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Monday, 24 January, 2000, 15:56 GMT
Children 'driving parents mad'

Parents want extra safety measures in cars

Parents are stressed, tearful, frustrated, and unable to concentrate on the road when they have young children in the car, a survey says.

The pregnancy health charity Tommy's Campaign quizzed members of the Huggies Mother and Baby club about their feelings on driving their children.

The charity says an "astounding" 59% admitted to feeling stressed, angry, tearful, or unable to concentrate on some journeys.

A total of 9% of respondents said that they felt this way on all journeys that they undertook where their children were present.

An in-car bottle warmer might make life simpler ...
Tommy's Campaign said that the most commonly acknowledged emotion of driving parents was stress.

The second most popular complaint was "being unable to concentrate on the road" - with a quarter of all respondents experiencing lapses in their attention to surrounding traffic conditions.

The parents questioned suggested that simple devices fitted within cars, such as removable, washable seat covers, seat belt alarms and bottle warmers, would make the task of transporting children a lot easier.

Esther Fergusson of Tommy's Campaign said: "Our survey shows that, for many parents, travelling with babies and toddlers is a gruelling experience.

"We believe more can be done to help parents both during their journey, however they travel, and when they arrive at their destination."

Tommy's Campaign launches a search for nominations for its Parent Friendly Awards on Wednesday
She added: "Some of the ideas parents put forward are very simple. Many parents were worried that their children were un-doing seat belts, and wanted some kind of alarm to alert them if this had happened.

"Other parents suggested that a mirror or CCTV system which would let them see what their children were getting up to on the back seat would help.

"There is an argument that this would be distracting, but constantly having to turn around to look at children is possibly even more distracting.

"The results of this survey are quite worrying, and we would urge manufacturers to listen to what parents are telling them."

  • Tommy's Campaign's search for nominations for its Parent Friendly Awards starts on Wednesday. Forms to nominate services which cater for children are available from shops and service stations nationwide.

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