Car Seats and Bicycle Helmets

Child safety is incredibly important. Statistics show that we have reduced childhood deaths from accidents through the use of car seats.

  • Car seat use reduces the risk for death to infants (aged <1 year) by 71%; and to toddlers (aged 1–4 years) by 54% in passenger vehicles.1
  • Booster seat use reduces the risk for serious injury by 45% for children aged 4–8 years when compared with seat belt use alone.2

Bicycle helmets are another accepted form of protection, and the statistics on that are also heartening

  • This review included five well conducted case‐control studies and found that helmets provide a 63–88% reduction in the risk of head, brain and severe brain injury for all ages of bicyclists.3

That’s a big deal for parents because we all want the best for our children. We would no more drive to the store without them strapped securely in place, than we would leave a loaded gun in the drawer where we keep the remotes.

Why then, do we barely blink when we give them candy, cupcakes, chips, soda, nuggets and french fries on a regular basis? Why are we worshiping at the altar of Big Food by fixing Kraft Macaroni and Cheese for dinner, ordering from Pizza Hut, running through Wendy’s Drive-Thru or sending them to school with Lunchables and microwaving Totino’s Pizza Rolls for movie night? Let’s not forget Fruit Loops for breakfast, or IHOP on Sunday morning for sugar-laden pancakes with a side of white flour biscuits and sausage gravy? Fat, sugar and salt … Where does it end?

I know you don’t think it will happen to you, but diabetes, cancer and heart disease will happen to 1 out of 2 children born today. What makes you think your child won’t be one of them? If it’s because you take care with their diet and encourage physical activity, then you’re probably right in thinking your child’s chances are much lower. If you don’t, well, you make up most of the other half and you are setting your child up for chronic disease.

  • “We can now forecast that a child born today has a 1 in 2 chance of developing cancer at some point in their lives”4
  • “One of every three deaths in the U.S. in 2013 were from heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases”5

Not so much worried about what happens when they’re 30, 50 or 70? How about this: Nutrition is critically important in brain development. We all want our kids to smart and successful, right? Give them the best chance!

Candy, cake, ice cream, sugary cereals and soda should not have a regular place in your child’s life. Birthdays and Christmas, sure, but just because it’s Tuesday? No. It’s your job as a parent to do what is right for your child whether it makes them happy or not. By putting your stamp of approval on junk food, you’re sending a clear message that it’s okay. It’s never too late to start sending a message of health and wellness. Why not start today?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad I don’t have to navigate this minefield, but I also didn’t have bicycle helmets or car seats to worry about. Heck, I didn’t have to put on a seat belt every time I got in the car either. You care. You know it, and so do I. The choice is yours.

You certainly don’t have to buy my book, (my blog has tons of ideas) but it does give you ideas for stepping into a journey of good health. It’s available on Amazon. Search for: No Kale Required: Healthy Eating Ideas for the Rest of Us. Another book that was recommended by a healthy mom is, Getting to Yum. I’m sure it’s also available on Amazon.

  1. Durbin, D. R. (2011). Technical report—Child passenger safetyPediatrics, 127(4). Advance online publication. doi:10.1542/peds.2011-0215.
  2. Arbogast KB, Jermakian JS, Kallan MJ, Durbin DR. Effectiveness of belt positioning booster seats: an updated assessment. Pediatrics 2009;124;1281–6.
  3. Ivers, Rebecca, Systematic reviews of bicycle helmet research. Inj Prev. 2007 Jun; 13(3): 190. doi:  10.1136/ip.2007.015966 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2598379/
  4. Medical News Today, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/288916.php
  5. American Heart Association, http://newsroom.heart.org/news/new-statistics-show-one-of-every-three-u-s-deaths-caused-by-cardiovascular-disease
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