The Car-Seat Warriors.

I am irked by a blog post I just read... Not sure everyone will be, but I am really annoyed at how society drums up the ever-knowledgable high-n-mighty stat-batters in their droves with the sole purpose of making those who don't/won't/can't comply feel like utter shit. *Complete with shouty capital letters at you, YES YOU, you fool* I despair.

Let me start from the top. 

I've read a post which was interesting, and I took on board what they said. I disagreed to an extent, but still. Then I read someone's comment which, again, was fine and completely valid as their opinion. Then, however, I saw the OP (Original Poster/blogger) reply to the comment regarding 'insanity'.

"Sometimes the Unavoidable Happens" - a post written by a car-seat blogging lady on a mission. Which is amazing. Kudos to someone so fiercely into the cause of rear facing car seats. I also happen to agree with the majority of the posts and opinions written by the blogger. I am also an advocate of rear-facing seats myself as tests have, indeed, proven that forward facing ones do more harm than good in a baby/small child in the instance of a frontal crash/collision. In fact, in 2016 the law is changing to enforce that rear facing seats will be used for longer periods of time compared to the 9 months we're all used to at the moment. 

The post centres around the law stating that children can travel without a car seat in a taxi and how there is NO EXCUSE never to have a spare and that us parent's "really... really...shouldn't be" OK with not having one. This taxi law is "a terrible one", "verging on ancient" and "frankly, should be re-written". Oh the "insanity" of it all. 

I could practically feel the nobbly knuckles of knowledge poking my rib cage as I read. What kind of a moron would I be to take my child in a taxi without the spare seat I forgot to put in my back pocket that morning? 

Here's my viewpoint - I don't drive. I’d be housebound if I had to take Finley in a car seat in a taxi. When I say housebound... 

Take shopping (in general, around town), for example. If I took a spare car seat with me, were do I put it when I arrive at my destination and put baby in the pram? (I was using a travel system for a while but as my littlun is now 9 months old, the car seat that comes with it is far too narrow for his growing body) There are no places to store the seat I travelled with him in. 

Take shopping (at a supermarket), if I take baby in the pram – how do I push the pram and a trolley at the same time? If I take baby in a car seat in a taxi to the supermarket – what if there are no trolleys with the bases that allow for them to be attached (trust me, they are seriously limited by us), where do I put him? I can’t carry him in the seat and push a trolley. I could pop him in the flip out seat of the trolley but then the trolley is full of stored car seat before I’ve reached the banana’s in the first aisle! 

I have and use a (rear-facing!) car seat when travelling with family in their cars, and I also use it when using a taxi directly to my destination that requires no walking when I’m there too.

I get the point of “back then” and our knowledge of child safety in cars changing and I’m not of the “it won’t happen to me” mentality either. Sometimes, needs must. I’m not at all saying that shopping or getting out and about is more important than child-safety, I’m simply saying that just because recommendations change, it doesn’t mean every-day life does. 

It's far from ideal but sometimes you simply HAVE to travel (sometimes at no notice) without a spare seat in your back pocket. I just feel that if that law wasn’t there for people like me, I could literally be stuck indoors so I thank the law on this one. Until it changes to taxi's needing mandatory, weight suitable, car seats within their shells then I thank the law on this one. Until your ASDA's, Tesco's and shopping villages etc have some kind of PAYG storage sheds or pram bays, yes, I thank the law on this one. 

I don't find that insane. What's insane is how taxi's, shopping outlets or the general public who disagree with the law don't think about people like me but the government, for once, does!

25 comments:

  1. Personally jo I think I could fit one in my handbag. Take it to work for when I pick liv up on the days I get a taxi home! I totally agree with you that idea is so unpractical for us with no cars. Also as you know your self it is utterly terrifying putting a baby on your knee in a taxi without a carseat without others telling us we are bad parents for doing so xx

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  2. Great post. I think sometimes there are things that have to be done for the good of everyone in the family, and although they may not be ideal we really shouldn't make each other feel guilty for them.

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  3. Great post. My kid's are teenagers now and i tried to avoid taking my kid's in a taxi without using a car seat as much as possible, but it was not always easy.

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  4. Emotive subject to be sure and one that will always polarise the debate...

    I don't think that anyone seriously doubts that child car seats perform a vital role in protecting our kids on the roads today or that children are anywhere near as safe on a lap as in a seat. I also don't think anyone is stating that all adults should be expected to juggle 2 toddlers, whilst carrying multiple car seats around, do the weekly shop and get a taxi home (although I also suspect that not many of us are able to afford to take a taxi everywhere we go anyway!)

