Think! child seat advert lacks thought

The latest of the Government’s information video on child car seats lacks thought.

A mother straps her child into the car, whilst quoting a statistic that “300 children are killed or seriously injured in cars every year”. This is trying to impute that by obeying the law you are avoiding putting your child at risk of death or serious injury. The advert is misleading and should be withdrawn.

What the current law does not recognise is the following.

1. The differance between obeying the law and not will make very little difference to the probability of your child be seriously injured. The probabilty is insignificantly different from zero.

2. The probabilty of a child joining the 300 is more significantly changed by the way the vehicle is driven than how securely the passengers are belted in. Drive like a lunatic, or fail to concentrate on the road ahead, or drive under the influence of drugs and alcohol will all increase the probablity of an accident. Drive at moderate speed for the road condition, keep a safe distance and an awareness of other road users abd the probability of an accident is near zero.

3. It discriminates against smaller children. The height limit for using a booster seat is 135cm. The taller children attain this at their 8th birthday, whilst shorter children can only reach this height when then are leaving primary school. Shorties can be incredably sensitive about this issue.

4. It attempts to limit a very low probability horrific event, by causes a very high probability of discomfort for the child. One of my children would usually fall asleep on a journey of more than twenty minutes after a day out. They would slump against the seatbelt, and then awaken with a severe pain in the neck. Being on a booster seat would exacerbate this. I would claim that my boring (smooth and gentle) style of driving is what sent them to sleep.

It is a case of a law causing a net loss to society. If such exaggerated and unfounded claims were made for vitamins or medicines, the claimant would be rightly prosecuted. Infomertials should, at least morally, be bound by the same rules.

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