Wednesday, July 1, 2009

An Older Generation

Many of us as adults can look back to a time when car seats were optional; they looked like something hardly safe enough to keep a doll strapped down, and it was OK to ride without them. I remember riding in the back of pick-up trucks and sitting in that seat that faced out the back window of station wagons. The biggest thing that sticks in my mind about this time is the story my mom would tell me about how my grandma held me for 3 hours on her lap while we were on a road trip. Looking back I wonder how I, or anyone else for that matter, survived. In this post I want to help you learn why things have changed, and share with you the things to tell those parents and grandparents in your lives that simply don't understand or want to follow your wishes for your child's safety in their vehicle.

So many things have changed from the time we were children to the time we had children. There are lots of factors that bring about the changes we see now versus then. Often our parents and grandparents simply don't understand. Explaining to them the reasons helps them to realize why their views are outdated.

Firstly, we know much more now than before. As research and testing continues we learn more about how much a child's body is able to handle certain crash forces. This resulted in us raising our safety standards to meet the needs to keep a child safe. Just as those standards changed from 10 and 20 years ago, they will continue to change to a higher standard as time moves forward. Continual crash testing and research is allowing car seat manufactures to make seats that provide better protection for our children, and seats that help take more of the forces off the child to reduce the impact of the crash on them.

Other factors that are sometimes not considered are:

* There are more cars on the road now
* Cars are not as big and durable as they were
* Speed limits are higher
* There are more negligent drivers on the road
* Knowledge now is much higher than before

The factors that have brought about the changes in child passenger safety, are helping lower the statistics of injuries and deaths related to motor vehicle crashes.

I was compelled to post this today because too often I hear the same comments about, 'back in my day', 'when my kids were younger' or 'you survived' and so I just felt this was some good information to help pass on. When people know and understand why you're doing what you are, it's easier for them to understand the reasons and follow your wishes for care of your child when it comes to their transportation.

If you have questions about the changes or need further suggestions to help with someone respecting your wishes for car seats in their vehicle please post them in the comments.

Please also see this follow up to our piece at the Car Seat Poncho Blog.
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