    Surely the point here is that, if legislation were to be changed and child seats in taxi's made mandatory (which I believe it should be), then it should be implemented in such a way that it would/should be the responsibility of the taxi firm to provide an appropriate car seat and get them regularly checked (MOT style) to ensure that our little ones are as safe as they can possibly be?

    As a father of 3 and the only driver of the family, it's my responsibility to ensure that the kids are properly and safely secured and it's me who bears the brunt of the wrath of the law f they're not. Surely taxi companies have the same responsibility and same duty of care to their passengers...

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  5. wow... I never actually thought of this before. I understand about planning head but sometimes you just don't know.

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  6. I've had to use taxi's without a car seat loads of times and I absolutely hate it. But unfortunately there are times when there's just no other way or I'd be stuck in the house thinking about all the things I need to get done but can't because I don't drive :(

    Louise x

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  7. I can't drive so i would be in the exact same situation as you. My hubby can drive but he works so I realie on him a lot and my dad to take me places. Baby is due this month so we should see how everything will work for us going places

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  8. I don't have children nor will I ever have children but when I was growing up there was no such thing as car seats - I definitely never had one! I can imagine they're quite expensie and bulky so to have a "spare" for all the occassions when you need one is just silly. It doesn't make you a bad parent...

    Simone | Thirty Something OAP

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  9. I too don't drink and I complete agree with you. It's not as simple as as they should be in a car seat in a taxi. Sometime it just isn't possible and I like you would probably be house bound. Great post x

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  10. What?! That is actually an argument someone made?! Surely it's much easier for a taxi to carry a spare in the boot than parents to lug one around when they get to where they're going.

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  11. I always thought taxi companies would have a spare car seat with them!

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  12. I agree 100%. I had two toddlers and a new born, there was no way I could carry around 3 car seats, a double pram AND the kids! IMPOSSIBLE! Great post! xx

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  13. Very thought provoking indeed, & I totally agree with your point of view. However, I believe you can buy inflatable booster seats - just saying!! ;)

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  14. Whilst I think that child safety is such a huge issue and one that shouldn't be ignored I actually cringe when I see and hear about all the red tape there is for parents these days. Back in the 90's when I was growing up we didn't have spare car seats and I don't remember having a booster or anything and I went on some LONG car journeys with my dad.

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  15. It's obviously not practical for parents to carry car seats on the off chance that you might have to get a taxi. I suppose it's also quite difficult for a taxi to carry car seats in their boot, since different children would require different size of car seat. I don't really know what the solution would be, but being critical of parents for not carrying a carseat everywhere is definitely not of any help!

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  16. Our car seat is massive for my three year old. I agree that there are everyday factors that need to be taken into consideration. I don't like the shaming by criticising something that is quite difficult to do in real, everyday situations.

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  17. I wondered about taxi rides, and looked this up a few weeks ago. I thought the law was sensible on the point that sometimes you need to travel and a car seat isn't available. I haven't read the blog post, but I get the gist from what your saying. Some common sense is needed from time to time

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  18. I can't believe anyone would actually carry a spare car seat around with them! What if you have more than one child to provide a seat for? Food for thought though - thanks for sharing.

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  19. An interesting topic, as someone who doesn't have children and who can't imagine not being able to drive, this isn't the kind of thing that ever comes into my thoughts. But I can definitely see your point, it is rather ridiculous to be expected to carry a car seat around with you. Taxi's should definitely provide them, or be able to on request!

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  20. Carry a spare! Ha! I can barely carry out car seat from one car to another it's so heavy! As others have said, if the law changes it will surely be down to the taxi firm to provide a car seat if requested. I do think this should happen. But not the parent travel with s spare! When I was ion holiday we got a taxi from the airport and the driver stopped somewhere to pick up a seat, a was super impressed! X

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  21. That was a crazy post to write in the first place!! I don't like that she attacked parents, who are always just doing their best, and suggesting that anyone could carry a car seat with them is just ridiculous! ๐Ÿ˜Š It's horrible to read someone having at go at what you do as a mother - people can be so self-righteous. If the original poster feels so strongly about this issue, a more productive approach would be to write to her MP.

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  22. Fantastic post. My boys are teenagers now but I always used a car seat and hated getting a bus/taxi/train as we could not have a car seat.

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