Friday, January 09, 2009

Safety First.

I take safety very seriously, I'm probably overly cautious in many cases and could stand to slack up a little most of the time. One area in which I'm not willing to give is car seat safety. I'm a stickler for our car seats to be installed correctly and securely. No wiggle room or half ass installation going on in my car.

I also think that in general, parents should be more careful when it comes to children and cars. Inside and out. I got to thinking about this the other day in the carpool line at Munchkins school. When we picked her school we had a few criteria for it to meet.

1. Close to home
2. Needed to be more than a glorified MDO program
3. Not affiliated with a specific church or denomination
4. Must have carpool line.

Number 4 only became part of this list after the twins were born and I couldn't imagine myself schlepping the twins in and out of the car every morning and afternoon on school days, could you imagine? Otherwise I would welcome the opportunity to walk her to her class everyday. (Not to mention carpool lines in general are not very environmentally friendly.)

Now with us not attending a school at a church, we don't have our own parking lot, therefore our carpool line is on the road in front of the school, with traffic passing as we load and unload. Some of the parents allow their children out of their seats before reaching the drop off spots. It's not like they drive blocks with their children hopping around the car or hanging out of the windows and sunroof but still, they are unrestrained while the car is moving, not far or fast, but moving nonetheless. Then, I can't help but ask myself, what if someone hits their car from behind not realizing they are waiting on carpool? I just can't wrap my brain around this and have only unbuckled the Munchkin once myself. My car was in park, it was raining, and the teacher was headed for our car so I thought it would help to have her ready to hop out. Other than that, she remains buckled until the teacher takes her from the car.

This is in no way meant to judge anyone for their ideas or the way they do things. Husband has different views on this topic than I do and once wanted to know if he could leave the girls in the car while he ran inside to get take out at the Mexican Restaurant. Granted the car would be parked 15 feet from the front door, but I wouldn't do it, he would.

So, am I super paranoid, over the top protective mama? Or should these other parents practice a little more safety when it comes to carpool lines?


Trista said...

There are a few moms in our carpool line that DO let the kids hang out the sunroof.

Michelle said...

Unrestrained children are my pet peeve. I worked at a bank before and you would be appaled at the number of small children completely unrestrained! You are not paraniod!

BTW, what is MDO?

I'm a Mom!..? said...

Trista -- I've seen the sunroof thing too!

MDO -- Moms Day Out

A Mom to Two Lil' Ones said...

I'm in complete agreement with you.

Heather S. said...

I agree with you too. And I would never even consider leaving my kisd in the car unattended. Not even to run in the gas station and grab a drink or something. You just never know what kind of maniac is waiting around the corner watching! You can never be too safe in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

"Better safe than sorry", and "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" comes to mind. I seem to remember a news story about a mom who went inside a 'Quik Mart' and someone stole her car with the baby inside in it's carseat. He later (while driving on the highway) tried to toss the baby out but it got tangled somehow and was dragged along. Sorry, I don't remember the outcome. It's just not worth the risk though. You are doing a great job!
Much love,
Your Aunt

Anonymous said...

I'm totally with you on this. And you're NOT paranoid. It's a bad idea to leave kids in the car unattended too. A few months ago, a mother was killed because she'd left her sleeping baby in the car while she was "just" running into the cell store to pay her bill. At the entrance, two men pulled a knife on her to steal her car. Since she had the baby in the car, she refused to give them her keys, so they stabbed her to death.

Obviously, that's the exception to the rule, but every year children are taken with stolen cars because parents left them in the backseat and the thief doesn't notice the kid.

Who's paranoid now?

Little Man knows that he has to go in with me always, and I've told him that I'd be a bad mother if I left him in the car. A few weeks ago, we were at CVS pharmacy and I noticed the minivan next to my car was left running with an asleep baby in the backseat. I opened my big mouth and told Little Man, who was so shocked, he told me to call the cops to report the bad mom.

He's very obviously my child... :)

random_mommy said...

I know... I know. The same thing went through my head when I saw little boy hanging out of the sunroof... all I could think about was a truck crashing into them and ugh. Made me sick. I guess people forget that a moving car can hit a parked one?

Candice said...

I have seen this too in carpool. At A's school, the carpool line does this "snake" thing around the parking lot and I have seen many unbuckled kids far back in line. What appalls me even more is that I also see parents letting their child climb into the front seat while in car pool. That gets me more than anything. Don't they know think of what would happen if the air bags deploy?? My kids stay buckled until we get to the front of the line.

BTW, I have seen the sunroof thing too!!