My name is Brittany and I am car seat crazy. I wouldn’t go as far as to say I’m a “car seat nazi”… I don’t go hunting down moms in parking lots and lecturing them about how they aren’t properly buckling their kids. However, I do speak up to friends and family if I see something amiss.
Nobody likes unsolicited advice, which is why I avoid the strangers but I figure with my friends and family, I might be the only one who would let them know if they are making a car seat mistake. Now of course, my poor friends and family are getting unsolicited advice from me but there’s a reason why I feel like car seats are one area where I can be annoying.
I could obviously lecture parents about how they should do this or that on tons of topics. As a crunchy mama, there are plenty of areas where I have researched and feel like others need to know about it too. However, I generally try not to open my mouth unless asked about it simply because unless asked for, advice is rarely well received or accepted. Not to mention that some areas are just not important enough to get everyone upset over such as cloth vs. disposable diapers
, delaying grains
, vaccines. Everyone has their soapbox but for me I tend to skip the more “personal decision” topics.
I do make a fuss when it’s a legal issue (such as turning a baby forward facing before 1 years old)
or a potentially harmful issue (like kids under 4 years in a booster). I know many parents may get upset with me for calling them out; in fact I’ve actually had moms get upset with me. However, I feel like if something is serious enough to have a law for then it’s worthwhile to potentially upset someone over. Besides for every mom, I’ve had hate me for telling her that her child was buckled wrong, I’ve had at least 2 moms who have appreciated (or at least listened and changed their ways) what I had to say. For me, 2 kids being better protected in a car is worth the 1 kid whose mom thinks I’m crazy.
Another reason why I make a big deal over car seats is because it’s not often spoken of. This seems odd as it’s such a serious issue but really when it comes to the hot topics that are spoken/debated about in the parenting world, car seats aren’t generally one of them. If it’s not spoken about then nothing will change; kids won’t be saved and 4 out of 5 car seats will continue to be installed improperly. This ties in a lot with my crunchy world. When I had my first baby, I thought all the natural topics were weird or excessive. I remember thinking cloth diapers were a bit too much and delaying vaccines was extreme. However, the more I heard others talk about it and eventually the more I looked into it, I realized that this natural stuff had merit! Now, I’m glad that my friends talked about their cloth diapers and vaccine schedules. I do wish I had listened to them and checked things out the first time I heard those topics but perhaps I would not have changed my ways if it weren’t for that one person speaking up. How many times do we need to hear something before it really sinks in and we realize that it’s important? I’d rather be a small piece in the puzzle of changing someone’s life than a non-offending piece that did nothing.
That’s why I’m crazy about car seat safety. That’s why I message my friends on Facebook after I see a picture of an incorrectly buckled kid. I do it because car seats are serious; they aren’t trivial like if you use cloth diapers. They are serious like if you let your toddler play with matches. I do it because if I don’t speak up, then who will? What if I’m the only one who will tell this person about car seat safety? What if I’m the only one who might potentially save a child in an accident? I might get a lot of flack from speaking out, I might get crossed of a friend list but I also might be the one to help a parent realize how important car seat safety is. If more people spoke up about car seat safety then more people would realize it’s important and more car seats would be properly used.