In life, and in parenting, most of us try to follow the Golden Rule: treat others as you would want to be treated. This generally means kindly, with respect to the person and their situation… basically, just don’t be a jerk. Sometimes this means keeping our mouths shut when our friends make choices for their children that we wouldn’t – and I probably don’t have to tell you how exceedingly difficult that can be. But there’s a time to speak up and time to pipe down. I mean, if your friend’s son is addicted to Cocoa Puffs maybe just mind your own business, right?
Sometimes though, we feel compelled to say something to our friends that we just know will not be taken kindly. We’ll come off like a jerk, and there’s no way around it. One of those instances is when bringing up car seat misuse.
|This car seat will NOT do its job!
Misuse is EVERYWHERE. It’s on Instagram, it’s on TV ads, it’s in your Facebook timeline and it’s on the roads. We have all seen the adorable videos of children dancing along in their car seats to their favorite songs. They go viral instantly and it’s no wonder: cute kid + funny dance moves = internet sensation. But I have yet to see a viral car seat dancing video that showed a properly restrained child. And that’s no shock either: conservative misuse estimates place the number somewhere around 75%, with certain populations closer to 90%. Harness straps hanging loose, babies facing forward, booster seats for kids who are not ready for them, chest clips improperly placed… watch this video and see how many you catch.
I think most of us would likely get defensive. And why not? This person is basically calling your parenting into question, right? WRONG. Car seat misuse is so common that most of us are doing it, and unless we talk about it and try to learn from our mistakes our children are the ones who will be paying the ultimate price.
Dana is the lucky mother to two incredible kids (aged 10 & 6) and the happy wife of Nate. She stumbled around in her adult life for a while before finally realizing that she could get paid to pursue her passion: keeping kids safe. In 2013 she started working at Modern Natural Baby in Ferndale where she eventually became a Child Passenger Safety Technician with additional Special Needs training. Dana also runs the child passenger safety-focused Facebook page Buckle Up Detroit and works with the amazing lady bosses at Metro Detroit Doula Services offering car seat classes, consultations, and more!