Your kiddo’s Houdini-like escapes from the car seat can take the fun out of any road trip. Here’s how to stop them…

Although the car seat can save the life of your little, it’s of no use if you can’t get the little tyke to STAY buckled in. We have five tips to help…

1) Keep the necessities within their reach

Ensure things they MUST HAVE — like her favourite stuffed toy or his sippy cup of water — remain well within reach. It’s good practice to check if they need anything else while you are buckling them in. Also, put in (somewhere nearby) a couple more stuffed toys just in case one falls out of reach.

2) Keep ’em occupied

While you refuse to let iPad babysit your kid, it can be a good way to divert the little one’s attention away from moving about on board. If you are adamant about banning iGadgets, trying playing their favourite songs in the car and get them to sing along.

3) Stop the car

Maybe something you don’t want to do, but sometimes, you have to. Always survey your surroundings and make sure it is legal for you to stop the vehicle before you do this — preferably in a parking area or by the side of a road with less traffic. Never a highway unless it’s an emergency. This tactic works especially well if the ride is part of a family excursion to a fun place like the zoo because then this delays the fun (helpful if the little one’s got to contend with the wrath of a sibling or cousin on board). Also do this if you think something is amiss with bubba’s harness or seat.

4) Use the carrot and stick method

Reward your child for good behavior — it can be anything from stopping on the way to your destination to get ice-cream, or something small like getting to have extra time to play with their favourite toy or iPad “later”. If the lure of a reward doesn’t work, confiscate their toy or deny them the iPad will usually do the trick. Just make sure you’re stopped at a safe place to try this. Always remember to tell to them why you’re taking things away, and how they can do better (and get the toy/privilege back).

5) Educate them about seatbelts

Dora the Explorer, for instance, constantly reminds tots with the catchphrase, “Seat belts, so we can be safe!” This can be a good place to begin discussing the dangers of not being securely belted in and what outcomes that can lead to. Otherwise, keep your eyes peeled, there are always teachable moments on the news or in the papers.

Photo: iStock

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