Car Seat Safety

A comment was made to Gwennie by one of the teachers at her school yesterday, whilst she was getting into the car at car pool line.
It really got me thinking and inspired me to write.

Teacher: “Do you have a baby at home? Or are you the baby?”
Gwennie: “No? Why do you ask that?”
Teacher: “Because you have a baby seat instead of a big girl seat.”

Gwennie is 5 years old. She weighs 39lbs. In my car she travels in a forward-facing convertible car-seat with a 5-point harness.
She has a booster seat in my husband’s car.

The reason I haven’t put her in a booster seat in my car is because she still fits perfectly into the car-seat…. she can strap herself in easily, which is very useful during busy car pool when I can’t leap out to help her, plus, despite the fact she is already 5 years old, she is not yet 40Lbs which is the recommended weight (along with the age of 4 years) to move up to a booster seat.

Honestly, I think the 5-point harness is much a safer dealio. Gwennie is very petite and I am not entirely comfortable with her being in a booster seat yet. Also, her convertible car-seat is made to hold her up until she weighs 70lbs. I notice that in some States they require that a child stay in a forward-facing car-seat between the ages of 4-7 years.

I wish I was a little quicker with my wit and tongue. I was rather taken aback when this faculty member made fun of G being in a “baby seat” still. In fact, she made me feel a bit of an idiot and rather inferior, until I had time to think about why I choose to keep G in a car-seat. Let’s face it, she mostly rides with me and we drive 25 miles each way to school every day in rush-hour traffic. Personally, I think she looks and feels a lot more comfortable in her car-seat… plus it is a heck of a lot safer.

Fortunately for me, Gwennie was unperturbed by the comments made. I would have been cross if she had suddenly decided that she didn’t want to be in her seat anymore because of some thoughtless remarks!

What do you think??? Am I being a helicopter mum?

11 thoughts on “Car Seat Safety

  1. Not at all! Jessica is in a car seat that most of my friends consider to be a “baby seat”. It is a booster seat, but has the back and head support attached. Whilst most of her friends only use the base or no seat all, I prefer for her to stay as she is. She’s comfortable, the right weight for the seat and most importantly, protected.
    The safety of a child is not something to be taken lightly and we shouldn’t feel we have to conform to what looks nicer or what the majority is using.
    As long as YOU, her parents know what is the right equipment at the right time then let people say what they like!

  2. Would have “pissed’ me off also. That was lack of thought for the potential outcome from such a question. A smile and a question to you “Do they make these seats strong enough for gals Gwennies size now” or ” Do, You prefer this to a booster seat?” would have got you thinking and not putting the wrong thoughts into Gwennies mind. Something is missing in this teachers training. Definitely not helicopter mum!

  3. I’m completely with you Sarah. I kept Izzy in her first rear-facing baby car seat for way longer than any of her friends, as she’s petite and it was still perfectly fine for her. Same goes for her current 5-point harness seat like Gwennie’s. Height is just as important a factor as weight, and while they still fit in these ones they are far safer. So long as you’re using a car seat, I don’t think it has anything to do with the teacher which car seat you choose.

  4. I am absolutely appalled by the teacher’s insensitive remarks. For one thing, it has nothing to do with her what seat you choose to use, and for another, poking fun at a child and asking her if she is the baby is downright rude and extremely unhelpful. As you rightly say, this could well have caused you many problems with Gwennie potentially refusing to use her car seat. I totally agree with you, you have a long journey every day in rush-hour traffic, and frankly Gwennie’s safety is by far the most important factor. She is very petite and is much more comfortable and safe travelling in her seat. I would be inclined to put the teacher in her place for making such insensitive and stupid remarks!

  5. I meant to reply sooner because I feel so passionate about this car seat safety thing! I have also heard such comment. Taylor just reached 40 lbs and I just put her in a high back booster after reading tons of reviews and stalking for months to make the transition. My mom was in a car accident when I was younger and they literally sat our family down and told us she had broken the same vertabrae in her neck that Christopher Reeve had broken and there was a possibility she would never walk again. It puts all things in perspective an gratefully from amazing surgeons, her fighting spirit, and the grace of God she is more active than ever just with a whole lotta hardware in her neck! So for me when it comes to this car seat thing I feel I have seen what could happen and even though my mom is fine today why would I not take every possible precaution. I think people would be lots less judgmental if they knew, really knew people’s stories. I think there are things that shape people decisions based on their stories and I am not saying to operate out of fear but I choose to make car safety a priority from the car I choose to drive to the seats I put my kids in. I think any faculty member who saw pictures of Gwennie waterskiing would think twice before calling her a baby again!! I wish people would assume less and be slower to judge. I too always wish I was quicker on my feet in those situations. I always think of the best thing to say 10 minutes later! Sarah you are a fabulous mom who lets Gwennie do plenty of adventurous things! How about sending her down a mountain on snow skis!! But, trust your motherly instincts! If you feel better about her in a car seat, keep her there! You have your reasons regardless of what anyone says. Lots of LOVE!

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