A car seat is no placebo

By Nils, founder of baby international













Today a man came to our shop asking if we could help with the car seat installation. The car seat, he said, was purchased at our store. So I walked over to his car. It was a US import that you can only purchase via some obscure dealers in the internet. I told him it wasn’t purchased from us but he said that the mother (he might just have been her driver) told him she bought it from us.

I decided to help with the installation anyway to make sure the child is safe when sitting in the seat. The story was already poor lying but the installation of the seat was in an even more desolate state. It was a car seat with LATCH installation, and whoever tried to install it didn’t seem to spend any time reading the instructions. You can see what I mean on the pictures I took.

I was getting really angry while I tried to turn it from a mess into a proper installation. I asked about the age of the child so I knew if needed to install the seat forward- or rearward facing. The child was still very young so I said I’m going to install it rearward facing as otherwise in case of a sudden stop the centrifugal force on the child’s soft neck will be severe. At that point he got nervous telling me that rearward facing installation is “not convenient”.

When I saw the TV installed on the back of the driver’s seat I did understand. Not convenient to show the child cartoons. I just don’t get this. Why do parents buy a car seat if they don’t take the time to understand how to use it (when asking about the instructions I was told there are no) or place convenience over safety? It seems that some people believe a car seat is doing wonders and once you put it in the car it magically shields from all dangers.

This is to all those parents. Do me a favor and see the car seat as what it is, its life insurance! I hope you will never have an accident, but if that ever happens you need a safe model (no junk) that is installed according to specific instructions and the way your child uses the seat depends on the child’s age. You can find all those information easily and I’m happy to help. It just takes a bit of your time or simply drive over to a retailer that can help you with this.

But first you have to understand that in case of an accident your child can easily get injured heavily or even die. I’m often not sure everyone understands this in China. A country where people drive in a such a hazardous style, doing the same in Europe or the North America and I guarantee people driving such recklessly will get smacked in the face. And your job under such circumstances is to protect your child. That is a parents’ obligation.

Once you understand those aspects (its my obligation, my child’s body is weak, I need a quality seat, I need time to understand how to use it) we can fulfill our role as parents. Anything else is either lying to yourself (buying placebo) or you don’t really care (but you think the seat gives the impression you do). After I installed it for a person who lied to me in the first place, I was asked why I did it. I spent a bit of time to protect a child. And you can do that, too.


By Nils, founder of baby international