car safety, Parenting

Proper Car Seat Usage #CarseatFullstop

Proper Car Seat Usage #CarseatFullstop. Mommy and Lifestyle Blog, Johannesburg, South Africa, African Mommy blogger

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A Campaign to support car seat usage #CarseatFullstop

Why Tragedy is a terrible teacher

The debate around proper car seat usage is a long and tiring one .  A couple of years ago a month after my first child was born a friend lost her baby.  Even though I was not at the accident, I remember hearing that horrible news like it was yesterday. What I remember most is seeing the mom, a while later and hearing her recounting the story of an ordinary day, with ordinary actions, and ordinary choices, that became the biggest tragedy of her life.  It was a Sunday, they were driving through town, baby was in the car seat and was upset and crying and crying, so she unbuckled her and held her in her arms, next thing another woman, skipped a red robot, plowed into them and her baby flew out of the window and died, he was only a few months old.  She kept saying how she blamed herself, she felt she killed her child. That is a terrible weight for a mother to carry for the rest of her life.

We all know someone who has been through this terrible ordeal, some of you reading this have possibly lost someone dear to you in car accident.  As human beings, though, we always believe that tragedy will not happen to us.

My own car seat usage mistakes

I am not supporting this campaign because I am a perfect mother who always does the right thing.

  • Many  times, I have been in a position when a screaming child wanting to get out of the car seat, has made me think that taking him out for just a few minutes would better than letting him cry it out, hearing your child cry is painful for a mom.
  • I have been in a hurry just to quickly get milk at the shops and thought my nanny or sister can just hold my little one while we dash out, to the shop which is 3 minutes away.
  • I did not understand that the seat belts in the car are designed for adult males over 1.5m, this means I have to re-look at how my 9 year old is restrained in the car seat

 We have all been there, but I feel I need to take stand for myself and for my children; I need to stop and do the correct thing, because as quickly as I can come home, just as quickly I can have an accident that could result in my child being badly hurt or even worse die. 

That is my reason for supporting this campaign; I am holding myself accountable for the safety of my children.

Why I support the #CarseatFullstop campaign

The car seat discussion can become quite heated, with guilt and justifications being thrown about.  I believe there is no justification for a parent driving around with their toddler sitting in the front seat of the car, or even worse standing near the dashboard of the car.  Most of those people know they are doing something wrong but can get very angry when someone points out how dangerous that can be.  

This is in spite of the following alarming statistics:

  • Did you know that car passenger deaths are the 4th leading cause of unnatural deaths in children in our country?
  • Did you know that currently only 15% of South African children in cars are restrained; that is 85% of children who are not?

So I am here to reiterate a message, we as parents want to do everything we can think of to protect our kids from harm; this includes ensuring their safety in cars.  

What is the #carseatfullstop campaign all about?

The #carseatfullstop campaign is not about guilt, it is about the practicalities of life.

  • It is to help all of us make the best choice for a car seat;
  • It is to raise awareness of the devastating consequences that not strapping your child in can have.
  • It is about ensuring that we have age appropriate restraints for our kids.
  • It is about highlighting how you can get access to a good car seat without paying a fortunate.

But most importantly, it is about ensuring the safety of our children, because sometimes it is not about you being a good or bad driver, it is about the fact that you cannot control the actions of other people on the road, and that we are all vulnerable to circumstances that could result in our children being hurt or dying.

How you can support car seat usage

So join me in holding yourself accountable, and try to implement the following:

  • Let’s assist others with the correct information about car seat usage
  • Do not agree to transport children without a car seat,
  • Do not let other people take your kids anywhere without a car seat,
  • If you can please assist if someone cannot afford a car seat. Donate used car seats to organisations such as Wheel Well, who ensure that

Car seats reduce the risk of death in passenger cars by 71 % for infants and 54 % for toddlers.

To learn more about ways to support and get involved in the #carseatfullstop campaign

  • Follow the pages on social media, engage in the conversation   Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, Google+
  • Sign up for the newsletter
  • Get involved in the constructive conversation using the hashtag #CarseatFullstop

#CarseatFullstop is sponsored by Volvo Cars 

A Campaign to support car seat usage #carseatfullstop


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  • Reply mommabearTrax

    Well said!! I’m all in! #carseatfullstop

    July 14, 2016 at 8:35 pm
    • Reply lindiwem

      Thank you so much for the support

      July 22, 2016 at 5:01 pm
  • Reply Jessica

    This is such an important issue! Here in the US, I think that most people use car seats, but 3 out 4 of them are installed properly in the vehicle. Not to mention how often, even if they are installed properly, the straps aren’t secured tightly enough, or the chest clips aren’t in the proper position. It’s so hard because parents want to do the right thing, they just don’t always know what the right thing is. This campaign sounds amazing for spreading awareness. Thank you for sharing!

