Advice Column, Parenting

The short cuts that risk lives

  • #CarseatFullstop
  • Category Advice Column, Parenting

Parenting is full on, let’s just be real, and let’s just be honest. Some days make sense whilst other days feel like a total blur. Therefore, we as parents try our best to sneak in those short cuts. You know those little things we do or say in order to survive being sucked into the parenting vortex… But there are short cuts, and then there are “short cuts”…

Short cut living

Short cuts could range from small innocent things through to more potentially serious things : 

1 ) Giving into your child’s tantrum by giving them what they want , because quite frankly you’ve had a long day… And you don’t have enough energy to discipline a toddler, never mind string a real sentence together.

2 ) Putting on the T.V and letting your little ones get lost in a movie, whilst you sip on some tea and reflect on your sanity.

3 ) Letting your kids eat unhealthy takeaways, because there is no time to cook a meal, never mind finding the time to go and shop for actual groceries.

4 ) Telling small lies to your children as a means of keeping it real. “The park is closed now. The toy shop ran out of toys. The jungle gym is broken and needs to be fixed.”

Then the dangerous short cuts…….

5 ) Letting your toddler or little ones sit in the car without being placed into a carseat that is age appropriate, through to letting them sit on your lap whilst you drive, through to letting them dance around on the backseat.

Because : “It will be safe and nothing will happen to us, it’s just down the road, I am driving slowly and carefully….”

When actually……

  • Most car accidents happen just down the road.
  • Even if you are driving slowly and carefully, it doesn’t mean that others will too.
  • In an accident, your weight is multiplied by the speed you are traveling.
  • If it’s just down the road, then just strap them into their carseat or walk, or ride a bike together.
  • National statistics show that 93 % of children in South Africa, travel in private cars without wearing their seat belts.

The truth about short cuts

The truth is there are NO short cuts when it comes to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our little people. It can take one moment, when we least expect it, to alter and change the course of our families. When I was in high school a friend of mine was knocked off his motorbike and severely injured, so much so that he died hours later.

Whilst mourning him, I could not help but think about his parents and his siblings. I kept thinking to myself, “His mom will never see him matriculate, his mom will never see him get married or become a dad through to seeing or having grandchildren from him. How on earth will this mother survive without her son?”

Scary thoughts that I cannot even begin to fathom. The reality is that life is so short, and it is very unpredictable, yet we forget that and live with a sense of immortality.

Whatever it takes

We cannot control the inevitable, but we can ensure to the best of our ability that our little people are safe whenever they are in our care. I don’t know about you, but I never want to live with regret. Not because I took short cuts where it counted.

We aren’t here to judge or condemn one another (there’s enough of that going on in and around the world) rather we are here to encourage , equip, motivate and empower you as the parent of little people to make a stand with us , and do something practical , and positive when it comes to the car safety of your little ones.

How can I help spread this message?

Often we read articles like this, and shrug it off thinking, “That’s so sweet of them, but how will this blog post make an impact?” The thing is that this is not ‘another blog post.’ It’s so much more than that. It’s about getting a fresh revelation that as parents, and friends of families that we all need to spread this message. The message ; “that children need to be strapped in safely into their car seats”.

Let’s all be actively involved in this movement until it becomes the norm!

Here’s how you can help spread this message :

Share the online love

Donate second hand carseats

  • Wheel Well is an organisation that takes in second-hand car seats and refurbishes them so that they can be made a 100% safe, and they dispose of those that cannot be restored. The safe seats are then made available to those who cannot afford a car seat otherwise, for either a donation or for a minimal fee. You can drop your second-hand car seat at any Renault dealership throughout South Africa and they will get it to Wheel Well for the Car Seats for Kids initiative. If you have an old carseat collecting dust , then why not donate it? If you can’t afford to buy a new carseat, then why not go to wheel well?

Feel empowered by staying informed

  • I must say that I thought I knew quite a bit when it came to car safety for children. But once I made a commitment to be a voice to this campaign, I could not help but feel overwhelmed by all the scary truths and facts that came along with it. Yet, on the other hand it has empowered and encouraged me even more so to continue at making more informed , wise decisions when it comes to my son and his safety. If you would like to find out more regarding carseat safety then may I encourage you to read join the #CarseatFullstop Facebook Page or Facebook group.

About the Author

Cassan (Cass) is mom to an adorable and talented 4 year old, Malikai, a brand new baby boy Brooklyn, and happily married to the love of her life. She owns her own drama school REACT Drama, she writes regularly 1Africa and she is the author and creative director behind Leather Jacket Foxes. Cass started blogging as a new mom, hoping to inspire and encourage others in a similar season of life.

Cassan on Leather Jacket Foxes

Leather jacket foxes is a lifestyle platform for the modern mom who wants to do it all!

In the hustle and bustle of trying to balance everything, we end up forgetting to take care of ourselves. We forget who we are. Often we neglect the feeding and the nurturing of the very things that make our souls come alive. Circumstances , disappointments, and seasons shape and define us negatively. We put dreams into boxes and let them gather dust, then we stop listening to the dreamer within! It’s a sad reality for some.

I felt strongly in my heart, that Leather Jacket Foxes would ignite the dreamer and the creative within. Its sole purpose revolves around the inspiring, the encouraging and the empowering of women. Leather Jacket Foxes is your platform, to inspire and encourage one another as we go about being not only moms, but being foxes who seek adventure and do life with a bit of edge and style!

Cassan on #CarseatFullstop

Children are our most treasured gifts. Why wouldn’t we want to do all that we can in order to ensure their safety? There are some things in life that will be out of our control. Making sure that our children are safe in their carseats is in our control.

You have the power to save a little life. One share, seen by one person, who straps in one child, saves a life. #CarseatFullstopOne share, seen by one person, who straps in one child, saves a life.

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