On a morning where the first thing that popped up in my news feed was a milk recall in Montreal, my mind drifted to a topic that I’ve been meaning to write about for some time (and it’s a controversial one!): Car Seats!!
Children’s car seats to be exact (as opposed to doggy car seats……yes, they are a real thing that people spend money on).
It’s a topic debated at length by parents everywhere, our sense of right and wrong affected by “parental pride” or some dormant yet powerful portion of the parental brain that does not allow us to be wrong about anything that is remotely related to the upbringing of our children. And that’s OK. The methods, techniques, skills, love, strategy, etc. that we parents employ in raising our kids is no one’s choice but our own and that is to be respected (except in extreme cases of course). However, when it comes to points of law and child safety, it becomes an entirely different issue.
Recently in Calgary, the RCMP issued 87 tickets for incorrectly installed infant/children’s car seats, forcing back into the spotlight an issue that has been on the back-burner for awhile. Several studies conducted over the past 4 years have shown that anywhere from 90-97% of car seats are installed incorrectly, while up to 96% of parents believe that their car seat is installed correctly. This is a MASSIVE disconnect, which in my opinion, confirms the above statement…that this issue is based on the concept of “parental pride”. My family’s car seat installations took the efforts of 3 grown men, a tire iron, some yoga-style moves by my brother-in-law and a lot of sweat labor. In the end, we got 2 car seats that I believe to be correctly installed (as far as I know, that is!).
So I’m here to tell you the following: it’s ok to be wrong. Just the other day, it was pointed out to me that when I put my nearly-2-year-old daughter into her car seat wearing her bulky winter jacket and tighten her belt, I am in fact doing absolutely nothing to protect her from injury in a violent impact. The air-filled jacket would compress and she would be ejected from the car seat on impact. I was wrong and I’m ready to admit it. I hope you will be too and are ready to check whether you fall into the 96%. Hey, it may even save you some cash in the future if the RCMP or the Surete du Quebec decides that your city is next on their list!
Have a good (and safe) weekend!
Funny Daddy Accountant
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