In yoir opinion...

nataliem257

New member
I think you could ask this question about ANY parenting decision. It just happens that asking it here on car-seat.org makes it be about the best/safest car seats. If you asked on a breastfeeding forum, you'd get the same sort of discussion of why people don't breastfeed, and on a natural birth forum, why people don't have natural births, etc.

I wish I knew why people didn't try their hardest on any given topic, but they just don't. It's probably a very unique combination of experiences that makes any one person interested in one specific issue, so that you can't tease out any rhyme or reason. And I don't think that in most cases, it is global "not caring" or "not researching." As you can see, some parents obsess over germs but don't care about car safety.
You see, I think that is the exact reason why most people don't care. People lump car seat fanatics in with the other mommy war issues and think it's just hyper dramatics. The difference being, giving your baby a bottle isn't going to rip their skull from their spine. In fact it's more than likely not going to hurt your kid at all. In fact, car seat safety is not even close to being comparable to the two issues you just mentioned. The more we can do to make people stop lumping it in with those other issues and start comparing it more to putting a life jacket on a kid who can't swim, or holding your toddlers hand in a busy parking lot, the sooner perception will change.


P.s. I'm not suggesting that breastfeeding isn't an important issue, only that the importance pales in comparison to this topic.
 
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Gidgetc13

New member
I think a lot of people just really don't know what a car seat does. Like someone else mentioned, it is just seen as a device that holds a kid in a car that you are legally required to have until your child is a certain age. I know I had no clue why babies needed to be RF until I started to research the next car seat for my oldest when I was getting ready to move her out of her infant seat. I knew it was required by law until the age of 1 but that was about it. I was planning on just buying a FF seat but then I found out about ERF and about WHY it is best for children to RF. I knew nothing about how car seats absorb forces in a crash or any of that. I am so, so thankful that I didn't just run out and buy another car seat based on reviews I read on Amazon. Now that I know better, it drives me crazy that people will spend hours of research and hundreds of dollars on a stroller and then buy the cheapest car seat they can find without giving it any thought. I think most of my family thinks I'm a little crazy when it comes to car seats, but I once posted a video on Facebook about why RF is safest and my father in law later told me he watched it and now it all makes sense to him. People just don't know, and for whatever reason don't care to find out about car seats. I think part of it might be because this is something that is seen as being forced on them because it is required by law and therefore they are going to do the bare minimum.
 

LISmama810

Admin - CPS Technician
I think most people truly don't understand crash dynamics. They don't understand the forces involved, they don't understand how bodies react, they don't understand how a seatbelt can cause injuries, etc. It's not something people spend much time thinking about, and if they don't get WHY it's important, I can see how they wouldn't care. Most people think child restraints are meant to give kids somewhere to sit. They don't understand the reasoning behind them.

Plus, most people will never be in a crash more extensive than a fender-bender, so in a way the "it won't happen to me" mentality is actually likely to be true (of course, if they're wrong, they're really wrong).
 

jennzee

New member
I know I had no clue why babies needed to be RF until I started to research the next car seat for my oldest when I was getting ready to move her out of her infant seat. I knew it was required by law until the age of 1 but that was about it. I was planning on just buying a FF seat but then I found out about ERF and about WHY it is best for children to RF. I knew nothing about how car seats absorb forces in a crash or any of that. I am so, so thankful that I didn't just run out and buy another car seat based on reviews I read on Amazon.

Choosing to the do a bit of research was a turning point for you...what do you think prompted you to actually take the initiative to do the research? Most of my friends do like you mentioned...hop on Amazon and pick the cheapest one with the best reviews, or choose the one that's cutest, without any regard for how useful it will actually be for their specific situation.

I think most people truly don't understand crash dynamics. They don't understand the forces involved, they don't understand how bodies react, they don't understand how a seatbelt can cause injuries, etc.

This was something we talked about last night. Dh brought up a similar argument to the one above about being educated about other parenting choices, but when it comes down to it, those aren't really black and white issues, nor are they life and death (or serious injury) issues. There are fair arguments on both sides of those kinds of issues, whether you agree with them or not. But the physics of what happen in a crash can't really be argued and you can't choose which of those forces are going to apply to you when your number comes up and you're the one involved in an accident.
 

SnoGurl

New member
I fully admit to coming here not because of 'Omg what if we get in an accident' but 'Omg, that thing is huge how in the world do I make it fit in my car??'

I didn't really understand crash dynamics until taking the tech course.
 

jennzee

New member
I fully admit to coming here not because of 'Omg what if we get in an accident' but 'Omg, that thing is huge how in the world do I make it fit in my car??'

I didn't really understand crash dynamics until taking the tech course.

Yeah, crash dynamics, as far as specifics, make my head spin. It makes logical sense to me, but really understanding them at a functional level...nope, I don't.

I imagine your latter statement is the type of thing that drives most people here rather than worry about an accident. I just wish more people worried enough about things like that to actually ask, which in turn starts the process of learning more. Why aren't they?
 

SnoGurl

New member
Yeah, crash dynamics, as far as specifics, make my head spin. It makes logical sense to me, but really understanding them at a functional level...nope, I don't.

I imagine your latter statement is the type of thing that drives most people here rather than worry about an accident. I just wish more people worried enough about things like that to actually ask, which in turn starts the process of learning more. Why aren't they?

