When I pick the boys up from school, I see kids that are not in seat belts.
Kids of all ages, from preschool to elementary-aged children. They are standing up through the sunroof, sitting in mom's lap (in the driver's seat), jumping up and down in the back seat, and today hanging out the window (seriously, sitting with everything but his legs hanging out the window).
The first few times I witnessed this, it was alarming. I was shocked that these kids weren't in seat belts, and some looked like they should have been in car seats. Please don't get the wrong idea; I am not writing this post to judge parents, but instead to raise awareness.
While I completely understand how boring it is to wait in the car for our children (I have a 2-year-old & 10 months old), I think this is a hazardous way to keep our children entertained.
Aside from being illegal, allowing your child to do these things could prove fatal.
Why am I so concerned? When I was ten, my mom and I went to pick my brother up from school (I was sick that day), and I witnessed an accident I will never forget.
The last bell of the day rang, and the kids came rushing out of school. A little girl got into her mom's car, and she slammed her finger in the door. When the mom (driver) wasn't sure what happened, her focus went from driving to helping her daughter.
She took her foot off the brake for a moment and what happened next was horrible. Her car smashed into the car in front of her and set off a chain reaction. At the end of the day, a few children were injured, and one adult lost her legs (she was loading children into a daycare van and was struck by the car behind the van).
It was a horrible thing to witness and taught me just how quickly the act of picking a child up from school could turn into a tragic situation.
PARENTS: Be careful; just because cars are inching along doesn't make it safe for a child to move around in the vehicle. Imagine what would have happened to the child hanging out the window this morning if the car behind them crashed into them. It's not worth the risk!