any more than the next person, child restraints are amoung the few things we actually need. Welll we wouldn't if the automobile industry would really try to design GOOD intergrated Child restraints.

O BTW, my DS has never ridden anywhere but his carseat. ITs jsut plane irresponsible to allow out child out of a carseat. My son can kick and scream all he wants but in the car his safety comes well before his emotions. Plus I can always pull over if its that pressing.
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#138 of 147 Old 04-15-2007, 11:22 AM
 
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I started reading this in the hope that it might contain some useful information that would help me to understand the UK's new laws on baby and child car seats and booster seats, because like most people I know, I am having trouble there! What I do know is that they're pretty comprehensive and strict, which is fine by me. Cars are very dangerous things even when handled well- and even if a baby is a passenger of the Best Driver Ever!, they're still at risk from all the other drivers on the road.

I don't drive, and I hope I never will. My husband got his driving license last year, aged 30. My baby (11 months) goes in the car once a week on average, if we do one big grocery shop. The rest of the time, I walk and carry him, or walk and use his pushchair. We don't live in a city or even a big town, there is little public transport and certain things are made harder by my not driving, but I much prefer it this way. I hate cars. We use them far, far too much. They certainly make a lot of people I know much lazier, they make the streets much more dangerous, and they're doing a lot to destroy the environment.

Funnily enough, when we have been in the car and unable to stop and our son cries, my husband, who is Polish, always tells me to "just pick him up!" and never understands why I refuse point blank. We've had some real fights about it on occasion.
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#139 of 147 Old 04-15-2007, 04:15 PM
 
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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?
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This is one reason why we nixed the subaru - I wanted an adult to be able to ride in the front seat in front of a rearfacing car seat. It is a tight squeeze for sure. Can you put the car seat in the middle seat? That's what I've done the couple times we've ridden in my MIL's subaru.
Yesterday 10:46 PM
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Can I ask what kind of car you drive?
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#140 of 147 Old 04-15-2007, 04:31 PM
 
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we have an allroad. pricier then the subaru that we looked at but not by that much and since my husband cannot fit in the front passenger seat of the subaru with our rf carseat behind him the subaru became a non-option. kind of sad since the subarus are so reliable but I have never had any trouble with my car and it's 100% perfect in the snow which is what we needed in a car.
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#141 of 147 Old 04-15-2007, 04:31 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.
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Plus if you look at the link that was posted with fatalities per 100,000 in population the US is roughly in the middle of the pack. There were several countries with higher fatalities per 100,000.
I was specifically talking about Italy because it was mentioned that children there often ride in laps or unbuckled.
The lower birthrate does not account for the whole difference or even close.
What agument I guess I keep coming back to is how far you are willing to go?
People say they will not take ever a million in one chance but you are still putting your child at risk putting them in a car.
People are appalled that not everyone is using a britex, it only cost pennies a day in the long run, right? Well guess what some people really can't afford a $300. carseat. Some people also cannot nix a certain model of car because they can't fit the rear facing britex behind the passenger seat.
If you want to post statistics about car safety I think that is great. It is the judgement that seems to be coming with it that is bothering me.
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#142 of 147 Old 04-16-2007, 01:44 AM
 
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WHile I don't like our industrial complex any more than the next person, child restraints are amoung the few things we actually need. Welll we wouldn't if the automobile industry would really try to design GOOD intergrated Child restraints.
No integrated child restraint will fit every child, and if the vehicle ever was in an accident said restraint would be completely useless and dangerous afterwards. Integrated child safety seats are not practical.
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#143 of 147 Old 04-16-2007, 08:44 AM
 
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.....

Another point making her taking the baby from the car seat very dangerous. If the car you were in had front airbags, if the airbag were to deploy, it would have killed the baby. The type of accident likely to happen in traffic (slow speed rear or frontal collision) has a high likelihood of deploying the air bags.

I would pitch an ever living fit if someone removed their baby from the car seat in my car. In fact I would not allow it. DD is properly restrained every time we drive, as you never can tell when you will need the car seat until it is too late.


I totally agree. My niece, who will soon be 18, was nearly killed because her babysitter thought it would be nice to take a drive with her sister and her sister's baby, but not strap my then-11-mo-old niece in. They were less than half a mile from home and got hit head-on in an intersection. Niece's head hit the dashboard of the VW Beetle and she was severely injured as a result. She "died" 3 times before being brought back. She suffered brain damage, which resulted in her having the mentality of an 8 yr old, but the hormones of an 18 yr old (what fun!). She is limited physically. She will never be able to drive, hold much of a job, and she will never be able to experience life as she would have if she had not been injured. She will always need supervision.

She was robbed of what her life could have been, simply because a selfish and lazy person decided that my niece's life and well-being were not worth the time to buckle her in properly.
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#144 of 147 Old 04-16-2007, 09:27 AM
 
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Well guess what some people really can't afford a $300. carseat. Some people also cannot nix a certain model of car because they can't fit the rear facing britex behind the passenger seat.
If you want to post statistics about car safety I think that is great. It is the judgement that seems to be coming with it that is bothering me.

Well you can get a $40 cosco that rearfaces to 35 pounds and there are plenty of cars to choose from in this country that are actually far less expensive then a subaru and will fit a rear facing britax.

The judgement in this thread is directed at people who are driving in the car with an unrestrained child - NOT people who buy a car seat that isn't a britax or drive different models of cars. COME ON, it's plain rude to mix up the facts and accuse us all of being so obnoxious that we think everyone who cannot afford a britax is a bad mom.
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#145 of 147 Old 04-16-2007, 09:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Any Europeans out there know whether the Iseos SafeSide carseat for toddlers rearfaces? I don't think it can.

Anyway, DD is about 33 pounds now so not sure worth changing carseats for that at this point.

Roman Goddess, mom to J (August 2004) and J (April 2009).    h20homebirth.gif signcirc1.gif
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#146 of 147 Old 04-16-2007, 10:33 AM
 
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I totally agree. My niece, who will soon be 18, was nearly killed because her babysitter thought it would be nice to take a drive with her sister and her sister's baby, but not strap my then-11-mo-old niece in. They were less than half a mile from home and got hit head-on in an intersection. Niece's head hit the dashboard of the VW Beetle and she was severely injured as a result. She "died" 3 times before being brought back. She suffered brain damage, which resulted in her having the mentality of an 8 yr old, but the hormones of an 18 yr old (what fun!). She is limited physically. She will never be able to drive, hold much of a job, and she will never be able to experience life as she would have if she had not been injured. She will always need supervision.

She was robbed of what her life could have been, simply because a selfish and lazy person decided that my niece's life and well-being were not worth the time to buckle her in properly.

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#147 of 147 Old 04-16-2007, 11:11 AM
 
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do you try to plan you life in way that will put your child in a car as little as possible?
YES. I have no car.

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 ... dd is going on 12 (!) how was I to know there was a homeschool going on?
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