When I was little we didn’t have car seats for infants/toddlers. We were held, sat on someone’s lap, or sat in the seat like “big people”. Was is safe? It was safer back then than it would be now.
Back in the olden days there were not as many vehicles on the road. In most cases, families had one car. Not one car per person, ONE CAR PER FAMILY. Those cars were made of steel, not plastic, and people weren’t in such a hurry to get everywhere. They drove slower. As far as I can recall they drove slower. Keep in mind I am thinking back now, seeing things with a child’s perception.
One other big detail that is important to mention. Our cars did not have seat belts. It would have been difficult to strap a car seat in without seat belts. The could have used rope I guess. That seems safe.
Around the time my oldest was born was when I first remember car seats. It could just be coincidence that it was also the first time I needed one. They were not mandatory at that time. In fact Beth, came home from the hospital in a “car bed”. We just laid the thing on the back seat and off we went. Was that safer than me holding her in my arms? I would probably venture a no, but it was what we knew.
As more kids came along we did buy car seats. We must have because I specifically remember commenting that we would never be able to fit three car seats in the back of my Escort wagon. We had to get a van. So we must have had at least two. Beth I remember had a booster seat. Picture the booster seat in a restaurant not the booster seats sold now.
As the kids out grew the seat it got handed down. It did not expire, we did not have to turn it in and buy new ones. Do they use cheaper materials now? Is there less quality control on construction now? Do they all of a sudden go bad on a certain day, like milk, How do they expire?
I am asking because I need car seats, at least one anyway. Preferably two so I don’t have to juggle my grand kid and the seat if I switch from car to bus and back. The problem, they aint cheap. The solution would be to borrow one, get a used one from Freecycle, or buy a used one from someone. Well that doesn’t work. Can’t do it. The plastic has gone bad. It might be brand spankin new out of the box, but NOPE! CAN’T USE IT. IT IS NO LONGER SAFE. I am using cap lock for effect I know, but it is the truth. A brand new, never used, $200 car seat, would be considered junk if the date stamped on it is September 5, 2012.
It is a shame, it is a waste. Where do these old car seats go? Do manufacturers take them back and recycle them? Do they go to a big car seat grave yard? I really want to know.
While we are at it I need to know “what is a good car seat? ” I need infant, not real big because I am still driving a Ford Escort wagon. The big ones don’t fit in a small car when they are rear facing. I also can’t spend $200. Any suggestions from moms, dads, anyone?