Friday, January 05, 2007

How does a parent ever get over this?

While I was at Kinzi's house today letting Little Kinzi and Butterbean play, I was mentioned my participation in some on-line parenting Boards. One of the stories of a child four days younger than Butterbean touched me deeply and it occurred to me that it might help some people here. As many of you are likely aware, in the US, we are somewhat fanatical about the use of car seats. Car seat laws are in place in all of the states to varying ages. I know that Arab parents here who have their children in car seats often get funny looks, comments, and what not. In the spirit of public education, I though I'd share this video with everyone here who'd care to watch. This is a video made in memory of Butterbean's contemporary. He was killed when his belt-positioning booster seat (not as sturdy as a standard car seat) came free and he was ejected from their family minivan in a crash. This video has been extremely widely viewed in the US and Canada (over 1.5 million views so far). The link is here -> My hope is that seeing what can happen to your children without the protection of a car seat and 5 point harness may help illustrate to readers here why we crazy Americans go nuts over this. As one of my on-line friends says, it's not about laws, it's about lives.

For those who have not seen the Beanmobile, we have three monster car seats, one for each bean. It's like a field of car seats and yes, that's right, nearly 5 year old ButterBean still sits in a car seat. Oh, and her car seat is good until she hits 60 pounds. I expect that will be another few years. So, please watch the video (if you can live with a bit of sadness and have a box of tissues handy). And, if you have kids and don't currently, buckle them up. In their own special seat, not a regular seat with inadequate protection. Remember there are, on average, 145 road accidents with two fatalities every DAY in Jordan. 30% of road accident victims are children. If you don't have kids, don't look askance or make negative comments to parents who do buckle their kids in. In fact, commend them for doing everything they can to protect their most prized possession. If you know someone with kids who doesn't use a car seat, pass this video along. In a country where the sight of children hanging out of windows and sun roofs and climbing all over the driver are common, help change the mentality. After all, it's all of our future at stake here. And just think with me, if your child were killed in a car accident, how do you get over that - ever?

Buckle up!


At 1:51 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing!! If it is worth a life, then it is worth to pass this video on! Enforcing the laws of car seats for kids is a key to saving lives...just like enforcing the seat belt law for people who are riding in the car...Children's lives and human lives in general are worth a lot i believe!

At 6:50 AM , Blogger MommaBean said...

Thanks Summer. Now if only Jordan would actually GET car seat laws :). Of course that would make it another law to ignore, but...

At 7:13 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

of course we do have seat belt laws here - but unless there is strong enforcement and punishments nobody will take any notice. I get mad when I see ministers, government employees, senators, members of parliament etc not putting their seat belts on. There have been many awareness campaigns and some grizly films put on by the police on JTV, but unless you fine people about JD 100 for each infringement, they will just take no notice. It is like the rubbish issue, huge fines are needed to stop people littering our towns and countryside. And so on and so on!!!! T

At 7:31 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's not about enforcement and punishment. It's about people realising on thier own that they need to protect thier children the right way. And no matter how much the baby whines and nags and cries. That's part of being a parent. You get the heat for taking the right but tough decisions!

Anyway, safety should always come first. The mindset needs to be different, the driving skills need to be deffinsive and very alert .. it's other lives involved here.. and regular .. "I-don't-give-a-dang" attitude doesn't work

At 12:44 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

This past summer, a firefighter (of all people and someone who should know better), his wife and 3 kids where in a old car (early 1900's). On their way home from a parade they were hit by someone rolling through a stop sign, middle of the day and speed was not a factor. Two kids died along with both dad and mother. Of course there were no seatbelts in that old car as they are exempt from the seatbelt law and they certainly without a doubt would be alive today if they had their seat belts fastened.

Believe it or not, I see kids standing up looking through the back windows in the US. Usually I make a point of calling 911 and reporting them...I know I should mind my own business, but these kids need someone to intervene.

Of couse, we as adults set examples for our kids in many ways and by us buckling up they most likely will pick up a good habit from us for a change.

I would like to know how many of those Jordanian based bloggers actually wear their seat belts?

At 1:26 PM , Blogger MommaBean said...

T, thanks for joining the conversation. However, although there are seatbelt laws, there are no requirements for car seats for children :(.

Qwaider, you are absolutely correct, it's not about laws, it's about lives. But, having the laws says that we as a society value the lives, no?

Luai, Good for you. Keep making those 911 calls. Oh,a nd anyone who rides in my car must use a seat belt... :) Pesky American!


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