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This viral video has parents everywhere double-checking car seats

"If it didn't happen in front of me I'd never have believed it," Mock captioned his upload.

This viral video has parents everywhere double-checking car seats

Car seat safety is such an obsession for parents. We read the articles, listen to expert advice and join Facebook groups dedicated to the subject.

We strap our kids in tight to make sure they are safe, making sure those straps and that chest clip are in just the right place. With so much attention paid to strapping the child into the seat, it's easy to overlook the other part of the equation: Is the seat secured to the vehicle properly?

Now, a viral video has a lot of parents thinking twice not only about how secure their child is in their seat, but how securely that seat is attached to the car.

FEATURED VIDEO

Warning: This video is upsetting, although the child was not hurt.

Minnesotan Chad Mock posted footage captured by his dash camera to Facebook this week, and the video has more than 1.2 million views. It shows the moment a 2-year-old girl, strapped into her car seat, fell out of her mom's car and into the roadway in front of Mock's vehicle.

"If it didn't happen in front of me I'd never have believed it," Mock captioned his upload.

Mock got out of his car and picked the child up. He got the child out of busy roadway and flagged down police.

According to the Star Tribune, the child's mom rushed back to the scene of the accident with another child in tow and was upset going to hug her daughter. Police figured out that the car seat didn't have the strap required to secure it to the vehicle, a 2004 Honda Civic that is equipped with the latch system. The driver's side rear door also wasn't completely closed, the paper reports.

The mom in this case is now facing charges: A misdemeanor child passenger restraint system violation, and a license permit violation because she was driving with just an instructional permit.

The Free Press of Mankato reports the mom explained to police (through a translator) that she believed her daughter was secured in the back seat but must have unlocked herself before she fell out of the car.

The mom in this case made some mistakes that day, but this story might help other parents avoid a common car seat mistake. We often check and double check how our kids are strapped in, but don't always check how secure the seat is to the vehicle.

Car seats can become loose without the usual driver of the vehicle knowing. Maybe an adult moved the seat and forgot to secure the top-tether when putting it back , maybe someone was hauling cargo or tilting seats forward in your vehicle or messing around with the LATCH system. Things can change from car ride to car ride, so always check to make sure the seat's not loose before you hit the road.

"You want less than one inch of movement when you give it a firm handshake at the belt path with your non dominant hand," Nationally Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician Wendy Thomas writes for Car Seats for the Littles. According to Thomas, the belt path is "the spot on the car seat where the seat belt or lower anchor strap goes through"

The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia echos her advice, and suggests parents "optimize the safety of [their] child safety seat by using its top tether strap located at the top of the seat. Check your car seat and vehicle manuals for proper use of the tether for your seat. If use of the tether is appropriate, tightly attach the seat's top tether strap to the correct anchor point in the vehicle and tighten."

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This is how we’re defining success this school year

Hint: It's not related to grades.

In the ever-moving lives of parents and children, opportunities to slow down and reflect on priorities can be hard to come by. But a new school year scheduled to begin in the midst of a global pandemic offers the chance to reflect on how we should all think about measures of success. For both parents and kids, that may mean putting a fresh emphasis on optimism, creativity and curiosity.

Throughout recent decades, "school success" became entangled with "academic achievement," with cases of anxiety among school children dramatically increasing in the past few generations. Then, almost overnight, the American school system was turned on its head in the spring of 2020. As we look ahead to a new school year that will look like no year past, more is being asked of teachers, students and parents, such as acclimating to distance learning, collaborating with peers from afar and aiming to maintain consistency with schooling amidst general instability due to COVID.

Despite the inherent challenges, there is also an overdue opportunity to redefine success during the school year by finding fresh ways to keep students and their parents involved in the learning process.

"I always encourage my son to try at least one difficult thing every school year," says Arushi Garg, parenting blogger and mom of a 4-year-old. "This challenges him but also allows me to remind him to be optimistic! Lots of things in life are hard, and it's important we learn to be positive during difficult times. Fostering a sense of optimism allows kids to push beyond what they thought possible, like biking without training wheels or reading above their grade level."

Here are a few mantras to keep in mind this school year:

Quality learning matters more than quantifying learning

After focusing on standardized measures of academic success for so long, the learning environment this next school year may involve more independent, remote learning. Some parents are considering this an exciting opportunity for their children to assume a bigger role in what they are learning—and parents are also getting on board by supporting their children's education with engaging, positive learning materials like Highlights Magazine.

As a working mom, Garg also appreciates that Highlights Magazine can help engage her son while she's also working. She says, "He sits next to me and solves puzzles in the magazine or practices his writing from the workbook."

Keep an open mind as "school" looks different

Whether children are of preschool age or in the midst of high school, "going to school" is bound to look different this year. Naturally, this may require some adjustment as kids become accustomed to new guidelines. Although many parents may wish to shelter our kids from challenges, others believe optimism can be fostered through adversity when everyone is committed to adapting to new experiences.

"Honestly, I am yet to figure out when I will be comfortable sending [my son] back [to school]," says Garg. In the meantime, she's helping her son remain connected with friends who also read Highlights Magazine by encouraging the kids to talk about what they are learning on video calls.

Follow children's cues about what interests them

For Garg, her biggest hope for this school year is that her son will create "success" for himself by embracing new learning possibilities with positivity.

"Encouraging my son to try new things has given him a chance to prove that he can do anything," she says. "He takes his previous success as an example now and feels he can fail multiple times before he succeeds."

There's no denying that this school year will be far from the norm. But, perhaps, we can create a new, better way of defining our children's success in school because of it.

This article was sponsored by Highlights. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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