Friday, April 21, 2006

Restraining Your Children, It's Mandatory

I just heard this story out of Sacramento about a lady who was driving a car with four passengers in the rain, slammed it into a tree and then into the river where the two oldest women were critically injured, an 18-year old drowned and two little girls aged 3 and 4 were also killed. Well, one of the babies was lost in the river but presumed dead.
The driver just called into my favorite radio show saying that it wasn't her fault and she just overcorrected and even if the kids had been in car seats, they would have died anyway.
WHAT THE HELL! I guess you have to tell yourself what you have to tell yourself to get through the day without hanging yourself from the rafters, but chick, you killed three people including your own daughter! How do you justify not strapping kids into car seats? I don't understand.
When I see kids walking around inside moving minivans it makes me want to call the sheriff with their license number and get them busted. Maybe I should start doing that. I just don't get it!
My kids are ALWAYS in car seats, no exception. EVER.

However there were recently a couple of incidents that made me so sick to my stomach thinking of what could have happened.

I still carry Dylan out of the car in his little pop-in car seat. We went into town to my sister in laws the other day and he of course came into the house in his car seat. While we were there, I unsnapped his harness while he slept. When we left, I carried him back out to the car, covered in a blanket, popped his seat into the base and drove to the grocery store.
When we got there I opened the back door to get him out and saw that he had kicked off his blanket. It was then that I also saw that his harness was still unbuckled.
I almost threw up right there in the parking lot.
I mean, he was fine, he was still sleeping, but MY GOD! What could have happened!
I'm so traumatized from that, I now triple check his harness whenever we go anywhere.

Before that happened, THIS happened.
Bob and I trade Elizabeth's car seat back and forth between our vehicles. One morning he took it out of his truck and put it into my car but did not buckle it into place. That day I took the kids into town. When I parked the car and went to get her out of her seat, I realized that the seat was not buckled to the car, though Elizabeth was harnessed to the seat itself. I started crying.
I can't even IMAGINE how horrible I would have felt if something would have happened.
As in the previous incident, I now triple check that all the seats are actually attached to the car before we go anywhere.

I just don't understand how you can purposefully and willingly let your little kids roam around the car or sit in seatbelts when they're 2 or not even wear seatbelts at all or ride in the front seat. I mean, this all makes me sick just thinking about it.
My two mistakes STILL make me feel like a bad mom, I can't fathom how people can override their common sense and that guilty feeling to allow themselves to completely dispense with car seats altogether.


Freebird said...

The harness thing would have made me sick as well. SCARY! Don't beat yourself up about it though. Live and learn - and triple check.

Jessey said...

It still makes a rock in my stomach when I think about it. Oh lord. Very scary.

Amy said...

You're right, she's probably telling herself what she needs to in order to get through it. And she probably thought what people think - it's just this one time, what can happen, they're old enough to not be strapped in.

Jessey said...

Either "it's just this one time" or like some people around where I live there's a pervasive attitude of "these are MY kids, I'll do what I want with them" including endangering their lives by letting them be improperly belted or not belted or leaving them alone in parking lots with running engines. That sort of thing.

Chris said...

Yeah, one morning and forgot to strap Athena in - when I got to daycare my stomach dropped to the floor and I felt a bit sick myself.

Yeah, people who do that sort of thing on purpose make me sick.

Jessey said...

Here in Arizona, and probably all over the place really, there are so many cases of parents leaving their kids in the car accidentally and cooking them (sorry for that imagery but...) or not watching them and letting them get into the pool and drowning.
I do not understand these parents. At all.
My kid gets anywhere NEAR water and my whole being gets insane. I put her on a dog leash once by a small lake. That's just how friggin' protective I am. I leashed my kid like a DAWG!

eaf said...

I know you won't believe this, oh twin-of-mine, but I did this just yesterday. I went to a friend's house, took Mr. Man out of his car seat to feed him, placed him back in while he slept and I chatted (and ate chocolate chip cookies) and then left in a bit of a hurry when I realized I was blocking someone in who had to get to work pronto. About a mile down the road, I realized what I had done with utter horror, and pulled over immediately. I'm sure the people passing my car were a bit concerned when they saw a woman wailing as if her son had been shot as she struggled to buckle him in without waking him. It was pitiful and sad and hella scary.

Oh, and here in NC, people "bake" their kids all the time. It makes my stomach lurch to think about it. And it happens every year. I think I may go throw up now.

Jason said...

Darwin at work. If the parents' IQ is so small that they don't want to use restraints for their kids, maybe they shouldn't be reproducing in the first place.

Jessey said...

There was some incident in Phoenix ( I think ) recently where the daycare worker left a kid in the daycare van or something. And there was one where the dad was supposed to drop the baby off at daycare but forgot and left him in the car while he went to work.
Then there's the classic parent leaves the kids in the car to go get hammered at a friends house, or a bar, and the kids die.
I hate these people.