Jenna Casado Rabberman and her children are lucky to be alive. The mother was picking up some milk after preschool last week with her two-year-old and six-week-old children in the car. That is when another car slammed into them. The family’s 2015 Honda CR-V was totaled, but she and her kids are alright. She shared a picture of the aftermath of the crash to drive home the importance of using car seats correctly, and her post has since gone viral.
Rabberman reminded other parents how vital it is to tighten the buckles on cars eats — no matter how much the children complain.
“THIS is why you buckle your kids into their car seats correctly every SINGLE time,” the mom wrote. “Even when they scream because the straps are tight. Even when they complain about the chest clip or being rear facing.”
“We were minutes from home. Another car slammed into us. You never think it will happen to you,” she wrote. “My boys escaped without a scratch but the paramedics told me it could have been very different had I not taken the extra 2 minutes to be sure they were buckled correctly.”
As PJM’s Brianna Sharbaugh pointed out:
The scariest number in the world of car seat safety has nothing to do with which brand of car seat is the safest, as many new parents assume. The real danger comes when we use car seats incorrectly. Seventy-three percent of car seats are not used or installed correctly… Research shows that seat belts save almost 13,000 lives a year. One study found that “of the 451 children ages 8 and under who died in motor vehicle crashes in 2014, 116 (26 percent) were not restrained by an age-appropriate device.
Chest clips, rear-facing seats, and tight straps are often causes of meltdowns and tears when it comes to car travel, but children who aren’t strapped in properly are at a great risk for injury or death in the event of a crash. In Rabberman’s case, both seats were rear-facing at the time of her accident. It is recommended that children stay rear-facing until at least the age of two. Since it is far safer than facing front, parents can even resist turning the seat forward until their child hits the recommended weight and height limit for safely facing backward. For many children, that is past two years of age.
If you need help properly installing your car seat, there are several resources available to parents. Most firehouses install car seats — some require an appointment, so it might be worth a quick call ahead of time. You can also learn more on Car Seats for the Littles or find a car seat inspection station near you. Also read Brianna’s article here for a quick car seat fit test.