Our little tots and transportation

Hug your kids at home, but belt them in the car ~ Author Unknown

Now let’s take a very first look at transportation. It is important that we move our kids from one place to the other: school, doctor’s appointment, visit friends and family, etc. So how do we manage transporting our darlings?

Not to sound technical, but there is something I would like us to understand first.
When a car is moving at a certain speed (even as low as 60km/hr) and suddenly stops or makes an impact, whoever is in the car that is not restrained (by a seatbelt or other obstruction), continues to ‘travel’ or ‘move’ at that same speed or velocity (just like the body being hurled forward). That is why we see some victims’ bodies are flung far away from the cars in some accident sites.

I have noticed something in Nigeria (and especially in Lagos where I am); mother/father/adult securely strapped in their front and driver seats, while the child stands loosely in the back between the two front seats. Now shut your eyes for a moment and imagine what will happen if the car is moving at that speed (60km/hr) and makes a sudden stop or has an impact on a stationary object. Yes! The parents/adults remain safe in their seats and may get protected by airbags, the child flies out right through the windscreen. I’m not saying we are rough drivers, but remember, we are only trying to keep our little cuties safe.

Now the question is: ‘how do we avoid this?’ The answer is to use car seats (child restraints), just as we have seatbelts for adults. I know those could be really expensive. Think of how much money we spend changing or upgrading our phones and devices every year, compared with spending this on a car seat (that may last for 4 years depending on the type) to keep our children safe.

I used to think that using a pillow to prop up the child so the child could use an adult 3-point seat belt was a good idea (i.e the typical seat belts in our cars). For me, this meant the child would become high enough for the lower part of the belt to go across the lap, and the upper part to cross the shoulder. The problem with this is that in the event of a crash, the pillow may shift and fail to protect the child, causing them to suffer severe neck and head injuries. This means we are back to square one.

So, unfortunately, as there are no shortcuts to safety, we really have to use a child car seat. In subsequent posts, I will create a guide to help us know the age-appropriate seats to use for our little ones, and some car seat safety tips. In the meantime, if you must go out with your child and cannot afford a car seat yet, please have an adult hold the child in the back seat. Trust me when I say I have seen babies (even less than a year old) just laid on the passenger seats. Please note that this is only my suggestion (and we are trying to be practical here) and is not a safety guarantee, as having the child strapped in their own seat is the best. In the absence of enforceable laws on car seats and child safety, it is our responsibility to keep your children safe.

Have you had any challenges managing this with your babies, or any advice you think will help? Please share with us in the comment section

The Baby Analyst.

Not a doctor, just a financial analyst who loves kids J


jeminat alasa said…
Brilliant...The baby analyst.

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