Strapless Kids

by Claire Minnaar

A VERY long time ago, when I was 3 years old, I was in the back seat of my Mom’s Volkswagen Beetle on our way home. Car seats and children’s safety wasn’t quite what is is today – you didn’t get seat belts in the back seats of cars.

As my Mom crossed a Stop street, another car hit my Mom. I was sitting in the back of the car and watching the road between the 2 front seats. Upon hitting the car, my Mom hit the steering wheel and I went flying through the windscreen.

Once the ambulance arrived, they established that my Mom had a few broken ribs and was about to take her off to the hospital when she started asking “Where’s my daughter??”. The paramedic explained that there was no one with her and after my Mom insisted that her daughter was with her – the paramedics went and looked around. I was found unconscious on the opposite pavement somewhere. I had literally flown through the window across the road. I was taken to the hospital and was in ICU for a few days, but clearly – I survived and I’m OK and normal (most days at least ;))

I have a few scars from the glass of the windscreen and I have a few marks on my teeth from hitting the pavement which damaged my adult teeth slightly. If you meet me someday, feel free to ask me to show you – I’m not shy of it. This was a very important lesson for me and once having kids, my husband and I agreed that we will NOT drive without some form of seat belt with our kids. They are always in their seats and if I do NOT strap Ethan in for some reason, he’s very quick to remind me as he has never known not to be strapped in.

I see people driving with their kids NOT strapped in almost every time I go out somewhere. I want to get out and SCREAM at them because they don’t realise the danger. We live our lives thinking that it won’t ever happen to us, but it CAN! It may not even be your fault – a car can come out of nowhere or the car in front of you may break suddenly and it just takes a small impact to get someone injured.


In a crash at just 50km/h (30 mph), an unrestrained child would be thrown forward with a force 30 to 60 times their body weight. They would be thrown about inside the vehicle, injuring them and quite possibly seriously injuring or even killing other people inside the vehicle. They are also likely to be ejected from the car through one of the windows.

Buckle up and keep your children safe!

We get warned about strapping our kids in on the news, see it in the newspapers, hear it on the radio, YET people still don’t always strap their kids in. I have been called paranoid and had eyes rolled at me when I insist on putting my boys in their seats – I simply don’t care. I would rather take the extra 5 minutes to strap them in than take the risk.

Agree with me?

If you agree with me, please Tweet this blog post, share it, promote it and get people to read it. I have been one of these kids – thankfully, it’s not something I remember as I was young, but luckily I’m here today.

Useful Resources 

BTW, there is a phone number you can now call to report people. All the info can be found on the Buckle Me Up Facebook page.

Last Titbit

You may find me boring or a bit OTT with this – I’m OK with that. My main aim is simple: create more awareness about the safety of children in cars and and who knows – indirectly save a child by getting more parents to strap their kids in.

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1 comment

Ursula November 7, 2012 - 12:15 pm

Seriously – there are that many people not buckling up their kids?
Here in Germany you HAVE to do it by law. If police sees you with kids that are not buckled up in the right child seat you get fined. I think here most people are aware that it is really dangerous to not buckle them. In the media and in leaflets and such it is less the topic of buckling them up but more the topic HOW to do it best and safely (like which seat to choose and such things).
Good for you that you do not listen to others that are less careful!!!!



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