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Kids and Seatbelts: Creating a Habit

I’m sure many of us have a story about a time when seat belts were forgotten, overlooked, or not buckled for one reason or another. And considering we’re here to share those stories means that it turned out okay for us.

I have a few of those stories, both from growing up and from my family now.

There was my dad’s 1969 Fold Falcon that we always wanted to ride in because there were no seat belts in the back seat and we thought it was fun, but my dad never let us because he knew how unsafe it was.

There was the time that my parents buckled my baby sister in her car seat but forgot to actually buckle the seat into the car, so at the first stop sign the seat fell forward onto the floor of the car, but she wasn’t hurt.

Or the time that we had my infant daughter in her car seat at a restaurant and unbuckled her, but then forgot to buckle her back in before driving home, so when we arrived home and went to get her out of her seat we realized she hadn’t been buckled in for the whole drive home! Let me tell you what — that happened one time and one time only! We learned our lesson!

What I have learned the most from these stories is the importance of checking, and double-checking, my children’s car seats and buckles. You really can never be too safe!

But, even though I think that I’m extra careful to check and double-check, now that I have three kiddos to wrangle into the car and two of them can climb in and get themselves into their seat by themselves, there has still been a time or two that one of my kids has yelled at me from the back seat as we’re getting ready to pull out of the driveway, “Mom, I’m not buckled in!”

I know, maybe that’s not something I should be admitting. But, my point is that my kids know they are supposed to be buckled in their car seats and they know that they need to let me know if they aren’t. I trust that they’re not back there trying to sneak their seat belts off, or figure out how to get me to forget to buckle them.

We are instilling in them the importance of seat belts from a young age. And I hope it sticks with them as they become teenagers and climb into a car with friends (shudder!), that they will always remember to buckle their seat belts, even if their friends think they are “too cool” to wear theirs.

We talk to our kids about how important it is to buckle their seat belts, how important it is to be safe in the car. And most importantly we model it for them by always buckling our own seat belts before we travel anywhere in the car. Kids learn by example, and want that example to be that we ALWAYS buckle our seat belts. No matter what.

And hopefully, they won’t have any of those stories of unbuckled seat belts to share with their friends and family when they’re older!

Are you baby safety savvy? We’re giving away two Graco SnugRide Click Connect infant car seats! To enter for a chance to win, simply comment on this post with a personal tip on how you keep baby safe in the car.

Disclaimer: The content and viewpoints expressed here within are solely that of the originators. Graco’s sponsorship does not imply endorsement of any opinions or information provided and we do not assume responsibility for the accuracy of the content provided. Please always consult a professional for matters related to your child’s well-being. Click here to see more of the discussion.

Emily writes about green and natural living at Live Renewed.

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