#12DaysOfXmas Day 9: I love my kids but I don’t buckle them in!

G‘day readers! On this glorious first day of work and turn of the new year, we find ourselves rushing to get to where we want to be on time, joining the rush hour grind, and beating the traffic lights at every turn.  Come on, this is Singapore.  Everyone speeds and weaves in and out of traffic.  Nup, we’re not India or even our neighbours, but we‘re still pretty bad and have many uncourteous and inconsiderate drivers to boot.  We’ve lots to be proud of.  

Hold on a sec...this is not merely a rant on our traffic conditions but a more sombre note - Over the past year we‘ve heard in the news about how infants, toddlers, and children (and of course adults) are flung out of their parents’ cars like projectiles loaded with sacrificial lamb as cannon fodder.  It’s a sad sight to see and even worse the emotional trauma that may ensue thereafter, often accompanied by a foray of guilt and shame.

Many infants are still being cradled by their loving parents and can be seen leaping up and down from their seats in the front and back seats of moving vehicles.  Yes, it’s a concerning thing when you take into account the number of things that could occur should an accident take place.  Many infant and toddler car seats are very affordable these days and there’s almost no real excuse to deny investing in reliable set for our children.  Besides, we love them.

Go easy on ourselves, parents, it’s stressful enough as it is - let’s not over-complicate matters

Remember, this is not an article shaming or making parents feel guilty about what they are doing, but rather for parents who really do care, there is something you can do for your children - They are unable to have the capacity to tell you that they need safety and protection where it counts.  The opposite can also be said for parents who know about the benefits of in-car safety for their little ones but opt to sacrifice these aspects to save some coin - these parents are either not ready to accept that this is a real deal, or it probably wouldn’t happen to them because they drive safety.  Look, there are clearly ambiguous lines of argument like what about using these safety chairs on modes of public transport like taxi's (having to lug the carseat along), buses or trains (where there are a lack of anchoring points and buckles, and the use of infant/child carriers as a replacement for actual carseats.  

However, ambiguity does not mean we should throw it out to the wind - this is also not a viable solution.  As hard as it sounds, shit happens and we hope that all parents don’t have to regret it for the rest of their lives due to a moment of folly.  So what now?

Day 9: We NEED new car seat guidelines in Singapore! This is what you can do.

There is only so much that public education, reminders and fear mongering can do to raise awareness of this frightening fact that is on the road.  Whilst we don’t have the required laws put in place locally to protect infant and toddler passengers in vehicles on the road, we have many places in the world that had already come up with suitable guidelines to help us on our way.  So parents, fret not.  Your lives are not the only precious ones in question.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP, or Paediatrics for us here) recently updated its guidelines on car seat usage and safety guidelines on car seat usage and safety.  The concise information is helping parents breathe a sigh of relief, because let’s be real — what parenting choice is more confusing and full of conflicting information than car seat shopping?  

Here is the concise information summarised in two graphics posted here.  Do read the original post on ScaryMommy.com for the write-up.  Let’s make our roads a safer place for other families, starting with your own.

carseat guidelines 1 - thepsychpractice.png
carseat guidelines 2 - thepsychpractice.gif