Oh! I have a mighty case of road rage!
First, I read this post posted on Life is Just so Daily. For those who do not know, Lainey-Painey is a huge advocate for child safety in cars. Sadly, she lost her nephew Riley in September 2005. It was a tragic accident where 2 year old Riley locked himself in the family car and died of heat exposure.
Links and stories on her blog have really opened my eyes to the dangers of unsupervised children in cars. PLEASE - go check out www.kidsincars.org - knowledge and awareness is power and it could save YOUR kids.
Oh...I was fuming after reading that post...and I personally would have used a few harsher names for the "witch" that Lainey-Painey confronted.
Then, as I was walking to work, my temper started to fume again. As you may know Tamil-Canadians are staging a marathon protest. They have been picketing outside my office. Understand that I am not upset that they are staging a protest...it is their right. What I am fuming about is the number of children left sleeping in their cars parked along the route I walk at 3:30am. Sometimes there are entire families sleeping in their cars, sometimes just children. Sometimes the children are in car seats, sometimes not. Sometimes the cars are even running! Sometimes the parents or guardians are also sleeping in the car - sometimes they are congregating a few cars away with other protesters.
The police presence is high - so, within a few metres down the street I stopped two police officers and voiced my concern. They basically said, "Oh, it is not a cold night, and the kids gotta sleep, and the parents cannot be too far away. Don't worry about it."
Don't worry about it?????
Mr. Police officer and Madame Police officer, with all due respect - GO CHECK OUT www.kidsincars.org !
THEN, to top off my morning road rage, here is a news clip I had to review for my media report. YES - two children are in grave condition after a MINOR car accident. Minor...except for the MAJOR error of judgement made by the parental unit to NOT properly secure their children in car seats.
Did you know that it is estimated that 95% of children's car seats are not installed correctly or used correctly? Two of my biggest beefs are infants in the "bucket seats" with the handles upright - CHECK YOUR MANUAL PEOPLE - this is WRONG! And secondly, when children in the harness seats are not tightly secured. CHECK YOUR MANUAL PEOPLE - the straps need to be SNUG. If you have questions contact your local authorities to find out about car seat clinics and checks in your area.
OK. Deep breaths.
I have a serious case of road rage and I only hope and pray this rant of a post gets just one person to rethink leaving children unattended in a car or how their car seats are installed or used.
Children are precious cargo...let's handle them with care.