Kids And Car Safety: Why You Can't Drop The Ball For Even A Second
I had a stark reminder this morning of how small, innocent and potentially at risk my four-year-old is.
We pulled up in the car to his pre-school, outside on the path as the carpark was full.
Jacob normally jumps out and stands by the car while waiting for me to shut the door and lock it.
But also, normally, I give him a little reminder, 'Hold my hand, stand there, don't move for one minute, there are lots of cars about' etc.
Over the past week, he has been revolting against the information flow; the reminders and warnings to be safe, to stop at the end of the path, to look both ways, to hold my hand.
'Stop saying that, I already know it!' he has been protesting, and has been fairly adamant about it.
So this morning, I didn't tell him to hang on, to hold my hand or to stand by the car.
And as I was locking the car - which took all of two seconds - he ran across the entrance of the carpark and met a car head on, which thankfully slammed on their brakes immediately.
Jacob wasn't hit, the car missed him by about four inches - he was lucky.
I scooped him up into my arms and into the school and we were both crying, naturally.
I reiterated all of those warnings to him, about how mammy would be so sad if anything ever happened to Jacob and that he has to start listening to me again.
'My tummy feels cold when you say that' he replied, and then hugged me for a really, really long time in the school corridor.
Today could have been a very different day - we were lucky.
Sometimes we get sick of the sound of our own voices, 'nagging' at our kids to be safe, and so do our kids, but we have to keep at it.
We have to nag them, we have to be on top of it, we can't take our eyes off them for a second, we can't let the ball drop.
They're still babies and they still need us to be that annoying voice, reminding them that we love them too much for anything to go wrong.
The RSA have recently launched a series of driveway safety videos which have excellent messages for both parents and children - I urge you to watch them with your kids and have a conversation about safety around cars.
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