Sunday, June 5, 2016

Hidden Danger of Seatbelts

I just read a story that scared me. It was something that I never thought of worrying about, and the story

I don't like fear-mongering, but sometimes, you share something because you didn't know. And knowing helps.

THIS HAS NOT HAPPENED TO ME, but reading the stories is enough to get me thinking. Sometimes just being aware of a situation in the back of your mind is enough to keep you from letting it happen. For me, the close calls get to me. Because it's the universe reminding us to wake up.

You hear a horror story about a close call with a hotdog, and you remember to keep an eye on your kids as they eat them. And you slice them for your little ones.

You hear a horror story about a close call with furniture, and you make sure that your anchors are secure.

For me, these horror stories don't make me think "bad parent! bad parent!" They make me think "there, but for the grace of God, go I."

So anyway, after all that build up, here's the story. A mom was pulled up at an elementary school in her minivan. She was parked, her van doors were open, the car was off, and she was chatting with another mom while her daughter frolicked around in the backseat, amusing herself happily while her mom chatted.

And suddenly, she wasn't frolicking.

In her movement around the backseat, the seat belt had gotten tangled and wrapped around her neck. And because of how seatbelts work, both moms couldn't get the seatbelt loosened. Every move they made, every move her daughter made, pulled the seatbelt tighter around her neck. They were able to work fast enough, find strong scissors, and cut the belt, and her daughter was fine. Scared, with deep mark from the belt, and crying, but fine.

Now, judging by the comments, there were two types of reactions.

1. What kind of mom lets her kids play in the car?? She was probably gossiping and totally ignoring her. I hope CPS was called. I know I have taught my kids how to behave in the car. They would never, I would never, what's wrong with this generation, blah, blah, blah.

2. Oh. My. God. I do this all the time! We did this today when we picked them up! The kids sit in the car and play while we catch up! I had no idea! I am going to make sure I get a seatbelt cutter in the car TODAY and I need to remind the kids not to play with the belts.

Which reaction is more useful? The "this could only happen to a bad mom and never me" or the "I'm so glad I know what to do and how to prevent it"? I don't know about you, but I'm going with number two. I reminded my girls not to play with the seatbelts, no matter what, but since I know kids can be kids, I put a seatbelt cutter in my glove box.

Kids will be kids, hidden dangers are everywhere, the words "I would never" are basically a dare to the universe. But awareness might just be the tool you need to stay vigilant, and to keep a bad decision from becoming a tragedy.

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