Sunday, May 15, 2005

Put your kids in car seats!

For two consecutive days, I ended up having the same conversation with two different people (and I wasn't the one that approached the topic), it was mere coincidence.

The topic: Imposing a carseat law for babies in Oman.

The first time I discussed this was with a girlfriend. Although we both think that all children belong in car seats, and that parents who don't keep their children strapped to car seats should be fined, *N* could see why something like this could be difficult for Omani families to implement.

First of all, car seats take up so much space. The maximum you could fit in your back seat is two. Seconly, most Omani families aren't comprised of just 2 kids. And quite often, the age difference between them is very small, so they are all young and all need to be in car seats. What will they do then? Buy a bigger car? Maybe they can't afford to. Take only two kids out a time? Nopes, not practical. LEave the kids at home always? Thats a tad cruel.

Ok, I know there are many reasons and excuses that parents can give, but come on, there must be a solution which doesn't involve one of the kids being on mommy's lap in the front seat. Just thinking of the amount of things wrong with that picture gives me a headache.

Did you guys know that in some states in the US, a mother who delivers is not be allowed to leave the hospital until one of the staff makes sure there is a car seat in her or her partner's car?

Its a really huge issue, one that should be given more thought to. There has to be a law. If things remain the way they are, many lives are put in danger.

PS: Add this to the list of topics I'll be bringing up if I ever join Majlis Al Dawla


nomadica said...

This is a really serious issue and I wish the law in Oman would be as strict about car seats for babies as they are about seat belts. No excuse is good enough when you are risking your own baby's life!

Wardat_il'7leej said...

There should be some sort of law implemented, and if not at least some sort of awareness program, even police involvement would help

Off topic

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Kazablanka said...

I totally agree on everything you said.. but the problem is more complicated then we think! Even if there was a law, ppl would protest to such law saying they have more than one kid that needs a carseat etc etc..

remember we are arabs.. and arabs are still like sooo last month.. yeah.. so people need to get the basics to actually understand WHY its so important to have carseats.. and all of it just follows from there..

nibaq said...

In Kuwait we have the same problem, kids are just everywhere in the car. I've even seen a kid sitting on the window still of a car. It is the kinda of stuff that makes you just go WTF.

The thing is everyone does it, all nationalities.

The only real solution for it is a wide market awareness campaign. One thats just ugly. Pictures of heads broken on glass, mothers testimony of their child on the front seat dying etc. You have to put the fear in them, and make them feel dumb and stupid for even thinking of putting their kid in danger.

A. Woman in black said...

It is a serious issue. As you mentioned there are some states in the US where you can't even take the baby home from the hospital unless you have a carseat. I am from one of those states. I think that there is a law that says they should be in car seats until the age of 4 or 5 !

As you mentioned, here in Oman it could be a problem...especially for big families.

Oman have a very high rate of auto accident related deaths ....I wonder how many of them are children?

Anyhow, before ppl can put their children in carseats , they have to take caution enough to at least make them SIT DOWN in the car...I see... in the back windshields of cars, in the middle of the front seats, sitting in their father's lap while he is driving ,standing up in the backseat ...etc
It makes me cringe....I even nag my husband and his family about it and they always say that I am making a big deal out of nothing. Now whenever I am in the car with them and their kids are crawling all over me, I just make du'aa that we ALL reach our destination safely :-)

she said...

hi - in india, even the concept of a car seat is unknown. and what's even more scary is seeing people balance their babies precariously on motorbikes or scooters. or making them stand up front. it's terrifying to see them snake through traffic like that.

Sree said...

Its a good move by the govt. If having more kids and less income is an issue, then that should be tacled as well.

Btw, there's another law in the states where you can not leave your kid in the car while you go to an ATM, grocery store or even to step out of your vehicle. If there's a kid in the car, there should be an adult, else take the kid along with you. Violators for this law and the car seat ones are slapped with a huge fine and may even face jail time or a court case.

OceanDream said...

This is definately an issue that needs to be tackled by the government because there are lives at stake here.

I agree with Nibaq, the way to start is by launching a huge awareness campaign. Something that will scare people into acting.

illogicist said...

...and its actually a common site to see the driver of the car with a baby on their lap.