What Child Restraints Used to Look Like

As I recently transferred the infant rear-facing car seat from my car to that of my in-laws, my father-in-law, noting my exasperated straining and stretching, gazed wistfully into the distance and said something along the lines of, ‘we used to just stick ’em in the back seat.’

This is not to say there weren’t crude, biomechanically dubious predecessors of the modern infant car seat: Before there was the LATCH system, before there was the backseat rear-facing Snugride, before there were three-point harnesses, there was the… Kiddee Drivette! (with its ‘not noisy’ horn). Not sure about that ‘educational’ bit though.

From AskMeFi, via Things.

This entry was posted on Monday, June 28th, 2010 at 5:32 pm and is filed under Etc.. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

5 Responses to “What Child Restraints Used to Look Like”

  1. Michael Prager Says:

    Great find. Like many parents, I don’t like the hassle of car seats and my kids don’t like being in them for long times. Like you have said before, the whole car seat thing would not be such a hassle if we drove less. We all grew up w/o car seats but our parents probably drove less and drove slower on in-town streets and did not do as much highway driving in traffic when we were little. Could a baby be safe in mom’s arms in the car? maybe if you did not go over 25 and only took a few trips a week.

  2. Donald Says:

    @Michael – That line of logic works until the car comes to a sudden stop in an accident. Even at 20 miles per hour, 10 lbs. of baby can exert a lot of force on the mother’s arms. Severe trauma would still result.

    Now, take car A driving 20 miles per hour and car B, driving at 15 miles per hour, that just veered into car A’s path of travel. That’s a 35 mile per hour impact velocity.

    Nope, even at slow speeds the idea that a baby is safe in mommy’s arms doesn’t work – laws of physics will prevail.

  3. Michael Prager Says:

    Donald, of course I know this is not safe, but if you spend very little time in a car, and only travel at slow speeds, you have a much lower chance of being in a serious accident.

  4. Ginger Says:

    The rule of thumb is the speed of the vehicle times the person’s weight. Your 10-lb baby at 20 miles per hour is exerting a force of roughly 200 lbs in an frontal impact, single car. This is enough to kill a baby. If you think the tradeoff of a baby versus a car seat is worth it, then you are going to be in a minority.

    Even in the US, which is behind the European countries in safety, it is illegal to drive with an unrestrained child passenger.

    If the children don’t like their car seats, it is usually because those seats are not properly fitted to them. The hassle of car seat placement can be mitigated by choosing a car seat that fits your needs — that’s why there are so many choices in car seats. For more assistance in that, check with your local municipality or look at the Safe Kids International website.

    I’m a certified CPS technician, and volunteer at car seat checks just about every weekend. Most parents are actually quite happy to use car seats to protect their children.

  5. Stuart Says:

    Boy, safety as religion… Michael didn’t say that a car seat wouldn’t be a good idea in the event of an accident even at 20mph. What he suggested was that at slower speeds in quieter neighborhoods in smaller towns with shorter trips, the odds of a serious accident might have been a bit more remote. Seems like the responses to him are a bit high-strung — was this blasphemy?
    Can we accept that car seats for children are be preferred (if they’re going to be in a moving car) without invalidating any and every honest discussion about what we lose in the bargain? The notion that (well-rested) children usually don’t mind having their movements severely restricted by being strapped to a car-seat as long as it “fits right” seems an overstatement (i.e. propaganda).

    (@Ginger — not that your volunteerism isn’t admirable, btw)

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