We recently graduated Dude #2 from his booster seat.
He is 8.
Dude #3 has another 3 years before he can get out of his. Unless he reaches 4’9 first (which is a possibility since at age 5 he is 4’1).
That’s the child safety seat law in the state of Maryland:
Children under 8 to ride in an appropriate child restraint, unless the child is 4’9″ or taller. Child restraint includes car seats and booster seats and other federally approved safety devices.
Because car crashes are the leading cause of death for children age 1 through 12 years old. And, child safety seats save lives.
That’s what the U.S. Department of Transportation, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and Safety 1st need parents to know. That using a car seat can save your child’s life.
Even though your kids hate them, even though they are expensive, and annoyingly big, and take up a bunch of space in your car.
There was a point in our lives when we had three car seats in our car. It’s the reason we purchased a larger vehicle; because fitting three car seats in the back seat of a Volkswagen Jetta just isn’t happening. Not if you plan to drive it. Or have an adult passenger with legs and a torso. Uh-uh.
But, keeping The Dudes safe is worth the extra car payment, and more important than saving money on gas. And, as far as I’m concerned, letting my kids ride around in the car unharnessed is like giving them a cigarette to smoke, or pouring them a shot of tequila on their 5th birthday: against the law and really, really stupid.
Probably that’s dramatic, but you get the picture. I can reason out why some parents avoid vaccines. I get why people homeschool. But, there’s just nothing a grown adult can say to convince me that using a car seat is a bad idea.
You need to do it. You just do.
Even on short trips, even when you think nothing can happen, even when you’re planning to drive slow.
Let me tell you a little story.
Once upon a time, not long ago, when people wore pajamas and lived life slow.
Okay, it was only like 5 years ago. I was pregnant with #3 and #2 was two. I was tired. I was uncomfortable. We were late for school and it was raining. I threw #2 in the back seat of our car, handed him his sippy cup, and told him to just sit on his car seat because Mommy didn’t have time to buckle him. We were just going to the bus stop to drop #1; he’d be fine. And he was. But then, when it was time to drive the TWO BLOCKS home, he slid off the seat to get a toy from the ground at the exact moment some stupid bunny ran across the street. I hit the breaks (not hard, I was only going 15mph), and he fell forward in the car, hitting his mouth on the armrest between the seats. Split his gums wide open. So much blood. And tears. And regret.
Because all I had to do was take 2 seconds to buckle him up, and I didn’t.
I want you to.
That’s why this Child Passenger Safety Week I’m giving you the opportunity to win a car seat.
One winner will be given their choice of one of the following car seats from Safety 1st:
Elite 80 Air+ 3-in-1 Car Seat: The Elite 80 works in rear-facing mode for babies 5-40 pounds, then converts to forward-facing with harness, but features an extended weight range to keep children safely in harness all the way to 80 pounds. In its 3rd mode, the Elite 80 goes beyond the traditional convertible seat to convert into a belt-positioning booster car seat for children up to 100 pounds.
Advance 70 Air + Convertible Car Seat: This convertible car seat was inspired by race car drivers. Air Protect+ combines Safety 1st Air Protect® Technology with GCell HX™ – hexagonal rebounding foam used in the body of the car seat to protect the child from the multiple hits that occur in crashes. Coupled with this is the placement of Air Protect® Technology which takes crash forces away from a child’s head. Rear facing for babies 5-40lbs, front facing up to 70lbs.
BoostAPak Belt-Positioning Booster Car Seat: The BoostAPak is designed to help keep kids in boosters longer, as it’s often hard to get an older child to stay in his or her booster seat. This booster seat also doubles as a backpack! For children 4 to 7 years old.