The struggle of wrangling a squirming toddler into a car seat is Oh So Real. Ditto strapping in a screaming (or sleeping!) baby. But a mum has shared a photo which serves as a terrifying reminder to parents everywhere that car seat safety is an absolute must.
Jenna Casado Rabberman from Pennsylvania posted a horrifying image of the damage done to her car after a crash, but in front of the wreckage were two perfectly in tact car seats (which had been properly secured in the back seat.)
“THIS is why you buckle your kids into their car seats correctly every SINGLE time,” the mum wrote in the accompanying caption.
“Even when they scream because the straps are tight. Even when they complain about the chest clip or being rear facing.”
“We stopped for milk on the way home from preschool yesterday. We were minutes from home. Another car slammed into us. You never think it will happen to you.”
The mum-of-two went on to note that, while it might seem frustrating to make sure your children are properly secured, it is vital that you take the time to do so.
“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,” she warned.
“I will be fine, my kids are fine, everything else can be replaced. Sending thanks to God for keeping us safe (along with Honda, Graco & Chicco).”
Since sharing Rabberman’s post has since been shared more than 263K times on Facebook and received over 139K reactions, with many parents commenting that the photo has reaffirmed their dedication to being car seat-safe.
Rabberman later returned to her post to comment on the fact that her image has gone viral.
“I never expected this post to be seen by so many people!” she wrote. “I really only posted it for family & friends but hopefully it will save a life by making someone think twice about buckling their child in.”
But though parents have vowed to heed Rabberman’s car seat warning, it seems there is some confusion about the subject.
Research by consumer website Confused.com revealed that 66% of parents don’t fully understand the right height, age and weight regulations when it comes to their children’s car seats.
“It is so important for parents and families to understand and stick to the official legislation on child seats as this will ultimately mean their child is in a car seat that offers the correct restraint system and protection,” explains Danielle Slater, Halfords’ car seat expert.
“Whilst most parents realise that they need a car seat that is right for their child, many might not understand that they also need to ensure the car seat is right for their car.”
Danielle believes that the confusion parents are feeling stems from the increased focus on children’s car seat-safety, which has lead to parents feeling overwhelmed with information.
“Research from our Parent Panel reveals that 65 per cent of parents think that the current rules on car seat use are confusing,” she continues.
If you’re unsure about child seat safety in Danielle recommends getting expert advice.
“There is a lot of helpful information out there to provide support for parents and families wishing to get up to speed with the new rules, but the best thing for parents to do is to speak to an expert if they are at all concerned about their child’s safety when travelling.”
But there are some key points that can help families stay car-seat safe.
“Parents needs to remember that their child needs to stay in a car seat of some form until they’re 12 years old or 135cm tall (150cm in Ireland),” she continues.
“The next thing they need to know is how much their child weighs, so that they can make sure that the product that they’re using is correct. Remember that if you are using an i-Size product you will need to know your child’s height to perform the same checks. Each car seat will have on it what weight or height of child it is suitable for, so it’s best to check the product and the instruction manual and check with your retailer. Always remember to check the fit of your car seat before every use.”
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