I would like to believe that I am not the only mother who has trouble getting my toddler girls to sit quietly and behave when I’m driving. Between the two of them one is always trying to jump into the front seat and the other trying to “break free” from her car seat belt.

In the beginning I had quite a bit of trouble trying to find the right age appropriate car seat. This was mainly because somehow my daughters were always able to wiggle themselves out of their seats. Now I have a very active 4-year old and a not-so-innocent 1 year old.

The last thing I would want is to be traveling at 120km/hr on the freeway and have to hit an emergency break to avoid rear ending the person in front of me and see my daughters go flying through the windscreen. And that is why it is so important to make sure that they are buckled in safely at all times.

Always make sure that your children’s safety comes first. Before even leaving your driveway, make sure that your child is sitting comfortably and buckled in correctly. Children are restless and very sneaky, they know to worm their way out of almost anything. And unfortunately for me, with the two of them sitting together at the back, the older one always becomes the “rescuer” of the little one. She will always try and unbuckle her sister or try carry her out of her seat carrier. Now I have found that what works for me is when I put them at opposite ends and not too close-or reachable distance- to each other. Discovering this trick has been my saving grace.

Another trick that seems to work for me is always keeping them entertained (that gives them less time to be thinking about escape plans). Usually I put on some sing along music and get them dancing a bit. That is also a very effective way of putting my 1 year old to sleep. Now my 4-year-old I need to entertain for a little while longer. We play games like ‘I Spy with my little eye” or I make her guess the colors of the cars we see along the road.

I’ve also noticed that stopping every now and then for potty breaks and just to get them out of their car seats makes them a little less restless. They enjoy the temporary freedom and not being tied down to their chairs.

They may not understand now, but with all the horror stories that we read about everyday about the accidents on our roads, I would hate to become another statistic. So, I always make sure that my girls are buckled up.

By Noni Nchwe