Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Couldn't Resist The Urge To Speak Up...

Saturday I seized the moment and ran a few errands with out the children in tow. Late in the afternoon, I found myself smack dab in the middle of a Baby Superstore.

We all know who is in a Baby Superstore on a Saturday afternoon. Expecting parents, new parents, and doting new grandparents. Oh and me, picking up humidifier filters, which is the only reason I visit this Baby Superstore. The energy in the place was buzzing with excitement.

Pregnant moms were checking out the "most adorable Halloween costumes they had ever seen". Ever. Big husky dad's were contorting themselves into the straps of baby carriers, with the urging from their wives, raging with hormones, on the cusp of delivery. Then there were adorable itty bitty newborns, all bundled up, with coordinating blankets over their infant carriers, the new parents peeking at them around every turn, for their first public outting.

Expecting parents were armed with little scanning guns. Contemplating the smallest details from color, size, this one or that one. Choosing all the latest and greatest gadgets. I would love to give them my perspective on all those gadgets, but I refrain. I want to whisper in their ears, please go out to a leisurely dinner, go see a movie. Take a nap. Instead I smile at them, in love, relishing the moment of becoming parents.

I grabbed my two items, replacement humidifier filters and headed over to the booster seat section. My soon to be five year old is just about an inch away from moving out of her Britax Marathon. A five point carseat. Yes, my daughter commonly mistaken for a six year old, still rides in a carseat. It's the safest place for her, I wouldn't have it any other way.

I didn't see the Britax Frontier, but noticed an employee. I made my way over to inquire if they would be carrying it soon.

At the same time, a couple with an eleven month old approached the department specialist. Their son was ready to move into a big boy carseat and they were in desperate need for advice. I was surprised when the employee took them to the boosters, instead of the carseat section.

She went into her spiel about boosters and how to not bother buying a regular carseat. I could tell the parents were overwhelmed. Their son was small for eleven months and he would have been swimming in her recommendation. The mom asked if the back lowered because it just, "seems so big".

Now technically, I was not eavesdropping, but standing on the fringe of this couple's inquiries. I was patiently waiting for my turn. I grabbed the opportunity to ask about the Frontier, which they don't think they will carry until the new year. I walked away, grabbing a closer look at another 5 point harness booster seat, Graco Nautilus, the alternative that was rated very well.

Then there was a moment, a moment when the inquiring mom made eye contact with me. I couldn't stay silent. I said hello to the mom, mentioned how all the choices are overwhelming, then I looked her in the eye and said please do your research. Carseats are one of the most important investments you will make as a parent. She asked, so I told her about our carseat choices.

When I walked away, I felt content knowing that I shared my opinion with an impressionable mother. Knowing that I would have regretted not speaking up to that mother for the rest of the night.

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My post on Booster Seats vs. Five Point Harness.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Child Passenger, Safety Program, webpage.

Car Seat Safety webpage.

Please I urge you, to do your research as well.

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13 comments:

  1. Oh, THANK GOODNESS you spoke up. Call the store manager, too, and let them know that their freakishly uninformed employees are potentially putting children at risk.

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  2. Kristin has a good point - those employees really need to get their information straight. 11 months into a booster seat!??!!

    Aren't there laws that define these kinds of things?

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  3. you should call, thats horrible. the boy is in a seat until he is unable to fir i'm afraid. It takes longer to fit and is more bulkier - but thats for a reason!

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  4. Amen sister. I can't even imagine putting an 11 month old in a booster seat. Makes me shudder.

    My kids are all on the small side. My almost 6 year olds are barely 35 pounds each. We will be in a five point harness until they are 10! It makes playdates difficult sometimes when we need to shuffle seats. But the hassle is worth it to keep them safe.

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  5. My kids are on the skinny side too. We always joke that they'll take their driver's tests in booster seats.

    Good for you for speaking up. The choices are overwhelming and safety is not always clearcut.

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  6. Good for you! I'd call the manager too....that employee's lack of knowledge in their position is frightening!

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  7. Hear that crash--that is my jaw hitting the floor.
    My four year old is still in his five point and will be for a while.
    Thank goodness you said something--you may have very well saved the 11 month old's life. Seriously.
    (And absolutely call--a child's life could be at stake!)

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  8. Wow, good for you. That would have been hard, to step in when you weren't technically invited, but so important.

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  9. a booster seat for an 11 month old? really? glad you stepped in, why did those parents not know this?????

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  10. Thank you for saying something to that woman. You may possible have just saved her child's life. Good job!

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  11. Good for you. I hope you did call. As a new Mom, that's just frightening. Fortunately, we took all the classes we could from our Hospital, so we learned where and how to do our research. Plus, Manic Mommy taught me about these blogs where I can also learn so much!

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  12. Can I be proud of you? Because I am. So, so proud. Hopefully you made a difference for those parents, and maybe for the clerk and future shoppers. And you don't have that little nagging conscience guy kicking you in the shins for NOT saying something.

    Car seats are one of the many things I have been teased about being "Type A" about. Let them tease all they want. I've done the research, and I'm keeping my baby safe.

    Good for you! Thanks for sharing the links too!

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  13. How great that you spoke up! I am obsessive about the kids and their car seats. But I also remember being so overwhelmed as a new mom. I can't imagine what I would have done if I didn't know where to look or who to ask.

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I always appreciate the gesture to stop and take a moment to comment. Thank you!