I am always shocked and dismayed when I see a child in a car who is not secured. I just can not understand why people do not buckle up their children. I wonder if these people know how irresponsible it is for them to endanger their kids this way. I wonder if people know how close to death their kid is when they standing on the backseat of a car moving at 30 mph?
A simple tap of the brakes because of a slowed truck making a left-hand turn will send their kid hurtling forward like a launched missile. The best that can be hoped for is a face full of lacerations from a shattered windshield and the worst is the unspeakable.
It is one thing for an adult to make the decision for themself that they are willing to trade comfort for the risk of broken bones, shattered spleens, and spinal cord injuries. But children unknowingly trust the adults around them to provide safety and security. It is the rare 4 year old who can say “I am not happy with this safety program today. So, mom, can you please put me in the car seat and buckle it correctly.”
No, 4 year olds do not make statements like that and they should not be expected to. It is up to the adults around them to make sure they are in the car seat and the car seat is buckled in correctly. Today’s car seats are incredibly well designed and even in heavily damaged vehicles buckled in children tend to avoid serious injury. But, it is pointless to secure a child in a car seat if the car seat is not secured to the seat. In a broadside accident or a rollover the child and seat together will invariably be thrown from the car. If parents are unsure how to correctly fasten the car seat they can go to most state or local police stations to get help in doing so.
If people do not think this type of misfortune can befall them, I only wish they could spend one weekend with me in a Level 1 trauma center next to a highway. What they would witness would curdle their blood and I would bet cure them of any misconceptions about what can and can not happen.
Copyright 2006 Insidesurgery.com