When’s the last time you checked to see if your child’s car seat was properly secured? Are you willing to bet their life that is?
Take The Time To Save Their Life
Too often, Officer Friendly sees parents doing a half-assed job of securing their precious cargo, trusting that today will be as uneventful as every day before. But it only takes one idiot pulling out in front of you to rob you of your baby, and it only takes a few minutes to buy them a second chance.
Read the Instructions
Have you ever read the instructions for your child’s car seat? Why not? I’m no fan of instruction manuals, but we’re not talking about learning how to program your TV here. We’re talking about how to properly install and use the one device designed to save your child’s life in the situation in which they are most likely to face life threatening injuries, and which is an unavoidable daily necessity for the vast majority of us! Are you willing to roll the dice over and over, every second you’re driving with your child’s life on the line, just to save a few minutes? What if your assumptions about the seat are wrong?
Movement = Injury
Most car seats these days are designed with the latch system, and most cars are designed with latch anchors. With a latch seat, if it moves more than an inch in any direction, it’s not secure. You need to put your full body weight on top of the seat when tightening the straps, and wrench it down until the movement is limited to a wiggle. Just remember that it’s a lot harder for your child to get whiplash or build the intertia needed to break restraints if they’re only moving an inch or two.
Take the Saint Peter Challenge
Ask yourself this question: “When I die, if I have to defend my efforts to keep my kids safe, could I honestly say that I did my best, or am I gonna be called out as being lazy and careless?”
Not religious? Try this: “Would I be able to stand in front of my friends and family at my child’s funeral and honestly say that I did my best, or could they call me out as being lazy and careless?” Better yet, could you defend your efforts if the child was your best friend’s?
If not, then you really need to sit down and figure out how to get there, because the next time you drive somewhere may be the time some idiot pulls out in front of you, and a child’s life depends upon your handiwork.
Have you ever caught yourself slacking off when securing a child, or installing a child seat? Have you ever seen a friend slacking? How did you respond? Why?