Part 1 of the “Your Kids are Worth it” series.
I’m writing you today because “you survived it” and “you’re just fine”. I hear these phrases so often. “Well, we didn’t even have seatbelts and we survived!”.
It’s probably true. You are here reading this so I’m guessing you haven’t had any severe head trauma or ever died in a car accident. You’re fine. Your kids probably will be too. Probably.
According to the NCSA, 1,591 children were killed in motor vehicle accidents in 2003. That was 6 children per day between ages 0-14 and 694 children per day were injured.
So, yes, your child will probably not be one of those children but the chances are great enough. The chance is there that you could be in a major accident and your child could be injured or killed in it.
Why am I telling you this? Because you have options. Your actions can give your child a better chance of surviving an accident by taking carseat safety seriously. I happen to be of the belief that our kids are worth it. They are worth buying the better carseats for. They are worth inconveniencing ourselves for. Their safety and their lives are worth us putting a little extra effort into keep them as safe as possible when we travel.
The best thing to do when you have young kids is keep them rearfacing! Most convertible carseats sold now have high rearfacing capabilities, allowing kids to rearface to 40 lbs and even 45 lbs. When a child is rearfacing and in an accident, the carseat takes the impact and not their necks.
There should be no rush to forward face a child. ALL people are safer rearfacing in the car than forward facing. The only reason we turn forward facing is because we do not have the seats to accommodate bigger kids and adults eventually need to drive… which requires seeing! Rearfacing is actually 500% safer for a young child! That’s a lot of percentage.
Once a child truly has outgrown the ability to rearface with the seats we have here, they should go into a 5 point harnessed seat that forward faces. Again, being harnessed is massively safer for the child than being in just a seatbelt. Every step UP towards a seatbelt is a step DOWN in safety for your child.
With using the correct carseat for your child, also comes the need to use the carseat properly. Read the carseat manual. And I mean actually read it. Then get it installed into your car per the manual’s direction and if for some reason it is not making sense or the seat is not installing right, find a certified carseat technician who can help you. When putting your child in the carseat, the straps should always be snug against them and the chest clip on their chest (about nipple height).
For more info on using carseats safely, Click Here.
If one day you are in an accident, I want to see you on the relieved end of possibilities- relieved your child was safe and secure and made it through with no serious injury. And even if there is a chance that your child will come out ok without being safely secured, is that a risk you want to take? The odds may work out but there is also a good chance they won’t. Will you be left wishing and wondering if you could have saved them? If taking some extra precautions and making the extra sacrifice could have been all the difference for them? Your child is worth it. They are worth going the extra length and doing everything that is in your power to do to keep them from getting hurt. I know times are hard. I know money is tight. I know time is limited. But in the end, they are still worth it.