This puppy, and your child, could die from lap-belt induced injuries if the belt is worn in this manner.

Undoubtedly Peel Regional Police meant well when they posted the above photo with a caption indicating “Seat belts dramatically reduce risk of death and serious injury among drivers and front-seat passengers”. While the puppy photo is cute it fails to highlight the importance of proper lap belt positioning. Improper positioning could cause death, not prevent it. Furthermore, adult seat-belts are not meant for children, or puppies. This is why children need to be in infant carriers, child seats or booster cushions.

As a parent there is no need to panic as Peel Regional Police are correct, seat belts dramatically reduce risk of death and serious injury, it’s just that it requires a parent’s participation in ensuring that children, puppies and all living beings in a vehicle are as safe as they can be. That requires vigilance so that, if you see a seat-belt being worn improperly, you must bring that to the wearer’s attention. Like with alcohol impairment, we do not let drivers drive drunk and we do not let persons ride in a vehicle with an improper restraint or let proper restraints be used improperly.