Car Seat Safety Is No Longer an Opinion

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

It's 2021, why can we not figure out how to use a car seat to save our children's lives?

Children all over are being robbed of the opportunity to grow up, graduate high school, go to college, or even have kids of their own. They are being robbed of these experiences at the hands of ignorant parents and caregivers. In 2019, the CDC reported “injuries due to transportation were the leading cause of death in children.” How is it that we manage to master the newest iPhone in less than a week, yet we still cannot seem to understand the importance of proper car seat use. When are we, as a society, going to begin receiving advice from others without shame? It is NOT “mom shaming” to correct a car seat error. We are only trying to save the life of your own child.

For the privacy of the family, I will not include information revealing identities in the following section.

I was recently witness to a fatal motor vehicle accident. Vehicle A was traveling at a high rate of speed, weaving in and out of traffic. Vehicle A lost control around a slight curve, where it collided with vehicle B. The driver of vehicle B was outside, at the rear of the vehicle. By the grace of God, he was able to jump out of the way prior to being hit. He sustained injuries but left the scene in stable condition. Vehicle A continued to spin multiple times before coming to a stop in the left-hand lane. Many witnesses immediately ran across the highway to check on the occupant of vehicle B, who went over the embankment. 911 was immediately called; EMS and PD were dispatched. There was no commotion surrounding vehicle A so it was assumed there were no serious injuries of occupants. After ending the initial call with the 911 dispatcher, I look to my right and see the driver of vehicle A slumped over in her seat, appearing lifeless. I rush over to check the welfare of the driver. She sustained major injuries, including a nasty head laceration, and remained unconscious but breathing. That’s when I saw the second occupant in the backseat. {due to the nature surrounding this part I will not include gender/specific age}

Immediately, I rush to open the back door where the other passenger was laying. This passenger was laid across the backseat, not moving, not breathing. CPR was started without hesitation and 911 was called again. While doing compressions on the second occupant of the vehicle, I told the dispatcher “CPR is in progress on a minor” and informed him of the noted injuries to the driver. CPR was continued but ultimately resuscitation was unsuccessful. The occupant was pronounced dead at the scene by local EMS and the driver was promptly transported to a local hospital.

I tell you this story to lead into this; it was preventable. The death of this minor occupant was preventable. The minor was not in a car seat or booster, the minor was only secured via lap belt with the shoulder belt behind occupants back. This minor occupant, at the least, appeared to have needed to still be in a 5-point harnessed high back booster. Not only did the driver of this vehicle ignorantly cause the accident by travelling at such a high rate of speed, but also caused the death of the second occupant due to either a lack of knowledge, or ignorance, to car seat safety.

Car Seat Safety Facts:

  • The vertebrae in a child’s spine do not complete the ossification process of turning into solid rings of bone until approximately 4-6 years old.
  • Rear facing is safest for children under the age of 4.
  • When rear facing, straps should be at or BELOW the child’s shoulders.
  • When forward facing, straps should be at or ABOVE the child’s shoulders.
  • Chest clip should be at armpit level.
  • Straps should be snug. If you can pinch the strap, the harness is not tight enough.
  • Kids should be kept in a 5-point harness until at least 5-6 years old, unless maxed out on the specific seats’ height/weight limit.
  • Puffy jackets/winter coats should not be worn in a car seat.
  • Aftermarket products, or products that do not come from the seat manufacturer, should not be used.

How Do I Know When My Child No Longer Needs a Booster?

  1. Back against the vehicle seat.
  2. Knees bend at the edge of the seat.
  3. Lap belt is low on tops of thighs, NOT on the abdomen.
  4. Shoulder belt is between the neck and shoulders.
  5. Child can sit properly, without slouching, leaning over, etc.

ALL steps are to be met prior to ending the use of your child’s booster seat. Most kids are between 10-12 years old before they pass.

The result of ignorance to the importance of a proper car seat, always ends in the death of the child. It’s 2021, there is no excuse anymore. Reach out to someone, learn the facts. Give your child a chance.

 


Submitted: April 26, 2021

© Copyright 2021 anon124. All rights reserved.

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