Strap Them In!5 February 2012
I saw something I thought quite incredible the other day.
I was walking along the pavement and a woman pushing a small child (18 months?) in a buggy was crossing the road, coming over towards me. She misjudged the height of the kerb and hit it with one of the buggy wheels. The child shot out of the buggy into the air and landed on the pavement about 2 feet away, and just in front of me.
I swear my heart stopped then I rushed towards the boy as did his mother. Loud piercing scream (from the boy) which actually I was glad to hear. If he’d landed on his head I’m not sure we’d have heard from him again.
His mother picked him up and plonked him back in the buggy. I said something like “That made my heart stop” and she said “Sorry”.
SORRY?? Don’t apologise to me, lady. What about this poor little boy who’s being pushed around with no harness? The very matter-of-fact way she behaved made me think this isn’t the first time this has happened.
It reminded me of those old TV public service advertisements with a car full of dummies, showing what happens when a car hits a brick wall. The baby, not strapped in, is propelled from the back seat, over the driver and straight out through the windscreen.
I know there are worse cases of child neglect in the world but that was the worst I’d ever actually witnessed. And there was nothing I could do about it. I could hardly report her – I don’t know her, anything about her, her name.
As I haven’t had children, I don’t normally give much thought to buggies, harnesses, child car-seats and the like. And I certainly don’t go around giving advice to parents. But please never even think of using the pushchair, pram or car-seat if the seatbelts are broken. I think I could have easily witnessed the death of a little boy.