I have told my kids that I go no where without seatbelts on. When my oldest was born over 17 years ago, my brother brought me an infant car seat from the States. When I told the nurses at my hospital that moms (in America) arent allowed to check out if they dont have a proper car seat for the baby. They thought that was stupid. It wasnt until over 6 years later - that carseats started to be introduced to the regular public ... And even then 1 seat would run into $300 and much higher costs.
My neighbors and in-laws have told me that I am to strict (including my own husband) when it comes to car safety. I dont allow under 150 cm (5 feet) in the front seat - especially if there are dual airbags. I love my children and tell them that seatbelts are an extention of my arms holding, hugging and protecting them from harm.
One time my neighbor arrived home while I was walking by with a few kids under the age of 10. She had her 4 year old son unbelted in the front seat and her 1 year old was playing in the backseat. The mom of these 2 kids had just driven home from the store a few miles away... My 7 year old asked me why do they get to play in the car and my kids dont? I told him because (putting it bluntly for effect on him) I dont want him to die, if there was a bad accident.
My son then remembered the accident 2 years prior where an older man was driving the wrong way on a one way street then broad sided us. My son was in the center seat of our minivan - where the van had folded in like a V ... Police, ambulance and wrecker personell all were suprised he lived - then shocked when they found out he didnt even have a scratch. It was for 2 reasons, 1) his seatbelt was on while properly using a booster chair and 2) God had to be helping to protect him. Our conversation was in English, so he turns to our neighbor and in Japanese asks her why does she want to kill her kids.... She gave me a dirty look and 5 years later has only recently started to awknowledge me again. But in all those years, I still dont remember ever seeing her kids buckled up.
Dont even get me started about leaving children under age 12 at home alone for hours.....!!!!! No wonder the national average is 0.7 kids per family in Japan ... That may have dropped because that was back in 2000.
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