Grandchildren in Your Car

Do your grandchildren travel with you in your car?

I love taking my grandchildren on adventures. I have a Graco car seat for my granddaughter and Graco booster seats for the boys. I am hyper vigilant when they are in the car: car seat locked into place properly and the buckle secured high across my granddaughter’s chest. I bought dog collars to buckle around the headrests through which I thread the booster seat straps to ensure those straps lay against the boys’ shoulders as directed by the manufacturer. I will not start the car until each one is strapped in. If I see an arm over a strap, I will pull over. The kids know I mean business.

My attention to their safety hit home last week when I was involved in a serious collision. It was one of the rare times I had left my house since the pandemic began; I was on the way home from the post office after mailing presents to my grandchildren. I won’t go into details, but one witness said my car flew through the air like a NASCAR racer that had been hit. My car landed upside down ─ the roof resting on the pavement. It looked like my dog, Checkers, lying on his back with his feet in the air waiting for me to rub his belly.

I am thankful I was wearing my seatbelt and shoulder harness; it held me suspended upside down. I am thankful I walked away with just a scratch on my elbow.

I am thankful I was alone. I am thankful my granddaughter’s car seat remained in place even after the tow truck righted my car’s position.

I strongly believe wearing my seatbelt and harness combination saved my life. I strongly believe my granddaughter’s car seat didn’t move because it was installed correctly. I strongly believe if she had been riding with me the car seat would have saved her life, too.

Please do three things for me: wear your seatbelt every time you drive, ensure your grandchildren’s car seats and booster seats are installed properly, and make sure your grandchildren are strapped in securely in the safety seats appropriate for their ages, heights, and weights every time they ride in your car. Please do these three things for your grandchildren. Please do these three things for yourself.

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