The most common mistakes made by parents on family trips.

It's not as bad as before, but there is still something to learn, ”says Edmunds Ozolnieks, a representative of the Safe Driving School, in a conversation with the "Mammamuntetiem.lv" portal about the driving safety of children and families. To encourage families to improve their child transport habits, the expert talks about the most common mistakes made by adults when going on family trips.

Every year, several children under the age of 17 die in road traffic accidents in Latvia, according to data published by the Road Traffic Safety Directorate. In 2020, 8 children died. Latvia, on the other hand, still holds a high place in the antitope context of the European Union - in 2020, 139 people died in road accidents in Latvia, which is a factor of about 70 people per one million inhabitants and is one of the highest in the European Union. For example, in Norway the figure is below 30 and in Estonia below 40.

When thinking about safe transportation of children, there is a good trend and there are signs that we are moving to safer movement, the expert confirms. He acknowledges that the fact that car seats are becoming more affordable is of great importance for the proper transport of children. According to Ozolnieks, the secondary market for chairs has been operating for a long time, which makes them available, but the expert reminds that it is always necessary to look at the condition of the chair and whether it is able to fully perform its functions.

1. Carriage of small children without a chair

Unfortunately, the expert mentions that cars can still be seen on the streets, where infants and older children are transported without car seats. It was also observed ahead of time by "Mammamuntetiem.lv". "I would not be so optimistic that it is a matter of course for our society to explode and carry children in chairs. From time to time you have to see that the child is in your arms while driving, ”says the expert.

The representative of the "Safe Driving School" reminds of how much it is necessary to transport a child in a car seat appropriate to his or her age and height. "The worst thing is that people think little about what happens to an unrestrained child in a collision. Of course, one should not live with the fear that there will be a collision immediately, but it is important to know that no mother's love and no father's strong hands will hold an unborn child at the moment of the blow - he will leave the car.

It may seem that you will press and hold the child so tightly, but this is not physically possible. Believe me or watch the video of these unfastened mannequins flying out of the car. Children have to sit in their places, parents have to sit in their own places, and I don't have to think that my mother's or father's strength will keep it the best, ”says Edmunds Ozolnieks.

2. Unrestrained passengers
It is noticeable that passengers sitting in the back - both adults and older children - do not wear a seat belt. But it is very important for both children and adults to buckle, even sitting in the back! If the rear seat occupant is unfastened and in a collision, he may be thrown out of the car or significantly injure other passengers. "I have noticed that especially children who have not yet reached 150 centimeters, but who ride without special pads, do not buckle when sitting in the back, because their belts are pressed around their necks. Yes, if a child is 130 or 140 centimeters tall without a pad, the seat belt will not be comfortable for them, but if used incorrectly, it can cause serious injuries in a collision because it does not function as well. It is important to use a special pallet for transporting children shorter than 150 centimeters, ”the expert reminds.

He also emphasizes that if the car is traveling at 90 km / h and there is a frontal collision, all unsecured bodies will continue to move at this speed and fly until an obstacle stops them.

3. Inadequate number of passengers
Sometimes, at events or parties, adults co-operate in transporting children and thus carry more children in one car than expected, for example, four children are seated in the back seat. "It's a serious safety breach because every child is one passenger, not half! If something happens in this case, this adult will take criminal responsibility plus think about how the adult will live with the child being killed or killed. Sometimes there is a caveat that the journey is not long and it is just here. If it's here, walk instead of driving! It must be understood that we cannot predict events and consequences, ”explains Edmunds Ozolnieks.

4. Infant feeding in a moving car
"In everyday life, you can understand the need to feed your baby during the trip, but from a safety point of view, it is best to stop, feed the baby and then continue on the road," says the safe driving expert. There are cases when the mother is sitting in the back bench of the car next to the baby chair and she is tempted to unbuckle herself and feed the baby - with a breast or a bottle. However, remember that babies should not be fed during the trip. Not only does this pose a risk of injury in a collision if the mother or baby is not restrained, but the baby is also at risk of choking.

5. Unrestrained pets
"I see that pets are banged by the most conscientious people, but a free-standing dog or cat in the cabin of a car is unfortunately still a common practice in Latvia," reveals Edmunds Ozolnieks. He reminds us that physics affects all bodies, whether they are people, dogs, cats or objects that are cars - they move in exactly the same way when they collide. The expert points out that the animals should also be strapped - dogs are special

leashes, but cats should be caged and secured, not left alone.

Yes, but I can't fasten the baby!
Sometimes parents say that it is so difficult to fasten a child - he resists crying. It is tempting to carry the baby only once or without a chair… What to do? An expert is adamant - one must stick to the belief that everyone has a place to sit. "I have experienced it. I have three children and I have gone through it. Yes, there are times when a child stands on a bridge and everything is bad, but it must be understood that if you make concessions and cancel the claim once, and allow yourself not to fasten or sit in a chair, the child will also find the next, third and fourth option not to sit in it. It is not said that you will not go somewhere successfully, but once there is a chance of a collision. We also need to know that if we set the wrong example, the child will want to do the wrong thing. It is an action that parents put in place, ”says Edmunds Ozolnieks.

The article was made with the financial support of the Ministry of Welfare of the Republic of Latvia.