A mum from Pennsylvania is urgently reminding parents everywhere to always buckle up their kids’ car seats correctly after her two young boys escaped unharmed from a serious car crash on Monday – thanks only to her diligence.
“We stopped for milk…”
Jenna Casado Rabberman was in her 2015 Honda CRV on Monday with her two boys (aged 6 weeks and almost 3) when she stopped for milk on the way home from preschool. They were only minutes from their home when another car slammed into them, mangling and completely destroying their vehicle. Thankfully a shaken up Jenna and her two boys escaped unharmed but, as paramedics told her, things could have been VERY different had she not been the careful mother that she was.
“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,” Jenna stated in a Facebook post she made the next day in a bid to warn other parents about the risks they take when not using car seats properly.
Her post which has already been shared over 241,000 times, is accompanied by a chilling photo of the near perfect car seats sitting outside her wrecked car which is basically unrecognisable.
I'm not one to post anything too heavy or personal on Facebook but guys… THIS is why you buckle your kids into their…
“You never think it will happen to you”
Jenna was so alarmed by the thought of what could have happened to her precious babies that she used the opportunity to remind others about the importance of car seat safety, which she knows can be frustrating and challenging at times.
“THIS is why you buckle your kids into their car seats correctly every SINGLE time. Even when they scream because the straps are tight. Even when they complain about the chest clip or being rear facing,” she explained.
The concerned mum never expected her post to go viral but now hopes it will make a big difference, especially to those who think something like a car crash will never happen to them.
“…hopefully it will save a life by making someone think twice about buckling their child in,” she added.
The right seats, the right way
The car seats Jenna was using were a Chicco Keyfit 30 (infant seat) and Graco Children’s Products 4ever – both of which were rear facing. Had she not been using the correct seats for her children’s ages, facing the right way, and buckled correctly – it’s possible her boys would not have been as protected or come away unscathed.
The key factors to ensure you select and use children car seats correctly are:
- Choose a seat that is appropriate for your child’s age and that meets Australian safety standards
- Don’t move your child to the next type of car seat based purely on age (weight and height need to be taken into account so follow the manufacturer’s guidelines)
- Don’t move to front facing too soon – your baby’s shoulder needs to be in line with or above the forward-facing height marker
- Remember that in Australia all children need to be in a car seat restraint until the age of 7
- Ensure that your car seat is installed correctly
- Learn how to adjust straps properly
- Be very careful buying or using second hand car seats (you will need to perform a safety check prior to installing)
In the event of a crash such as Jenna’s, it’s also important that car seats are replaced – which is what the careful mum has advised she will be doing.
Are you worried about whether your child’s car seat is being used correctly?