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Monday, January 19, 2009

Car Seats for Big Toddlers...

The other day my wife and I were driving somewhere and a conversation about car seats came up. She was telling me that kids are required to be in car seats until they are in Junior High School or something like that.

I don't know how it is in other places, but if you drive around San Antonio on any given day you can spot carloads full of little kids who are not strapped down, or my favorite, the goofy mother (who usually isn't wearing a seat belt, herself) holding the newborn baby in her arms. Setting aside the obvious stupidity of these people, I am drawn to the other extreme of just how far do we take this whole car seat thing?
I sorta figured my wife was exaggerating this whole car seat issue but then, we walked into Wal Mart and I see a display for car seats including this one.Seriously, up to 100 pounds? I know actual adult people who weigh 100 pounds or less. Okay, not many, but still, are you telling me that the actual cars being manufactured today are so unsafe that you need to have a guy with one of those measuring sticks like they have at Disney, to make sure you qualify to ride in the car?

This is actually a pretty smart idea. Say your kid has been getting in trouble at school. Wanna bring him down a few notches in front of his wannabe gang member friends? Pull up in the school pick-up line and strap him into his car seat for the ride home. He'll really be the BMOC.

I come from a big family - we had seven kids! And this is before anybody thought of minivans. Can you imagine trying to pack a bunch of car seats into the family sedan and still have room for nine people, a dog and a cat? As it was, I think a few of us had to sit on the floor boards and one kid had to lay on that back shelf where the speakers mount below the rear window.

We have come a long way in terms of safety, and I'm all for it. This from the kid who nearly fell out of the car once when my mom was driving through an intersection. But really, has this car seat thing gone too far? What's next, driving helmets for the morning commute?


Q said...

My 14 year old weighs about 75lbs, she would never get in the car with me if I tried that one..hmmm, food for thought.

Evil Twin's Wife said...

Here, they have to be in a booster seat until they are 8 and at least a certain height (I think it's 4'9"). Anyway, the weight doesn't factor into it unless you are the parent of a tubby youngster and you need a seat that can accommodate up to that weight. It's more the height that is the safety issue. Until they are that certain height, the seat belt doesn't cross their bodies correctly - assuming it's a newer model car with the lap and shoulder belts. If they're not *raised* up, the belt hits their necks weird and can cause serious damage if an accident happened. It's always something....

Albatross said...

Ah, I remember well the nights we would come home from Grandma's house and my parents would let me lay on the package shelf so I could look through the back windshield at the stars on the way home.

So innocent, back then. So crazy, today.

Anonymous said...

Eva says :)
I can do one better than the package shelf. I was so small I would stand next to my dad in his standard pickum up truck and remember hugging on to him as we drove home from my aunts house. Seat belt Please.... I am all for it but come on.At 20 I was 5'1 98 pounds with a 1 year old. That would have been some site to see us both in a car seat hehe.. Good times....

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San Antonio, TX, United States
I love to observe the odd things happening around me as I go about my day. I especially like it when I can get a picture of people being themselves. Here, I attempt to report the various people and events I have encountered in my neighborhood, and my city. I'd also love to hear from you. Feel free to e-mail your experiences and photos of life in San Antonio.

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