Car Seats and Preschoolers

I was never quite as anal as my friend about car seat installation. With babies born overseas, we didn't have the opportunity to stop at 'car seat check locations,' especially since in Qatar babies weren't even in car seats most of the time. They used to ride up front with the goats (no, I'm not kidding) or dad would hold the baby up against the steering while while he plowed through a deadly roundabout. Seriously.

But both my kids had their appropriate car seats, and they were installed to the best of my ability. As they got older and were able to climb in and even fasten it on their own, I admit to being a bit lackadaisical about checking the fit--too loose, too high, too low, twisted strap, etc. This is certainly a failure on my part, and I should be better about it.

This past weekend we had a car seat scare. This is the third time it has happened, but never has it made me sick to my stomach. On our way to Richmond, we pulled up to the toll booth and the arm didn't go up. My husband slammed on the brake and my daughter--strapped into her car seat--flew forward, seat and all, hitting her head on the back of the driver seat. Actually, she hit the DVD player screen. Turns out while she was fastened in, but the car seat was not. My kids had played in the car earlier that day and someone must have unhooked the car seat (our Britax Roundabout no longer has the LATCH on it so we have to buckle it in 'old school'). This is the third time her car seat has been undone, but the previous two times I found it before we left the house.

Needless to say, I was grateful for the guardian angel who gave us the head's up on Anna's seat. Braking at five miles an hour is a lot less painful than braking or being hit at highway speed.

Lesson learned: Be more judicious with the car seat inspection before driving. Life is precious.


KMF said...

That is scary, Linda. Right Start sells a product you might be interested in. It's called Angel Guard and it is a piece designed to cover the buckled seatbelt.


I haven't tried it yet, but was considering it for one of our cars.

Ariel said...

Oh, no! Glad Anna is okay. That must have been really scary. Thanks for posting about this- it never would have occured to me that a kid could get one of those undone.

sak said...

I'll join you in thanking Anna's guardian angel. St. Raphael doesn't get enough credit!