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One of the things I think is fantastic here in the UK is parent/child parking spots in car parks. Its something I had only seen once in the states in a brand newly built mall. These spots do not have to be in front of the store as parents are not handicapped, but they are wider spots so we can get the door of the car open and safely get the baby out. It also gives a parent enough room to put the push chair along side of the car, out of the way of moving traffic, and get the baby strapped in.  The fact that you can get the car door open all the way and maneuver into the car enough to get to the baby seat helps beyond belief. The spots are all about safety.

Before I became a parent I had no idea how hard it was to get a child in and out of a car. I had no idea how vulnerable it feels to have your head stuffed into the car and your ass hanging out with no idea who is walking up behind you, all the while fighting a toddler who is not letting you strap him in without a struggle. I remember one time when I had no parent spot to park in, they where all taken, mostly by people without a child, and hand to climb into the backseat of the car with my newborn infant. This was a squeeze between my car and a car that was so close that I could barely fit in. I hurt myself to get in by making sure that I didn’t hurt my child. There was 10 parent spots in this car park, only 2 had child seats in them.

I know how tempting it is to see a spot that looks so convenient, one that is wide enough to get the door open. Please, I am really asking you to stop and think. Do you really need to put yourself so far in front of others who need these spots to keep their children safe?  Just like disabled spots, they are clearly marked. So next time you see one and are tempted, please stop and think about the parents who really need them to keep their children safe.   Thank you.

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