A day doesn’t go by when I see a parent or adult with a child who is fastened in their car seat incorrectly or no car seat at all. In all honesty, it makes me cringe. And if I say anything to the parent, I am made out to be the bad “judge-y” mom. Ever heard of the statement, “my baby, my rules?”
I will be completely honest, I used it a lot the first few months I was a mother. And I am sure a lot of mothers do. But this isn’t a “my rules” argument, this is facts and the law (in some cases). I try to approach every situation as a learning opportunity because some parents truly do not know. To the ones that are aware, it hurts my heart when they get defensive about me simply trying to help. I mean absolutely no harm in spreading knowledge about the topic and always find myself genuinely apologizing for trying to help them. Some are very passionate about this topic and come off very strong and sometimes even rude, when trying to help other parents know their facts and while I don’t necessarily agree with this way of communication, I see nothing wrong in educating on car seat safety.
My daughter just turned 2 on the 4th of July, and I may have casually mentioned I would turn her around when she made 2, but now that the time is here, I am not ready — she is not ready. She fits just fine rear facing and her car seat will allow her to rear face until 50lbs, so why not keep her how she is? Rear facing is proven to be safer for her and it works best for us.
It’s not about you being ready, it is all about the child physically being ready.
To those who are unaware with the Louisiana car seat changes, a bill was passed in the House in May stating the following:
- Children ages 2 and under must be rear facing
- Children ages 2 to 4 that have outgrown the rear facing limit (varies by car seat) must be properly restrained forward facing
- Children ages 4 to 9 must be properly restrained in a booster seat
- Children ages 9 to 12 who meet the height and weight requirements can ride without a booster seat
There are a few places that can help with install car seats in and around the Baton Rouge area. The Louisiana State Police Troop A (located at the intersection of Highland Road and I10) has free car seat inspections every Tuesday from 1:00pm to 4:00pm. Appointments are recommended but walk-ins are welcomed as well. If you need an appointment click here.
The Safety Place LA in Baton Rouge on Siegen Lane is also another resource. They are a non-profit organization who specializes in child safety education.