Friday, June 29, 2012

Car seats...A touchy subject?

I usually try not to post judgmental posts, but I am tired of keeping my mouth shut any longer. And I am not quite sure this is listed under a "judgmental" post either. So, if I offend you, I am sorry.

I am talking about car seat safety.

I am tired of seeing photographs of kids or seeing kids in public not in the correct car seat, not rear facing when they should be or seeing car seats used incorrectly. What is it people? What's the problem?

The other day, I saw an infant with the chest clip all the way down by the crotch buckle. Really? Do these people not realize that in a crash their childs neck could be broken or even better, they could be thrown out of the car seat? Those clips are supposed to be at the breast/armpit level for a reason!

What about the chest strap so low and the shoulder straps so loose the child could freely move his arms in or out of the straps easily? Or what about the infants who are facing forward (and I am talking about children less than 12 months) sitting in a booster seat, I mean, car seats that are made for children who are over the age of one or even two. No people, just because your eight month is the size of a one year old doesn't mean it's okay to put your kid in that car seat. Or just because your kid is demanding to be in a different seat does not mean you should do what your kid tells you to do. You're the parent. They have guidelines for a reason!

The recommendations for children being rear facing until at least two has been out for a long while now and what do I see??? Little toddlers still facing forward. Now, this one I am just not too sure on. Are pediatricians not telling or asking parents how their children are positioned in the car? Are they not telling them that they need to be rear facing until at least two, and the 20lb/1year rule obsolete? Just because your little 12 month old is 20lbs does not mean his neck is strong enough to withstand a crash. Oh, I don't want to hear about how his legs were bent and he may break them. I don't know about you, but I sure would rather have my kid break both legs than his neck or even worse, be killed. They make these recommendations for a reason, people. It isn't to inconvenience you. And if you think this is a lot of bull-honky google "internal decapitation" - it is real. It happens. It kills.

Yeah. I'll give you the "it's easier when they're facing you" or "they're happier when they're facing you" or the "it's cute to have them looking at you" but sometimes the consequences are just not worth it.

What about the parents who are completely clueless about car seat safety in general?! Yeah, harnessed boosters are a pain in the ass, I'll give you that, but they are safer. I actually read on facebook about another mother who had a child who didn't like the crotch strap, so she just lets him clip the chest strap? Seriously? I was rendered speechless..Um, yep, if this is how you're using a harness car seat, then go ahead and use a booster with a seat belt, because that plastic clip ain't gonna help your kid in a crash! Better yet, the kid would be safer with no booster and just a seat belt than being restrained by a measly chest strap. I just don't understand how people can just use car seats so wrong. I know I am being judgemental here, and please forgive me if I am offending you, but..............I just can't keep my mouth shut any longer.

I know the chances of us being in a car accident are small, but to me, I want to protect my child in any way possible from any life threatening injuries to death. I want to know that I did everything humanly possible to protect them in a crash. Call me overly protective, even paranoid, but to me, car seat safety is not something we should be taking lightly. And I admit, it drives me absolutely insane when my 36lb 6 year old talks incessantly about booster seats with adult seat belts....drives me crazy. But, she ain't the one who calls the shots. The parents do. Sorry kid!

Now, you may say to me, hey! I remember seeing your daughter forward facing before the age of two. Yes, you're right. When she was about 19 months old, she was getting out of her car seat, and able to get her arms out of the chest straps. I would find her turned all the way around looking at me and playing with the DVD player in a moving car. Unsafe. I spoke with different people regarding this safety issue, including a carseat safety technician at a hospital who all told me to turn her around. The risks of having her out of her carseat without me knowing were too high than to have her rear facing. Once I turned her around, I would know when she was playing Houdini.

So, there's my rant. Use your head people. It's not rocket science. Pull those shoulder straps tight. Get the chest straps nice and high, and keep those babies rear facing for as long as the kids can possibly tolerate. And please, OH please, use your car seat correctly!!! Yeah. We all survived just fine without car seats when we were little, but we are spending much more time in cars than we used to, and there are a hell of a lot more people out in the roads, too.

Keep those kiddos safe. Please!!!


  1. Amen and Amen!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am proud to say that ALL FOUR of my girls are still in 5 point harness seats- and my oldest if 7! Her seat is rated to 80 pounds. Yes, there are times when she goes in a booster, but I know she is even safer in her car seat.

    I can't even believe some of the things you wrote bottom clip?!?!?!

    Good, great post my friend!!!

  2. Thank goodness I am not the only one that feels this way!!! The thing that drives me CRAZY is the invention of facebook and seeing all these kids in the carseats all wrong. Maybe from working in postpartum and dealing with carseats every time I discharged a family I am a little more tuned into this subject. I cringe when I see chest clips at the diaper, straps hanging loose, kids in carseats with bulky snowsuits. I remember the look I would get from parents when I would help them secure their newborn in a carseat with the straps very snug, no extras hanging from the handle, and the chest clip at armpit level. I would educate and explain the reason why and let them practice. I even admit I am on my husband all the time to pull the straps tighter, push the chest clip up higher- drives him crazy but ya know what? Safety First!


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