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“I didn’t understand the need for eyes on the back of your head until I had kids.”

Holden
Thanks to our brand partner, Holden

This week I was driving down one of Melbourne’s busiest streets and predictably, I was stuck in traffic. Sitting there, I glanced over at a service station to see a little girl who could not have been more than two, standing alone by the bowser.

From where I was sitting, there wasn’t a parent in sight. I was in the middle of a four-lane highway and although my first instinct was to jump out of my car and rush over to her, it just wasn’t possible. Luckily it was then that I saw a man rush towards her and scoop her up in his arms, clearly relieved.

Again, my first instinct was to judge him. How on earth could this girl, his daughter, be at the bowser at a very busy city petrol station, all alone? And then I remembered, I had forgotten the fact that I myself had needed eyes in the back of my head when I had small children. Or eyes in the back of my car.

Let’s face it, even with the best supervision children can be slippery and in the blink of an eye, escape your gaze.

car safety for children

I had forgotten the fact that I myself had needed eyes in the back of my head when I had small children. Image: iStock.

As I sat in the traffic that day I saw the mother then run around the side of the car in the petrol station parking bay, a mixture of distress and relief. I then knew from their exchange, exactly what had just happened.

The father clearly thought that the mother had their daughter and she thought the same thing of him. This is a classic family scenario, whether you have one or five children, lines get crossed, fatigue can cause miscommunication. And sadly, this is how the worst accidents happen.

Holden and Mamamia Women’s Network’s research of over a thousand Aussie mums found parents have real issues trying to multitask and ensure their childrens’ safety when loading and offloading them in and out of cars.

car safety for children
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90 per cent of mums with babies (zero to one year) are worried when putting their child into their restraint on busy roads. Image: iStock.

They are fully aware of the risks for kids in car parks, as children can be unpredictable and run at any moment. The ability to keep our children at their safest has never been more important than it is today but this doesn’t mean that room for error isn’t there.

Don’t get me wrong, I never expected parenting to be sunshine and rainbows, but when it comes to looking after our children’s safety it can be confronting how much you need to keep an eye on them.

The research also found that 93 per cent of mums with two children are worried about reversing drivers in car parks (significantly higher than mums with 1 child – 85 per cent) while 90 per cent of mums with babies (zero to one year) are worried when putting their child into their restraint on busy roads.

how to ensure your child's safety in your car

93 per cent of mums with two children are worried about reversing drivers in car parks. Image: Supplied.

The thing is, with one child, we pretty much know where that child is at any one time. When we have two, that isn’t always the case. Especially when we are getting them in and out of the car. It’s the expectation that those with us are taking care of certain aspects that can confuse the situation. Any variation of our normal routine can also throw things out.

I used to think a reversing camera and all that kind of technological stuff was just for the “worriers” but I’ll be honest, it’s already saved me from backing out onto a child who was chasing a handball in a supermarket car park. So as far as I can tell, these features are worth every single cent.

And I’ll still hold out hope for the scientific advances the will give us those extra eyes.

How do you keep your kids safe around cars?

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