I remember when I first moved to Cape Town, going away for the weekend. I remember having to slow down at what I thought was a roadblock, except it wasn’t. It had been a car accident. In the middle of the road, a BMW was lying on its side. I still remember driving towards it, the roof was facing us and it was right across the middle of the road. There was glass everywhere. We had to squeeze past this car that literally blocked both lanes.
I was sitting in the back seat, I was looking out the window, as you do and on the other side of the car accident, there was a tiny body. It was covered in a cloth but I could see that the body was definitely not big enough to even be a teenager. This little body in the road belonged to a little human of no more than 7 or 8. Maybe 9. It happened so quickly but I knew it was a small child immediately.
That was 12 years ago, maybe 13 and I still have nightmares about that body. I wonder if his or her parents had thought about the chance that their child might die? I wonder if they had considered that properly restraining their child might save their life? So many people think it’s okay let their children sit in the back without seatbelts or booster seats, because nothing will happen to them back there of course.
I often wonder if parents think about the consequences of their actions. If they think about what it means to “just drive down the road” so they don’t buckle in their kids because “nothing will happen so close to home.” Except that, that is EXACTLY where a car accident is most likely to happen.
Ina Meyer is a mom who thought it wouldn’t happen to her but it did. And it could happen to you too!
“Many people say that they don’t have car seats in their cars because they are too expensive. Firstly, no matter what the expense, it is cheaper than the aftermath of an accident where they are not restrained. Secondly, you can get a brand new booster seat from R1000. You can get a second-hand seat on Gumtree for a lot less. And if you really have no money, you can approach Wheel Well in Joburg and they will give you a cleaned and refurbished car seat for whatever donation you can afford. And lastly, there is NO amount of money that can make the cost of losing your child in a car accident bearable.”
Unfortunately in South Africa there are very limited options for Rear Facing seats and they are generally quite expensive. However, I’d take out a second mortgage on my house in order for my son to be safer while travelling in the car with us. There are just way too many accidents to take the chance.
If you think it’s too late to move your child back into rear-facing seat, then read how Mandy-Lee Miller did exactly that with her daughter!
A few people have asked me what car seat I would suggest they use for their toddler. These are three options available to us in South Africa to keep our toddlers rear-facing for as long as possible!
Click here to find out which rear-facing car seats Jonelle would trust putting her child in on Tyranny of Pink
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