Car Seats Designed So Baby Can See Out the Windshield? How Safe is That? Not!

in #writing5 years ago

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In my teen novel, Flower in the Hills, main character Latina meets a family with a little girl named Althea who is special needs. Latina makes a gift to the family of a car seat for Althea. The story takes place a few decades ago.

Because the car seat plays such an important role in Flower in the Hills, you might be interested in taking a look at what car seats used to look like.
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No Seat Belts; No Secure Infant Seats

I can remember as a little kid standing up in the back seat of our family Buick. When my younger brother and sister came along, they did the same thing. As an adult, I brought both my babies home from the hospital lying on a pillow on my lap. We took long road trips the same way.

No one was even using seat belts back then, let alone safe, secure infant seats.

The earliest car seats were not designed for safety. They were to keep the child confined and to allow them to see out the windshield as they traveled. The one pictured here would be similar to the one Latina gave to the Clouse family.
car seat children vintage.jpg

Think of how many decades cars roared down our highways all across this nation, and yet it wasn’t until 1985 that the first child passenger safety laws were passed. That’s a lot of years of infants and small children being injured, or killed, in car wrecks because they were flying missiles inside the vehicle. It’s much different today with highly regulated safety rules for all infant seats.
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A Wonderful Gift

But in our story, Flower in the Hills, the car seat for little Althea was a wonderful gift to the family—even if it didn’t meet today’s strict regulations. The car seat actually plays an important role in the climax of the plot.

“Latina’s making like Casper the Ghost…”

Did you ever suffer from motion sickness when you were younger? Or maybe you do now even today. It’s pure agony, I can tell you. Poor Latina gets car sick as she experiences her first glimpse of the dark, brooding Ozark hills. (The above quote is from her younger brother, Dirk.) We'll talk about motion sickness in a future post. See you there...

Flower in the Hills
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