I remember securing my newborn child into her car seat for the first time, fastening her in and double-checking every strap before leaving the hospital. It was a little bucket seat that clicked into a base, keeping my baby locked and loaded as we travelled along city roads. I had chosen the seat carefully, looking for something with a great consumer rating at a reasonable price point. As she grew, I’d swap out that bucket seat for a larger infant seat, a toddler seat and eventually, a high-back booster. She’s nearly nine years old now but at only 48 lbs, she still sits in a booster just like her younger brother. Safety first, right?
When that newborn baby was in junior kindergarten, she went on her first field trip. I remember being a bit nervous about her leaving the school, feeling extra relief as I picked her up that day. “She was very cute on the bus,” her teacher told me, clearly amused. “She insisted on sitting in the front row, where the accessible seats are because it’s the only part of the bus that has seat belts.”
Wait, what? I heard a record scratch in my brain as I paused to process this information. I knew that school buses don’t typically have seat belts, of course, but it’s not something I’d put a lot of thought into until that moment. My child and her classmates, who were normally strapped into strictly regulated safety devices while travelling by car, were hurtling along the highway in a vehicle with no seat belts.
And that was ok, apparently?
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