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Why do people not use child restraining systems?

10/06/2015

This is why the Spanish Traffic Department reminded us just a few weeks ago, of the need to use them at all times. During 2013, four children under 12 years of age, that were not using any form of child restraining system, died in road traffic accidents. It seems incredible but it’s true. The use of child seats is obligatory and as adults, our concern should not simply be the question of legality, or that we may receive a fine but because they provide a proven effectiveness in ensuring that our children travel in safety.

It is the adult’s responsibility to care for and protect our children. Children cannot decide for themselves, above all because in most cases they don’t know when they are in danger or how to avoid it. A child without a child restraining system is not protected in the car, so when braking hard or in an accident, inertia will cause them to be thrown around causing them to hit anything inside the car, or they may even be thrown through a window and out of the car completely. The consequences of which would be very serious.

Although it is obligatory to use a child restraining system and it has been proved to be the safest option, why are there still people that don’t use them? There are various excuses.

“The seats are expensive” This in part is true and cannot be denied, but it is also true that every day there are more choices and more affordable options available to choose from. It is often necessary to use different seats according to age, weight and the height of a child, designed to cover different age groups as the child grows. As they grow it is almost impossible that one seat would cover them until they reach the required height to be able to use the vehicle’s seatbelt. It is worth remembering that that the seat is not just another expense, it is an investment in the safety of our child, isn’t this the most important thing?

“A child seat is not necessary”, for example by using the old argument that “the child is safer in my arms”. Unfortunately in reality as demonstrated by crash testing and the laws of physics, this is not true. When we brake hard in an accident, the deceleration is so rapid that inertia will force the child from the mother’s arms however strong she is.

“It’s only for a minute...it’s a short trip…it’s just around the corner…I’m not leaving town”  None of these are valid excuses. Accidents still happen in towns and although they may be at lower speeds making them less severe, it is still enough to cause a fatal accident. You must always use a seatbelt and where children are concerned you must always use a child seat with a harness or use the seatbelt.

“The seat is difficult to install…. it’s a pain”. It may be a little bit inconvenient to install and remove the seat but always remember that the safety of our child must come first. Once you learn how to install the seat it doesn’t take long at all and with the latest vehicles being equipped with the isofix system it is even quicker, easier and almost impossible to install it wrong.

“The child doesn’t like using a seat…he doesn’t like the seatbelt”. Whether they like it or not, they have to get used to it and learn that is necessary for their safety. If you teach a child from the start, they become accustomed to travelling in a seat with a harness or seatbelt and they will then have no problem in using it. If you also explain to them that it is for their safety, so they won’t get hurt and idea should be reinforced by you always using a seatbelt, even better.

Where child safety and protection is concerned, there are no excuses: a child restraining system must always be used.

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