Saturday, August 17, 2013

Parking lot safety for the parent and child

I hate writing this. It's dumb, but thank you friends for being a sounding board without even knowing it! You've encouraged me and I appreciate that so much so this one's for you ladies <3

It's ridiculous to put the responsibility of preventing auto/pedestrian accidents in the hands of pedestrians. The human body is no match for the the human body inside of a 2-3 ton machines. We would never tell the victim of a violent crime that they should have prevented the crime, because it's not the a victim's job to not provoke violence. You can do everything right and still have it go horribly wrong.

So suggestions:

  • Children should be the first things to go into the car, and the last things to come out of the car 
  • Do not park near open spaces, you cannot assume these spaces will stay open, or that a distracted driver will go ahead and pull in without seeing you or your child in that space
  • When parking, pull nose in around other cars
  • Make sure none of the cars around you are moving or will be moving
  • DO NOT let your kids walk toward the back of the car
  • DO have them walk to the front of your car where it sits infront of another non-moving car, have your head light be a safety zone, where the can put their hand while you close the door
  • Have your children all come out of the same door, you'll get feet prints on your seats but eh there are worse things, obviously
  • If possible park next to a cart corral, have children stand between your door and the cart corral.
  • Do talk to your children quickly before exiting the car on how to stay safe in the parking lot
  • Be vigilant, you can't trust the drivers in parking lots to pay attention, 
None of this can ensure 100% safety, but why not be safer if you can?

If your child is a runner wear them, put them in a stroller, or use a child safety harness. It's inconvenient but nothing in comparison to a life interrupted by child loss.

Next post: how to drive SAFELY in a parking lot.

Love you Bram, it's been 9 months and it hurts just as much, just as big, and I ache so physically to hold you again. Once day my perfect boy. One day! 


  1. Great tips! I love parking next to the cart corral...i grab a cart and push it right over to our van door and the 3 & 5 year olds scamper over the seats and into the goes in the sling...ten year old keeps hand on the cart...and we get inside without too much crazy. But if we are at a cart-free parking lot, i have the kids crawl over the seats all the way to the back, i open the hatch and they all come out that way at the same time. Nothing is 100% but we need to think out of the box until drivers are compelled to be conscious and aware.

  2. I had never even thought about using the corral as a safety spot. I always park as close as possible to one so that I dont have to leave my daughter in the car for to long for fear of being fined for leaving her unattended. I also sometimes keep her in the cart until all of my purchases are inthe car and then take her with me to return the cart. Then again, shes little enough to sit in the cart. Thanks for this post! I defiantly will use these suggestions when my daughter is big enough to walk

  3. Great advice! I almost always find a spot next to a cart corral, and will even wait if I see someone about to leave and they are parked next to one. Not only can I use that as a safety buffer when my kids are out of the car, but I also like that I get all of my children safely buckled in the car, THEN unload the cart of groceries (or whatever) into my car, and return the cart to the cart corral without having to step away from my car. Added safety bonus.

  4. You should definitely do something about this.... Most people behind the wheel seriously don't pay attention of their surroundings. There should be signs everywhere or something to protect our children and ourselves. Sirens or something to scare straight a distracted driver to focus on only driving instead of everything else. I watch drivers daily who speed through parking lots and it is very scary for our children. I will pray that God puts an idea in your mind or something that will work and be approved and passed as a law, in the mighty name of Jesus. Your babies death will not be in vain, your precious boy will live on!!!

    1. It's up to all of us to make parking lots safer, people need to be aware of what is going on around them. The person that killed Bram didn't know they had hit a person and ended up crushing him with her back tire. He probably would have lived if it weren't for that, if they had been aware of their surroundings. It's devastating.

  5. Would have been nice if you hadn't brought rape into it. Most parents DON'T teach their sons not to rape, and giving your daughter a checklist of things not to do in the name of "safety" will just give her a false sense of security, and when some guy rapes her anyway (because they don't wait for you to be drunk or wearing a short skirt), she'll wind up blaming herself.

    The two situations are wholly different because you can't always know what will happen when you associate with a man, but you ALWAYS know what will happen if a truck runs over you.

    1. Thank you Guggie!

      Dana your post doesn't make sense. I have no idea what assumptions you've made of me or what you think my opinions are. I do not believe that safety equals checklist. Bram was a safe pedestrian. I didn't even say anything pro-rape. All of my friends raising sons ARE raising them to NOT be rapists. So in my circle we DO actually raise our children to not be rapists, yet we don't trust everyone to be that aware, so we still teach skills necessary to protect against rape.

      We should be able to trust that everyone who is operating a machine knows how to do so safely, because we do. But we can't trust that, and even being a safe pedestrian isn't enough to prevent death from a distracted driver. It absolutely is comparable in terms of awareness and prevention. But no you can't compare child death to rape, as a sexual assault survivor, child death is way worse.

  6. Samantha was pointing out that it's sad and wrong that we have to take the steps to protect children in parking lots. The onus of responsibility should be on the drivers commanding the huge metal death traps. A parking lot shouldn't be a place of death, but it is b/c people are in a bad mood, staring at their phones or rushing. A human life, especially an innocent and young one, is not worth expressing rage, answering a text or shaving 20 seconds off a trip.

  7. When I drive my two-year-old grand-daughter anywhere, I tell her "hug my leg" while waiting for me to unlock the door and then make her climb in first. She isn't a runner, so this works well for now. I am so saddened for you, having lost a child, under any circumstance. Love to you, dear one.

  8. Samantha,

    I remember hearing Bram's story circulate among the midwifery community last year. I'm so sorry, so very sorry. I have thought of you and he often when in a parking lot. I'm just so sorry you even had to write this blog. My heart hurts for you. And should anyone leave you anything other kind words here, they do not understand loss, and for that also, I am so sorry. Lifting you up before the Heavenly Father now and whenever I think of you and Bram. May the God of all comfort bring His peace to your heart.


Thanks for reading and loving Bram!