Putting on a Seatbelt
In this video, we will discuss how to teach your child to buckle his or her seatbelt when getting into the car, which is one of the most important safety skills your child can learn to do on their own.
Before starting to teach this skill, check to make sure your child meets the guidelines that are involved in wearing a standard seatbelt.
You should be able to answer each of the following questions with a "yes" before having your child wear a seatbelt.
- One, do your child's knees bend at the edge of the seat when their back is resting against the car seat?
- Two, does the lap portion of the belt fit snugly across their upper thighs and along their waist?
- And finally, does the shoulder part of the belt fit across their shoulders and chest? If you answer no to any of these, your child is not ready to wear a regular seat belt just yet."
Now that you've determined your child is ready to wear a seat belt, make sure that the seatbelt in the car is not tangled and is easy to buckle immediately before teaching. Check this before the child is in the car, so they can complete the skill quickly and with as few barriers as possible..
"Provide physical guidance, and fade in and out as your child becomes more independent at each step
Begin by providing a single vocal instruction: "Put on your seat belt."
The action begins with your child reaching their arm over their shoulder toward the seat belt.
The second step is having them grab the clip, and then pull it across their body and down to their waist.
Third, they should grasp the receiver with their opposite hand, and then push the clip into the receiver until they hear it click.
Finally, they should grasp the chest portion of the seatbelt and pull until the belt is tight across their lap.
Make sure you provide reinforcement for buckling their seat belt, providing more if they complete the task more independently than previous attempts.
"If your child has trouble completing all of the steps, you may want to consider using backward chaining
In this procedure, you would complete all of the steps for them, except the final step of adjusting the belt.
As they begin to complete the final step independently, you would then have them complete the second to last step, buckling the belt, and the last step, and work backward until they complete all of the steps on their own."
We hope you find this video on how to teach your child to buckle their seatbelt helpful.