I think people do ask, they just ask the wrong people. Like I said above about learning to parent, i'd ask my mom many parenting questions. However, i'm not that old and fully remember riding around on a lawn chair in a conversion van until my dad got around to putting in a bench seat. Sooo... yeah, not awesome.

And even people who do want info aren't getting it-- I did a check the other day for a girl that came to me in tears. She went to our local police department hoping to have her infant seat checked and was told 'no, sorry' and was handed a CD and told 'this will tell you everything you need to know'. Admittedly, I haven't watched the CD, but I doubt it told her everything she needed to know.
 

hesgimenez

New member
While pregnant I researched seats. But I also knew nothing about how kids grow. I bought what I thought was a great seat. Before DS was a year old, I learned while my seat was good, it was far from ideal. I made better decisions with all future seat purchases.

I think it's like that for a lot of people. They believe they are doing a great job with carseats. Some eventually stumble upon a forum that educates them further (what happened with me. Sadly I'm not even sure which forum it was). And a good amount don't. Some in that group learn from friends-I know I helped educate others.
 

tjham

New member
I made a lot of mistakes with my grown kids, as far as car seats go, but there wasn't the information available then, like there is now. When it came time for car seats for my grand kids around 13 years ago, I was already pretty good at looking things up online and wow! How things had changed! I figure if an old lady like me can find the best information, it's pretty sad that so many young people nowadays (Don't cha love that old word?) don't even try...:(
 

Stacy

New member
Like Gidgetc13 said, I also had no clue until my oldest was outgrowing the bucket and I was looking for the next step car seat. And when I was pregnant with her, we chose a travel system based on the stroller that came with it, because I liked the 3 wheel design!

I think that driving is just such a normal part of daily life that it really dosen't seem very dangerous. And as far as not spending time researching seats, I gotta say that I see why most people don't put a lot of thought into it. Because as all the techs here will say, all the seats pass a federal standard. It makes sense then that most people will just pick by price and color.

Some parents will put their focus on other things instead, but for me it is the car. To be honest, I am not that concerned or passionate about car safety in general. I just worry about my kids being in a car accident, so I do the best I can in that area.
 

LC2003

New member
You see, I think that is the exact reason why most people don't care. People lump car seat fanatics in with the other mommy war issues and think it's just hyper dramatics. The difference being, giving your baby a bottle isn't going to rip their skull from their spine. In fact it's more than likely not going to hurt your kid at all. In fact, car seat safety is not even close to being comparable to the two issues you just mentioned. The more we can do to make people stop lumping it in with those other issues and start comparing it more to putting a life jacket on a kid who can't swim, or holding your toddlers hand in a busy parking lot, the sooner perception will change.


P.s. I'm not suggesting that breastfeeding isn't an important issue, only that the importance pales in comparison to this topic.

But everyone has to get that baby out of their body, and feed that baby, and yet lots of people don't research that stuff, which is definitely going to happen to them. Very few people will get into a serious car accident, and most people avoid thinking about sad stuff, so it makes sense that they would never research car seats.
 

henrietta

New member
Frankly, b/c 99.9% of the time (or even more) absolutely NOTHING of consequence happens while they are in the car. So, they think nothing will happen. We become complacent. Plus, most people don't realize that the car is the most dangerous thing they do in a days or that car wrecks are a leading cause of death & serious injury for unrestrained kids OR their lives are so full & stressful (not that ours aren't), that they don't put time into *anything* like this. Poverty in many areas is a huge factor as well. There are many people that $50 is too much. Poverty makes anything and everything harder to think through and deal with.

Also, it's really hard to imagine that car seats will be so da** difficult. For most people, they make all kinds of mistakes. They really should be easier to use and install. Obviously, reading the instructions sure helps, but with every seat being different many instruction manuals so long, overly detailed, and not that easy to follow, I can see why people don't read them.
 

henrietta

New member
I was talking about this during a check the other day, the girl suggested it was because we learn so much of our parenting skills from our parents, and she thought car safety was one of the things that haad changed the most, in the shortest period of time. I thought that was interesting.

That makes a lot of sense. :)
 

SafeDad

CPSDarren - Admin
Staff member
I think a good part of it is thinking it won't happen to me, and that if your kid is in any sort of car seat then that's safe enough.

Yup. Cars change people's behavior. It empowers many to the point to where they feel invincible. Witness otherwise normal people turning into complete road rage machines, or doing incredibly stupid things like texting or drinking while driving. The same people who would be shocked at any equally risky type of behavior in other situations.

The second issue is that almost every parent thinks their choices are above question when it comes to their own children. That they didn't research buying the carseat beyond a fashion choice isn't a big deal, as everything on the shelf is going to be very safe if installed and used correctly. The problem is that everyone is also an expert and doesn't need to read any manuals or spend any significant time to learn how to use any product. If there had been an included manual on raising baby safely, it would probably be untouched as well:(

The vast majority that couldn't set up a VCR and record a show is no different with a carseat. But you can be sure they don't leave their toddlers unattended around a tub of water, sharp knives, matches, poisons or firearms. Which is weird because except for drowning, all the other causes of unintentional injury combined don't add up to the number of motor vehicle crash fatalities:-( I think most people just don't understand the actual risks like Car-Seat.Org and CarseatBlog readers do;-)
 

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