In my last post, I wrote about the importance of ensuring our children dress decently from their tender ages. If you missed it, click here.
Today I also want to address something else I observed still on this children's day outing and generally. I would site some instances to drive this in.
I saw a woman driving with her three sons in the car and all three of them went back and forth between the passengers seat and the back seat..obviously having fun and couldn't be bothered.
This evening, I stepped out and saw a woman about to get into her car and she had her two daughters on the passenger seat. One three year old and the other eight months old. I was amazed. I went further to ask if she was really going to drive her kids right beside her and she replied that she would. Adding that she had some things on the back seat and couldn't make room for her kids behind so she wouldn't drive through the express road as they headed home.
Another instance, a man driving his toddler to school and she was on the passenger seat not strapped in so she stood up and he was busy texting and driving. What?!
I could go on and on. A whole lot of us are guilty of similar instances.
To add salt to injury, Nigerian Road Safety officials couldn't care less if they saw parents driving with their kids on the passenger seat because there are no written laws in Nigeria against having kids on the passengers seat. They would rather disturb innocent road users demanding for the impossible.
Please dear parents, the safety of our kids should be top on our priority list especially when driving. They are too restless to be in the car unstrapped, some of them even try to wiggle their ways out of the seat belts.
If you love them so much then I am sure you need them alive and well so why endanger their lives in the name of wanting to have them close to you in the car or wanting them to be free. "They are kids, they should have fun" some would say.
There is a reason why car seats were invented.
Unfortunately they are quite pricey but I am sure if you can afford a car then you can afford a car seat, at least one that can sit your kid till 2/3 years old.
There are infant and toddler car seats, the infant car seats are usually cheaper but sits the baby till around 9 months, some may sit up to 1 year old depending on your baby's height. There are also booster seats and toddler car seats that can sit the kids till age 6.
Infant Car Seat
Convertible Car Seat
There are others that grow with the kids, these ones are the convertible car seats (certainly more expensive).
In some countries the kids must pass these tests below before they switch to seat belts:
• Does he sit all the way back against the car's seat?
• Do his knees bend comfortably at the edge of the seat?
• Does the lap belt naturally rest below his belly, touching the top of his thighs?
• Is the shoulder belt centered across his shoulder and chest?
• Can he stay seated like this for the whole trip?
With the so much love we have for our little ones, I am sure a good car seat is not too expensive to invest in for them.
Please please please lets adhere to these rules going forward.
• Ensure your child rides in the back seat (minimum requirement).
• Don't drive with your kids on your lap (no journey is too short).
• Buckle up for every ride. Use a car seat if you have one, if not strap your kid on the back seat. It is better for your child to cry at the back seat than for you to hit the brakes suddenly and your child hits his/her head on the dashboard. Some kids are so inquisitive that they could change the gear while you are driving focused on the wheels. Better safe than sorry you know.
• When using car seats, ensure the safety belt is properly fastened to hold the car seat in place.
• Never leave a child alone in the car.
Let safety be a way of life.
Have a safe weekend ahead.