The Jasper Chronicles

The Journal of a Cynical Dad

Monday, November 02, 2009

Safety First?

Since the late 80's or so, car manufacturers have installed rear door child-safety locks in most of their cars. They come in various flavours, but they all do the same thing - prevent the door from being opened from the inside. The idea is to stop junior from fleeing the car at inappropriate times, like say driving down the highway at 110 km, or driving past a collision between a toy delivery van and ice cream truck.

So a month ago when The Boy stepped up from a car seat to booster seat I activated the safety locks in our car. Then I got to thinking, just how safe are those locks?

Yes it's true, the locks can stop your kid from bolting the car when you least expect it, but what about a situation where you actually want, or need, your kid to get out by themselves. And that's the real question isn't it? If you got in a crash and your door was stuck shut, how would your kid get out of the car?

Whether you choose to use these locks or not really depends on you, but after thinking it through I'm on the side of the prevention through education instead of prevention by restraint (like those stupid kid leashes - but that's for another day).

A week after using the locks, I deactivated them. And so far I haven't had a problem with The Boy getting out when he shouldn't.