Child Passenger Safety
Your infant should come home from the hospital in an approved safety seat and never ride without one. Children who start out in safety seats as infants are much easier to keep in the seats as toddlers, or in safety belts as they get older.
Always buckle your child. Not using the child safety seat or safety belt (because you are only going a few blocks) confuses the child and gives room for resistance. Allowing your child to get out of the safety seat when he/she cries or fusses only teaches the child how to control you. Children learn from consistency.
As your infant becomes a toddler and starts using language, explain in simple words why he/she must ride in a child safety seat. Use a doll to show what happens in a crash. End with "I love you so much I don’t want you to get hurt!" Another good line is "I'm buckling you up because I love you."
Set an Example:
Children want more than anything to be like you. If adults and older children they admire. Show them that you buckle up every time.
Use a Travel Bag:
Another reason children try to unbuckle is boredom. Keep them busy and they will be more content. A bag of soft activities used only in the car, will fill the time. Change toys often to keep them interested.
Let Them See Out:
Choose a safety seat that elevates the toddler and pre-schooler especially if your car has low seats. This allows the child to see what you see.
Almost every child at some time will try to get out of his/her safety seat. Don't panic! When this happens stop the car. Talk to the child in a firm, serious voice. Then re-buckle the child safety seat. Repeat this as often as needed. The child will learn that there is no way around you. The car does not go unless everyone is secure.
Sing, hum and play games. Talk about what you see. Give frequent praise for appropriate behavior in the car. On long trips, stop regularly to change positions, diapers, or feed the child. Doing so will make your child more comfortable and happy.