Parenting is full on, let’s just be real, and let’s just be honest. Some days make sense whilst other days feel like a total blur. Therefore, we as parents try our best to sneak in those “short cuts”. You know those little things we do or say in order to survive being sucked into the parenting vortex.
SHORT CUT LIVING
Short cuts could range from small innocent things through to more potentially serious things :
1 ) Giving into your child’s tantrum by giving them what they want , because quite frankly you’ve had a long day , and you don’t have enough energy to discipline a toddler, never mind string a real sentence together.
2 ) Putting on the T.V and letting your little ones get lost in a movie, whilst you sip on some tea and reflect on your sanity.
3 ) Letting your kids eat unhealthy takeaways, because there is no time to cook a meal, never mind finding the time to go and shop for actual groceries.
4 ) Telling small lies to your children as a means of keeping it real. “The park is closed now. The toy shop ran out of toys. The jungle gym is broken and needs to be fixed.”
Then the dangerous short cuts…….
5 ) Letting your toddler or little ones sit in the car without being placed into a carseat that is age appropriate, through to letting them sit on your lap whilst you drive, through to letting them dance around on the backseat.
Because : “It will be safe and nothing will happen to us, it’s just down the road, I am driving slowly and carefully….”
- Most car accidents happen just down the road.
- Even if you are driving slowly and carefully, it doesn’t mean that others will too.
- In an accident, your weight is multiplied by the speed you are traveling.
- If it’s just down the road, then just strap them into their carseat or walk, or ride a bike together.
- National statistics show that 85 % of children in South Africa, travel in cars without wearing their seat belts.
THE TRUTH ABOUT SHORT CUTS
The truth is there are NO short cuts when it comes to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our little people. It can take one moment, when we least expect it, to alter and change the course of our families. When I was in high school a friend of mine was knocked off his motorbike and severely injured, so much so that he died hours later.
Whilst mourning him, I could not help but think about his parents and his siblings. I kept thinking to myself ; “His mom will never see him matriculate, his mom will never see him get married or become a dad through to seeing or having grandchildren from him. How on earth will this mother survive without her son?”
Scary thoughts that I cannot even begin to fathom. The reality is that life is so short, and it is very unpredictable, yet we forget that and live with a sense of immortality.
WHATEVER IT TAKES
We cannot control the inevitable, but we can ensure to the best of our ability that our little people are safe whenever they are in our care. I don’t know about you, but I never want to live with regret and live with thoughts of :
“If only I had… If only I had strapped him… If only I just bought a second hand carseat… If only I truly let the voices behind this campaign inspire and motivate me to put my child’s safety first before any shortcut.”
We aren’t here to judge or condemn one another (theres enough of that going on in and around the world) rather we are here to encourage , equip, motivate and empower you as the parent of little people to make a stand with us , and do something practical , and positive when it comes to the car safety of your little ones.
HOW CAN I HELP SPREAD THIS MESSAGE?
Often we read articles like this, and shrug it off thinking ; “That’s so sweet of them, but how will this blog post make an impact?” The thing is , is that this is not ‘another blog post.’ It’s so much more than that. It’s about getting a fresh revelation that as parents, and friends of families that we all need to spread this message. The message ; “that children need to be strapped in safely into their carseats”.
Let’s all be actively involved in this movement until it becomes the norm!
Here’s how you can help spread this message :
SHARE THE ONLINE LOVE
- Every like , share , comment on this campaign helps to spread the message of Car Seat Full Stop and it has the power to save a little life by changing mindsets. Find CarseatFullstop on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or sign up for their newsletter (there may even be a Volvo carseat up for grabs – just saying!)
DONATE SECOND HAND CARSEATS
- Wheel Well is an organisation that takes in second-hand car seats and refurbishes them so that they can be made a 100% safe, and they dispose of those that cannot be restored. The safe seats are then made available to those who cannot afford a car seat otherwise, for either a donation or for a minimal fee. Volvo Car South Africa is actively involved in helping Wheel Well to achieve this goal. You can drop your second-hand car seat at any Volvo Cars dealer throughout South Africa and they will get it to Wheel Well for the Car Seats for Kids initiative. If you have an old carseat collecting dust , then why not donate it? If you can’t afford to buy a new carseat, then why not go to wheel well?
FEEL EMPOWERED BY STAYING INFORMED
- I must say that I thought I knew quite a bit when it came to car safety for children. But once I made a commitment to be a voice to this campaign, I could not help but feel overwhelmed by all the scary truths and facts that came along with it. Yet, on the other hand it has empowered and encouraged me even more so to continue at making more informed , wise decisions when it comes to my son and his safety. If you would like to find out more regarding carseat safety then may I encourage you to read through Volvo’s Free Children and Cars Manual.