One big concern with many children with autism is safety. Not just for themselves but for others around them as well. As a parent of a child with autism, your home more often becomes your fortress. And carefree trips to the zoo or the park? They’re not going to happen — not without major planning and precautions, anyhow. But the biggest issue is getting from Point A to Point B.
About eight years ago, my wife was driving my daughter and my then seven year old son to the store when he decided to play peek-a-boo with my wife as she was driving. He released his seat belt from the back seat and jumped up to the front of the car. They rear ended a car that had stopped in front of them suddenly. Fortunately, none of the drivers or passengers were hurt, but the car was totaled.
I tell this story because many children with autism impulsive and don’t have a sense of fear or understanding of what certain actions can cause.
So how do you keep you keep yourself and yours child safe in the car? There are a few basic steps that can done to ensure the driver is not distracted or the child tries to escape while the car is in motion.
- Always transport a child with autism in the back seat of the car on the passenger side with the Child Lock on. Children with autism are unpredictable and will try and get out of a car even if it is moving
- Remove any objects in the back seat in of the proximity of the child which could be eaten, broken or thrown
- Never leave a child with autism alone in a car
- Always ensure the car is locked when in the driveway and the keys are in a safe place
- If the child will not leave their seat belt on there are devices available which make it difficult to undo the seat belt.
To address the last item is the biggest issue. Like my son, if you leave him alone with something long enough, he will figure it out no matter how complex you think it might. So if you put a device on their seat belt, you want to know that they aren’t going to be able to figure it out on a long car drive. No item is perfect but we have found the Seat Belt Buckle Guard certainly works well than most and seems to be very difficult for the child to disengage or bypass.
Designed specifically to work with seat belts with an upright configuration and a red push-button release, this slotted cover fits over the button and belt receiver slot. The seat belt is inserted into the side slot of the Seat Belt Buckle Guard over the seat belt receptacle and locked in as it normally would be.
The Seat Belt Buckle Guard prevents the release button from being pressed. To unlock the seat belt, insert the end of another belt, a key, a nail file, or a similar item in the center slot and depress the red release button.
This is an effective solution for children with autism who unbuckle their seat belt while the car is in motion.
Seat Belt Buckle Guard Features:
- Prevents children from unbuckling seat belt while in car
- Works on all cars, SUVs and mini-vans
- Simple, yet effective design keeps the most curious child from unbuckling
- Simple for parent or guardian to release by using a car key
- Most effective buckle guard model on the market