Monday, June 3, 2013

Child Passenger Safety Week 2012 Masterpost :P I'm not changing the post title

I wrote most of this weeks ago. Is there any better time than Child Passenger Safety Week to finally post it? (:P Months ago now. Never got it out but don't feel like making a new header.)

Seeing this article:  reminded me of a subject I've been meaning to broach for a while and spurred me into action.  Seeing that article and seeing how many children were lost at once made me so, so scared.

 I also read about a few other crashes. A Muslim sister was in a car crash and died the day before I started this post and someone on the carseat board I visit had a car accident in their family. Her nephews were 4 and 5. The 4 yr old was in a low back booster during the crash and was ok. Alhamdulillah, even though that's not the best thing for a child that age to be in, he was ok. However, the 5 year old was in nothing and hit his head hard. He also has abdominal issues from the lap belt being on his belly.

 Alhamdulillah, through the grace of Allah, they weren't more hurt. The outcome could have been worse. Last week I read on another carseat forum about a woman who had a friend with twins. One of the twins had died the previous weekend because the woman they were with didn't have them in carseats so the flew out the car. One died, the other was severely bruised up.

Child Passenger Safety is not something that only 'over-protective' parents should be concerned about. Passenger safety in cars is a very real issue.  Allah will keep us safe, inshaAllah, but we also have to take precautions.

 Please read the information I'm going to link you to and give it some thought. I can at least rest easy knowing that I've done my duty to inform you about something I've been gathering knowledge about. If I hadn't at least said something I know that if something happened (God forbid) I would be wracked with guilt.

I bought my seats and boosters since at times we have kids in the car and I wanted to be within the law and not at the risk of being ticketed. However, the foremost reason was that I wanted to be able to travel safely with the children. I feel bad whenever I travel with children that aren't safely restrained and I couldn't take the guilt anymore in my father's car when I had the funds to outfit it with seats. After that idea caught me, I started learning more.

I've had several children in the seats and none of them have complained. Even if they don't usually sit in a carseat or don't face the direction I've put them in they don't mind. Of course that's probably because they're not with me full time but it's never too late to start good practices.

When I had J (8) sit in one for a car ride because M hadn't brought his or A's (5) boosters in, he didn't mind at all and wanted to sit in it again since it was comfy. I let A use her booster even though the belt fit in our car was not good for her since we didn't have a clip for the shoulder belt. She would have been better in a carseat since she slept a lot in the car . She didn't really seem to mind when I had her sit in one for a few rides. She only wondered why she was in one instead of her booster. When we had brother Z's girls, I used a booster with his eldest, a FF seat with the middle daughter, and a RF seat with his 2 yr old. All of them were happy. The older girls thought it was odd that T was rearfacing but T didn't care at all. I'm mentioning this since if that is what a kid knows is how they have to ride in a car they won't put up a fuss or not much of one. This is even more the case when they've been educated as to why they're sitting in/on a seat or booster. A lot of the kids even 3+ that I've put rearfacing just to play and see how they fit have mentioned how comfy it is.

Several people on the carseat board I'm a member of have children that will tell other children and adults why they're RF, still in a carseat, or in a booster and won't let anyone start a car unless they're restrained properly. Of course some ages are problem ages and the child doesn't want to be restrained at all :p

Getting started in this area can be frustrating because there are so many things to learn about and rules but inshaAllah it's for our betterment. I know when I was buying my carseats and practicing installing them in the car, learning about different things I didn't know about I got a bit angry. I felt it was easier when I was more ignorant and my main concern was small babies being strapped into their carseats properly (as well as if an older toddler was in one) and the seat buckled in. However, that was not safer for the other children or me or anyone else in the car. Children and adults that aren't properly restrained and in age/size appropriate restraints can come flying out and hit other people when there's an accident. Small children wearing seat belts without a booster to help position it can get abdominal injuries since they don't have the bones developed enough to keep the seat belt in place.

This is long. Sorry, It's hard for me to tell what's necessary and what isn't it. I erred on the side of too much. I hope it doesn't look like an intimidating wall of text. I wanted to only do this once so I'm going to divide it into sections. Just as I was about to post, I decided to make each section a separate post. Click each section title to go to the corresponding post.  Please read this and the links in pieces if you can't find the time to read everything in ones go.

Feel free to bookmark this so you can read at your leisure, too :)

 The sections will be State LawRearfacing & Extended Rearfacing (these days ERF is considered anything after the age of 2-4), Forward FacingBooster SeatsOther Important Info
Free Seats, Car Seat Checks, and Car Seat Advice and Videos the Kids Watched.

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