A couple of weeks ago I posted that I am taking part and supporting the #CarseatFullstop campaign. The campaign is aimed at encouraging the proper use of carseats, child restraints and seatbelts for children, for some of us this requires changes in Behaviour for both parents and children.
I wrote about why I am now more conscious about proper carseat usage.
I personally felt the need to take part in this campaign, because after reading the pertinent information, I realized that as a mother, I wanted to be more intentional about ensuring the safety of my children, and that includes their safety in the car. I have pledged to educate myself and make the necessary behavior changes, but also to share what I have learned so that other parents like me, can make their own informed decisions.
There were some areas I specifically wanted to focus on and improve as part of my own journey and learning: Here is an excerpt from that part of my previous post.
I am not supporting this campaign because I am a perfect mother who always does the right thing.
I am supporting it because I want to fix these things:
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
So here is what I have learned and what I am doing differently
Never drive while my child sits on someone’s lap
How many of us have done this one thing? I am definitely guilty. Previously it was only as I was quickly going a kilometre down the road or because one of my kids was now tired and screaming blue murder for being restrained and just wanting mommy to hold them.
I am a visual person, so visual images are more effective for me in getting a message across, this video convinced me once and for all why I should never allow my baby or anyone else to sit on the lap while I am driving.
THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A CHILD IS SITTING ON YOUR LAP WHEN YOU ARE IN A ACCIDENT
In a crash, the human body takes on the weight of the speed the car was traveling multiplied by the body weight. Even with the seatbelt, I could potential crush my child as we both will be thrown about quite strongly in the car on impact.
So if I apply that to my own situation. If I am a holding my youngest son on my lap who currently weighs (16.7 kg), and my husband is driving us down the road to the petrol station shop, traveling at the speed of 40km/h because we are being careful, if the car comes to a sudden stop, or swerves – this translate to him potentially traveling out of my arms with the weight of 668 kg’s, and NO there is no way I can react fast enough or with enough strength to contain him. It seems almost obvious that a proper restraint is his best safety option. Effectively the child is thrown about in the car, they get hurt, and they can hurt others, or even die.
No one of us can predict that we will be able to hold on to the child in the event of a crash. Many variables are at stake when at that moment of Impact. Research has shown that in the event of an impact a passenger has less than a second to react in a sudden stop or collision, a critical half second when a child is on your lap. This for me simplifies things, no child on the lap at any given time.
I will not travel with my child on my lap even if both of us are strapped by the seatbelt
What if both the child and I are wearing my seatbelt? If there is a crash at 60km/HR my baby would be crushed to death. The force against my child will be the equivalent of 30 adults, each weighing 50kg (or an entire rugby team) standing on top of him.
I now prefer to use a rearfacing carseat
Research has shown that babies and children are fragile, and their heads are large and heavier than their bodies, therefore if a baby suffers head injuries, it often leads to brain damage.
The other fact is that the majority of the collisions are head on or frontal impact, being in a rear facing would protect your child’s neck for damage. That is why having your child in a rear facing car seat as long as possible for babies and young children is the best.
Use a proper restraint for my eldest child
Before this campaign, I didn’t realise that it was strongly advised that even older kids, like my eldest son, be in a booster seat for longer to protect them. I always thought it was enough now that he uses a normal seatbelt. I learned though that Seatbelts are designed for adult males with an average height of 1.5 m tall. So therefore, they are not the ideal and safest restraint for a child. TheHeir is only 1.2 m in height and 29.6 kg in weight. Even though the seatbelt might slow down his projection slightly in the event of a collision, it cannot fully protect him. At his current weight with the car traveling at 60km per hour, his weight becomes 1,776kg’s. I imagine that if the car was rolling around not only would it be fatal for him, but the weight of his body plus speed would be fatal to someone else, maybe his younger brother strapped into the car seat. I do not want to chance that.
Those are the things that I am changing in relation to the use of Carseats for my children. I am more vigilant to ensure that I use age appropriate car restraints and that I do not transport other people’s kids without proper seating. That is my contribution to the safety of my kids, it is why I am spreading this message.
We all love our children, we will do anything to show them love, create a warm environment for them, feed and clothe them, this is just one more thing that I am going to do. Ensure that both kids utilise their car seat and booster seat properly, just to give them a chance for survival in case of accident. That is my pledge to them.
Ways you can get involved
Share the #CarseatFullstop message and support it, there is a lot we cannot change in the world but our own behaviour we can manage.
Learn more about how to utilize car seats and child restrains in a proper manner by visiting the #CarseatFullstop Website.
I am taking action as a mom, please join me. Please share below if there is anything you are going change about the use of car seats in your family, and why I would love to hear about. If you write an article about car seat safety for your kids please share it with me.
Much love and safety to you and yours,
FOR MORE INFORMATION
To learn more about proper and safe carseat usage, download the Volvo Children and Cars manual
Are you looking for a refurbished car seat at a reasonable price, contact WheelWell
To read other posts from bloggers taking part in the #CarseatFullstop campaign, search for the hashtag on social media