A mother of six children was pulled over in Torrance, California this week for texting. While driving. With an unrestrained baby in her lap. Is your jaw on the floor yet?
Shawndeeia Bowen was driving with the baby on her lap on the 405 freeway in California when a concerned citizen called police. While normally, I think people need to mind their own business regarding other people's parenting, in this case, I think the person is practically a hero.
Because not only did Bowen have her cellphone in hand and the baby on her lap, she also had a 2- and 4-year-old in the backseat with no seat belts on. This mother of six was committing child abuse, plain and simple.
Since having my children, I can't count the number of times I have been told by some well meaning person, "In my day we didn't have car seats." Well guess what? We have car seats for a reason. And not using them at all? Is child abuse.
Yep, that's right. What she was doing was abusing her children.
If she had had to brake suddenly, then what? Or what if there had been an accident. All those children would have been killed, the baby crushed by his or her unrestrained mother. She was endangering their lives and neglecting their safety.
She was breaking so many laws, it's hard to limit it to just one. But the worst is she was endangering not only every child in her car, but every child in every other car.
The fact is, part of good parenting is a good car seat. There is a reason they won't let you leave the hospital without one. This means no used car seats, no car seats from 1984, and no car seats that aren't made for children the right weight and size. There are updates to laws and regulations often. Follow them. Educate yourself. Did you know that children should now face backwards until the age of 2? If not, you should.
Parent need to be serious about car safety. We can control so many things in our kids' lives, but we can't control how other people drive. We owe it to our kids to make sure they are in the safest seats, buckled up tight. Anything less than that is negligent. What this woman did was criminal.
Do you think this is child abuse?
Image via gluemoon/Flickr