Are The Children Being Properly Buckled?

It happens every day as the pre-k pick-up line of cars inches slowly forward. Two classes of 18 or so children, a car for each one, and you do the math. That’s a lot of cars pulling into line, creeping up toward the door where a teacher walks a student up to the vehicle and plops him or her inside, back into the loving hands of the parent, family member or day-care provider that is responsible for transportation.

What I noticed on my first day in this assembly line of sorts was that the time required (at least for me) to buckle my child safely into his booster seat was far more time than the pickup, open the door, plop child inside and pull away process was taking. I wondered: are the children being properly buckled?

Surely they were, and these people responsible for the buckling must just be lightening fast. I, myself only a year into the booster seat world of buckling, often took so long that I felt tremendous pressure from the waiting cars behind me. My solution is to make sure my son is in his seat, then scoot about 10 yards up, out of the line and pull over in the parking lot where I could get out, come over to his side, open the door and buckle him in correctly—all without the mounting pile up of cars behind me.

I wasn’t the only one who started to use this method. There was a man that picked up three toddlers in his Ford Flex (yes, you can read envy there, clear as day) who would pull up behind me and do the same.

Now, I can’t say with complete accuracy that out of so-and-so-many cars x amount don’t properly buckle their precious cargo. I can, however estimate that it is about half. That is to say that half of the cars zoom away from the curb and leave the school grounds within a few seconds of their child being plopped inside. Now, either those parents are the superheroes of the buckling world, or else their child knows not only how to buckle themselves in correctly but can also manage to pull the seat belt all the way out and release it back until it locks properly.

That is the whole point of being correctly buckled into a booster seat, right? I mean, it’s not that the seat “boosts” the child up for a better view of whatever lunch is coming their way from the McDonald’s drive in window, yes? All I know is most accidents happen within a five-mile radius of home. If indeed that is true, wouldn’t you want to be super-vigilant with the proper buckling of your child? Our district is so densely populated, buses aren’t an option for children attending our elementary school. So chances are, if your child is in the same pre-k program as mine, on nice days you could walk your child to and from school (which many of us do).

Here’s my point.

If you aren’t properly buckling your child because it is a hassle, or you are late to get home, or you think your 3 or 4 year-old can do it themselves, think again. Please, let’s keep our kids safe. Take a moment to make sure your child has every opportunity to see their next birthday. And, if you are in front of me in line and it takes you a few extra minutes? No worries.

I’m in no hurry.

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Article by ShadyTree

Allison just returned from NYC where she received the Mom of the Year Award for her tireless devotion to all things motherhood. And then she woke up, realized her son was late for pre-school, her daughter hadn't had a bath in 3 days and her own eyebrows looked like they belonged on Chewbacca from Star Wars. On a day-to-day basis she juggles all the tough stuff that most Moms do, but tries to remember that at the end of the day it isn't about how perfect her life appears to be to everyone else, it's about how perfect it is for HER that counts. ShadyTree tagged this post with: , Read 6 articles by
3 Comments Post a Comment
  1. deanna says:

    Hey. I was just glancing at a friends blog, and through internet magic (dont ask me how it happened) I got sent to your post.
    I install car seats. Its what I do. I have national training, and I run a provincial non-profit on car seat installation. What you have written above….”Now, either those parents are the superheroes of the buckling world, or else their child knows not only how to buckle themselves in correctly but can also manage to pull the seat belt all the way out and release it back until it locks properly.” This confuses me. We NEVER ‘lock’ a seat belt on a booster. A booster seat positions the child ONLY so that the seat belt can work properly in the event of a crash.
    Anyway…If you have questions, feel free to contact. If you dont want my opinion, thats fine, disregard.
    But I hope I helped.

    Deanna

  2. Allison says:

    Hi Deanna-

    Wow, if we don’t have to lock the seat belt on the boosters, then my life just got a whole less complicated! It was demonstrated to me at a local fire station booster and car seat safety training class that we should in fact use the lock. Now I am the one that is confused! Can anyone else speak to this important safety issue?

    Thanks,

    Allison (Under A Shady Tree)

  3. […] the start I was unhappy with the program. I didn’t like that there was a line of cars to drop off and pick up the kids every morning, where at the previous school we could park and walk our kids up to their […]

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