Special Needs Mom's Genius 'Strap Hack' is Getting Praise From Parents Everywhere

Shae Bell demonstrates the seatbelt cover
Personalised by Nat

It was a simple, yet concerning thought that gnawed at Australian mom Natalie Bell so much, she decided to do something about it: What would happen if she got into an accident one day with her daughter Shae, and due to injury or other events, she wasn't able to let doctors know that her daughter shouldn't have an MRI, because of her cochlear implant? That worry got her thinking, and that thinking spawned a simple, yet kind of genius idea: Personalized seatbelt covers that could let first responders know about any medical safety concerns a victim might have, in the event of a car crash.

  • The first one Bell made features a graphic of a small child, along with the message: "I am deaf. I have a cochlear implant. No MRI."

    While she made the first one for her daughter, who lost her hearing as a baby, Bell decided to put the product up for sale on her website, Personalised by Nat, where it's available for just $15. It can also be personalized with virtually any medical-related message desired for children with special needs, including those with autism and insulin dependencies.

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  • Incredibly, Bell says the idea was a "spur of the moment" thing that came to her less than two weeks ago. But in just days, it went viral.

    Since sharing it on her Facebook page June 5, the product has been selling like "gangbusters," according to 7News Melbourne. So much so, that she's been inundated with international orders from the US, Canada, and South Africa. 

    She's also been flooded with praise for the idea from special needs families across the world, who've all had similar worries as Bell.

  • "Brilliant idea," wrote one Facebook user, who added that it would also be great to have on a backpack strap, in case a situation arose at school.

    "As a first responder this is amazing!" wrote another.

    Another man commented that it would also come in handy for patients with Alzheimer's or dementia. 

    In fact, Bell shared with 7News that customers have been personalizing the seatbelt covers with all sorts of messages, saying that, “Any needs that you think that would be good for a first responder to know is great to put on this."

  • To date, Bell's original post has been shared over 758K times -- and with good reason.

    "Whoever designed these needs nominated for some kind of a Special Award!" wrote one fan. "It is awesome!!"

    Others left praise for the product, but also stressed the importance of medical bracelets, which can come in handy regardless of where your child is at the time of an accident.

    "As someone who has worked in emergency services for over 20 years, these are fabulous and yes please use them but PLEASE get your loved ones a medic-alert bracelet or necklace," one woman commented. "In an emergency we don't have the means or the time to look at a USB. A medic-alert is on the person 100 percent of the time and are rarely separated from them and we are trained to look for them."

    When you consider the fact that there are nearly 40 million Americans living with special needs, anything that might help aid them in getting the medical care they need in a dire circumstance helps. Bravo to this clever and thoughtful mama, who is helping to bring some peace of mind to countless families across the world.