There’s very few things that drive me absolutely bonkers – repetitive sounds, chewing or licking noises and not finding a snack in the cupboard when I’m looking for one – definitely make it in my top 10.
Which makes me wonder why I had kids? Because I don’t know about you, but mine are ALL ABOUT destroying all three of those things. Just thinking about the amount of disgusting noises that have emanated from my children over the last 8 years is enough to make my whole body shudder. Let’s not even start on the repetitive noises bit. I just don’t understand how they can say the same thing over and over and over and over and over again expecting a different result each time?
I mean seriously? Do you really suddenly expect me to say yes? Did saying it over and over and over again suddenly reprogram my entire damn mind and make me want to say yes to jumping off the roof or having a 4th piece of cake? I think I’d rather jump off the roof than give you that 4th piece of cake but let’s not even go there.
What I want to talk about is what happens EVERY SINGLE TIME WE GET IN THE CAR.
Despite the fact that my children have been locked in a car seat every single time they have been in a moving vehicle since birth, they still ask me when they can sit in the front with just a normal seat belt. Every single time. My flippant remarks about “when you’re a teenager” seem to have sparked this new obsession about getting older. I swear Knox is convinced in just 3 short years he’ll be a teenager. No matter how much I try and explain that 5 plus 3 only equals 8 (which is so very much NOT a teenager) he persists that it’s imminent. Which makes the sisters who are now in fact 8, want to know the very same thing.
So let’s figure it out shall we?
When is it safe for your kid to sit with JUST a seat belt?
We have multiple car seats in all our cars. That means you’ll find seats in my car, Seth’s car and his parents car. We’re hectic about it. In fact there is very little that makes my blood boil quite as much as seeing a toddler wandering around the backseat of a car while his parents are safely seat belted in the front. It’s why I wanted to be a part of #CarseatFullstop in the first place. I’m passionate about it. As we all should be.
But even I got it wrong. (Again)
Did you know that a seat belt is made to restrict a 1.5m tall adult? I didn’t. And listen, I don’t do well with measuring stuff. Just ask Seth. Once I told him that the thing he wanted to put in the lounge would most definitely, absolutely NOT fit. It was impossible. He assured me that it was totally possible. I then bet him a whole bunch of things that I thought I’d never have to deliver on because I was obvs right. Turns out I was so very wrong.
Anyway, moral of that story is that I’m 1.6m tall and my children at not even close to my height. Which means that despite being absolutely horrific at trying to calculate these things and being to lazy to measure them, I’d guess that my kids are about a 1m tall. Ish. On a good day. Especially Kyla (who is about 5cm shorter than Riya – sssh, it’s a bit of a bone of contention so don’t bring it up OK?!).
And I’m not an accountant or like, um, a mathy person. But that means that they are about 500 whatevers too short.
Which means that if they use the seat belt without the use of a booster they could be severely injured or even killed in an accident.
Let that sink in.
Normal children (who haven’t inherited my short gene) will only be in the 1.5m tall range when they are between 10 and 12! Which is a good 4 years away from where we are right now! But if you’re insistent that you think your kid is fine without one, you should…
DO THE 5 STEP CHECK:
- The shoulder belt should sit exactly in the middle of your kids shoulder.
- The lap belt should sit low across the upper thighs.
- Their back should be flush with the backrest of the seat, with their butt set back where the seat and the backrest meet.
- With your kids flush up against the back rest, the knees should bend past the edge of the seat and their feet should be firmly placed on the floor.
- Your child should be able to sit in this position comfortably, without moving, for the duration that the car is moving.
OK, you got me. I was laughing hard there. But I’m sorry, unless your 7 year old has adult legs on a 7 year old torso and the patience of said adult, I cannot even begin to imagine that you tick all five of these boxes. I mean what kid sits still in one position for the duration of a journey? I’m almost 31 and I can’t do that. But at least I check all the other boxes 😉
Time to get off my high horse or um, mediocre booster seat…
Have you digested all of that? It was a lot for me to take in too. Now let’s factor in the next step.
Like me, you’re passionate about your kid being in a booster seat. Anything that boosts them and makes sure that the strap isn’t cutting into their neck should be fine right?
What to look for in a booster seat?
- It should offer a high back until 36kgs and at least 135cm
- The head and back support should be easy to adjust up or down to account for the growth of your child between ages 4 and 12
- There should be guides to position the shoulder belt snugly mid way across the shoulder and across the chest, and these guides should move when the back and head rest are adjusted for the height of the child.
- The height of the cushion should position the lap belt over the pelvis instead of the belly.
- The seat should be easy to position and fit in the car with your selected installation method (three point seat belt or ISOFIX if your car allows)
- Ideally the seat should offer at least one recline position so that your child doesn’t fall forward should they fall asleep
So here’s me falling right off my high horse and flat onto the floor.
We might have the right kind of seats in my car, but we don’t have the right ones in Seth’s. We literally just have the bottom cushion thingy. They are just raised at the bottom and provide no protection for their backs or necks! Eeek. Not convinced it’s necessary? Watch this little video on Youtube, it may change your mind.
Are you in the same situation as me? Let me help you.
The BeSafe iZi Up X3 is one of the few booster seats in South Africa that allows the use of the full back of the seat right up to 36kgs. This means that not only is the car seat belt positioned safely over your child’s body, but they are afforded side impact protection and additional comfort until they are ready to make the change. The head and back supports can be easily adjusted on both sides of the car seat using a synchronised handle. Not only the headrest but all side impact protection side-parts move when adjusted ensuring the child receives maximum safety regardless of height. The iZi Up received good ratings from Stiftung Warentest and multiple design awards. This seat comes in colours: Black Cab, Lava Grey and Ruby Red.”
WIN A BESAFE IZI UP X3 (in Cab Black) CAR SEAT WORTH R2 999
- You need to enter through the Rafflecopter widget below
- With statistics saying that up to 93% of people aren’t strapping in their kids into car seats it means that we ALL know somebody who is adding to that number. Please share this post to help us reach more people – we could be saving little lives here. #CarseatFullstop matters.
- PLEASE MAKE SURE THAT YOU ACTUALLY DO ALL THE STEPS THAT YOU TICK OR YOU WILL BE DISQUALIFIED. Just do what you say that you’re doing and it’s all good.
- You need to live in SA or have a South African delivery address
- If you have won a giveaway on 3 Kids, 2 Dogs and 1 Old House in the last 6 months, you may not enter
If you’re wanting to make sure this reaches everyone that it should, why not tag a friend with a kid 10-12 and under. They may not need the seat but with only 7% of kids being strapped in, it means that they will know someone that could use it.
You have the power to save a little life. One share, seen by one person, who straps in one child, saves a life. #CarseatFullstop. Every child. Every time. No matter what.
#CarseatFullstop is a very proud retailer for the BeSafe car seat range in South Africa. This means that if you purchase a BeSafe car seat through #CarseatFullstop, the profits go to maintaining this initiative! If you would like to have your little one as safe as they can be, be sure to join this group on FACEBOOK or contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
And if you have a car seat that your little person has outgrown, please consider donating it to Wheel Well. Wheel Well is a non-profit organisation that collects used car seats, which are then cleaned and refurbished in order to provide a safe option for parents who are unable to afford a new car seat. Seats can be dropped off at any Renault dealership.