    July 15, 2016 at 9:40 pm
  • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

    What a heart-breaking story. Here in the UK the rules about car seats are really strict, and using them is seen as the norm – even age 8 and just 11 my kids are still using booster seats. Wishing you all the best with your campaign – there’s no doubt that it’ll save some precious lives x
    Sarah – Craft Invaders recently posted…Filming Nocturnal Wildlife using the Cat S60 SmartphoneMy Profile

    July 16, 2016 at 2:33 am
  • Reply Rachel @

    I think every mom has that thought of letting our little one out for just a split second so they will stop crying, but the consequences if you were to get in a car accident are much worse that just letting that little one cry it out.
    Rachel @ recently posted…Done is Better than Perfect!My Profile

    July 18, 2016 at 1:56 pm
    • Reply lindiwem

      Hi Rachel thank you for your comment. Yes I agree I also have been in that position which is why i wanted to get involved with this campaign.

      July 21, 2016 at 4:37 pm
  • Reply Gina

    I had never even thought about this issue before. I have to say, my jaw dropped when I read that heartbreaking story about your friend. Sometimes I drive my nephews around for my in laws. They’re 4 and 9 years old. After reading this, I will never drive around without the car seat ever again. Thank you so much for spreading awareness about this!!
    Gina recently posted…Sharpen Your Writing Skills With Us And Join The Club!My Profile

    July 18, 2016 at 3:35 pm
    • Reply lindiwem

      Hello Gina thank you so much for your comment, yes it is really a very sad situation and sometimes none of us mean harm but we are in a hurry or we dont even think about it. Thank you for reading

      July 21, 2016 at 4:35 pm
  • Reply Lindsey

    This is something that I always try to take a few extra moments to pay attention to. I’ve seen too many articles warning about the consequences, and it’s worth taking an extra minute to do it right than have to suffer a lifelong worth of guilt and tragedy.

    July 18, 2016 at 8:29 pm
    • Reply lindiwem

      Hey Lindsey that is so true, we all know there are consequences but sometimes that feeling of being in a rush always makes people feel like those few minutes would be too much for them and in the end they become the catalyst for disaster for them and their families it is so sad

      July 21, 2016 at 4:34 pm
  • Reply Nikki Frank-Hamilton

    What an incredible cause to get behind! Our children are so precious and we would never put them in danger willingly. But sometimes we need to be reminded that even in a split second our children could be gone, an accident that could take them from us forever. Thank you for sharing this, so many of us needed the reminder!
    Nikki Frank-Hamilton recently posted…5 Swoon Worthy WordPress Theme Options.My Profile

    July 25, 2016 at 12:18 am
    • Reply lindiwem

      Hello Nikki thank you for the support yes our kids are so precious we must do all we can to ensure their lives

      July 25, 2016 at 5:49 pm
  • Reply Jessica

    Here in the US I’m pretty sure that everyone uses a carseat. However, the majority of them are not installed properly or the child is not buckled up in them properly. Another mistake that a lot of parents make is upgrading their child to the next stage in car seats before they are ready. It was just made the law here in California that a child has to stay rear-facing until 2 years old. A child should not be with just a regular seat belt until they are the right height and the seat belt fits them properly. This meant for my 12 year old daughter, who is very petite, that until last year, she had to use a booster seat so the seat belt fit properly. Both of my boys (ages 5 and 6) are both still using high back booster seats and my youngest will continue to rear-face until she is two years old, even though the law doesn’t start until Jan 2017. It is so important to have your child in a proper seat that is installed correctly and buckled correctly!

    July 27, 2016 at 7:37 pm
    • Reply lindiwem

      Yes we also have many people who use the seats but they are not installed properly

      September 15, 2016 at 1:23 pm
  • Reply Sue

    Such a tragic story Linda and one the poor mother will live with for life. Car seats are compulsory in Australia so different to when my children were younger. We left hospital with the baby on the back seat in a bassinet! Now they won’t let you leave until you have the correct car seat. An excellent post and reminder not just for parents but grandparents like myself. #blogsharelove

    July 27, 2016 at 9:51 pm
    • Reply lindiwem

      Thank Sue, yes it has become compulsory here as well

      September 15, 2016 at 1:22 pm
  • Reply Linda Hobden

    A campaign well worth fighting for. I’m in the UK & it’s law for everybody to wear seatbelts in a car. Children must sit on properly fitted car seats up until the age of 12 or when they are taller than 135cms (whichever comes first).
    Linda Hobden recently posted…An Interview With Club Hub UKMy Profile

    July 27, 2016 at 9:51 pm
  • Reply Silly Mummy

    What a terrible tragedy. Important campaign. We have pretty strict laws and regulations over here about car seats and boosters & seat belts in general. I’m sure some people ignore them, but I think most comply which is really good.

    July 29, 2016 at 3:37 am
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