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. 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 their story.
It was 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. The baby was in the car seat and was upset and crying and crying. So she unbuckled her and held her in her arms. The next thing another woman skipped a red robot and plowed into them. Her baby flew out of the window and died. She 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.
Many of you reading this have possibly lost someone dear to you in a 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.
- I have been in a position when a screaming child wanting to get out of the car seat. I have thought that taking him out for just a few minutes would be 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. I have thought my nanny or sister could 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 cars are designed for adult males over 1.5m tall. I have to re-look at how my 9 year old is restrained in the car.
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. 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 dying.
That is my reason for supporting this campaign; I am holding myself accountable for the safety of my children.
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