No one wants to be “that” lady.
You know the one. The busy-body. The know-it-all. The always-up-in-someone-elses-business.
Not long after we moved to Missouri, I was behind this minivan that had all of these HUGE decals across the back that read stuff like: “My preschooler is in a 5-point harness, ask me why!” and “My toddler is rear-facing, ask me why!” For some reason, those decals just got under my skin and I wondered what kind of self-righteous nut job that was.
As God would have it, I met her a few months later at a La Leche League meeting and she became a friend. Oh, and those decals? She’s a Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician and those decals are invitations to learn more about Child Restraint Safety.
The other night, on Facebook, I read a blog post that just broke my heart. Just to put it out there, the post deals with the death of an infant due to improper driving and child restraint use, but it is no less heartbreaking. In the blog post, the mother laments… if only someone had told her that she was using her car seat incorrectly.
As parents, we often think we have it all figured out. We are told that we are to be the experts of our own children, but does that mean that we are thus rendered unteachable? We are called to have a teachable spirit always, to submit to the understanding that we don’t know everything and to be OK with that.
I am sure this parent wishes someone had told them that placing a infant carrier on top of a shopping cart was wrong. Or this parent that having a child ride rear-facing is safer than riding front-facing.
You might be thinking: But I’m not a Child Safety Tech, I don’t have all the answers! I’ll be the first to tell you that I am not a Car Seat Tech and I’m not saying that you have to have the answers. Rather, if you notice something wrong that is easily fixed, say an improperly positioned chest clip, the chest clip not being buckled, a twisted belt, point out the error! If it’s something more complicated, like the install looks wonky or a very young child in a belt-positioning booster, encourage them to find out more information on their own.
Jesus reminds us that whatever we do for the least of His people, we do to Him. Children are among our most vulnerable because they rely on adults to keep them alive.
Avoid the sin of omission… if you see something, say something.
And if you are on the receiving end of the correction, swallow your pride and say “Thank You.” That’s what I had to do when my friend back in Missouri noticed that Brigid’s seat was incorrectly installed and she was essentially not restrained at all and had been riding like that for a few weeks.
She wasn’t saying that I was a bad mom, She was saying, I care about YOU.
As of today, my 7 year old is in a a high-back booster, my 5 year old is in a 5 point-harness (front facing) and my 2 year old is rear-facing. I also learned today that I had been checking in the wrong place to be sure that the seat was secure!
‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of the least brothers of mine, you did for me.’ Mt. 25:40
For more information of Child Restraint Safety including what models work best in what cars (because I can’t answer that question) be sure to visit Car Seats For the Littles. The site is run by Certified Child Passenger Safety Techs and is a wealth of knowledge!