Parenting

How a car seat saved my kid’s life

car seat-The Munchkin

In June of last year, when I was 19 weeks pregnant with The Potato and two weeks into Ramadaan we were involved in a car accident. Some idiot girl came out of a side road and The Husband had to swerve to avoid her from hitting the side of our car that would’ve hit me and The Munchkin. We collided head on with a bakkie.

Fun times.

It was not a fun time!

This was around the corner from home. So when people tell me, “but we’re just quickly going around the corner” that means absolutely nothing to me. The majority of car accidents happen close to home – one study shows 52% within 8km and 77% within 25km. 

My first instinct was to turn around and check that The Munchkin was okay. And luckily he was because I had made sure that I had strapped him in properly. You see, at that time The Munchkin had a habit of taking his arms out of the harness, it would be a fight every time we got into the car and sometime The Husband would sometimes just not bother because who wants to argue forever with a toddler to be honest, especially when you’re already late. 

But on that day I struggled with him. It was raining and I didn’t want to take any chances and thank God I did. Because he was fine in that accident. A little bit shook but alright.

This is why I am so fanatical about my kids being in car seats and the reason I immediately jumped on board when Mandy-Lee Miller asked me to be part of the #CarseatFullstop campaign.

Every child in a car seat. Fullstop.

Y’all, if I had a R1 for every argument I have about my kids being in car seats with the people who transport them around, I’d be a flipping millionaire (and then I’d be able to afford those lekker expensive car seats for every one).

I get it, car seats are expensive. They’re one of the most expensive parts about having kids and it annoys me to no end that my child’s safety has to come at such a hefty price tag. But if I have to eat end of the month Salticrax for the rest of my life so that my kids are safe, so be it.

Did you guys know that when a car crashes or suddenly stops, the body takes on the weight of the speed you were travelling multiplied by your actual weight.  So if your baby weighs 10 kg, and you are driving at 60km per hour, when you hit something your baby will take on the weight of 600kg.

Guys! Can you imagine the force that will fling your child through the windscreen of the car because he is standing on the backseat? Yaa Allah, I dread the thought! 

If it sounds like I am trying to scare or guilt you into using a car seat, you would be 100% correct. I have said it before, and I’ll say it again: I am nothing if not honest with you guys.

My kids hate being in a car seat

So did The Munchkin, he’s going to be 4 next month and he doesn’t argue about sitting in his car seat in our car anymore. He gets in no arguments except that he first wants to jump in a goddamn muddy puddle first. Do you know whose car he kicks up a fuss about being in the car seat? My dad’s. Because Pa is not as strict about car seats as I am and allows him to sit on the backseat with just a seatbelt. So he will cry and scream and argue and they give in.

anger-insideout-car seat

Me every time I find out my child has been transported without a car seat.

But a seatbelt is not good enough for a small child.  You see it’s been designed to be used by an adult male over 1.5m tall and it’s  job is to distribute the force of a crash to the body’s strongest points – mid-shoulder, chest and pelvis. On a child, a seat belt sits over their 2 most vulnerable points – the neck/throat and the belly area containing all the vital organs. The seat belt becomes a definitive threat to a child who isn’t using a booster seat to protect them from it. 

My children’s safety is my Number 1 Priority and their happiness is Number 2. Because they might not be happy to sit in a car seat but I will take a crying child over a dead child any day of the week.

With statistics saying that up to 93% of people aren’t strapping in their kids in South Africa… We ALL know somebody who is adding to that number.

“You have the power to save a little life. One share, seen by one person, who straps in one child, saves a life. #CarseatFullstop. Every child. Every time. No matter what.”

 

Share

5 Comments

  1. Abieda

    August 31, 2017 at 11:56 am

    Hi, great read thanks and I agree with you 100% my kids are 5 going onto 6 next April and will still be in car seats. We do most times struggle with them taking their arms out, but with every start of our journey we explain why its necessary and then if all else fails, threaten them with not giving them sweet. Again, most the best thing to do but it works lol. We cant afford another bigger car now and so our issue is that we don’t know how the heck we are going to fit 3 car seats into one car. Luckily I at least have about 6 months to figure that out cos surely il be house bound til then.

    1. Zayaan Schroeder

      August 31, 2017 at 12:19 pm

      Rushdi still takes his arms out sometimes but a gentle reminder to put them back in works now. I think the repetition eventually worked! Good luck with the car seat situation. That’s a difficult one.

  2. Brene

    August 31, 2017 at 2:37 pm

    My son is turning 9yr but only 1.27m tall. That means a booster seat for him.
    We were analysis about it from day 1 and I can literally count on my one hand the number of times that he hadn’t driven in one . Three times in fact….each of them emergency situations where he was gagging and choking due to an existing medical condition.
    My colleagues and friends think I am mad, but my son means more to me than life itself and I could never ever forgive myself if something happened to him because I was negligent.
    Thank you for bringing this important issue to the fore!

    1. Zayaan Schroeder

      August 31, 2017 at 3:04 pm

      I have such big fights with my family about car seat safety. They think I’m mad too.

  3. stephanie videira

    August 31, 2017 at 10:37 pm

    I swear iam gonna print this article and make copies and put it on the windscreen of every parent at my kids creche that doesn’t use a car seat, makes me so mad and they can’t tell me its because they can’t afford i have seen the cars they drive

Leave a Reply