In the nine months leading up to the birth of a child, parents spend a lot of time (and money!) finding all the best clothes, gear, and other necessities. There's no shortage of items to put on the checklist, either: a crib, a swing, a play mat for that crucial tummy time ... and the list goes on. But, a car seat might be the most important purchase for parents-to-be, since it's legally required and crucial to baby's safety.
Just buying the car seat isn't the end of the process, though. All car seats undergo the same testing and pass the same safety requirements; unsafe usage lies in installation. Each car seat comes with a manual that gives a step by step guide to properly place your new safety seat in the car and your child in the seat. If these instructions aren't followed exactly, there can be dire consequences.
This is something that Holly learned the hard way. A few years ago, her young son Cameron was riding in this car. The driver, Holly's now-ex-boyfriend, accidentally ran a stop sign and was involved in a collision with another car. Cameron was in his car seat, but buckled improperly; because of this, his car seat didn't work as it should, and he was thrown from the car through the windshield. He was taken to the hospital, but didn't survive. Sadly, he wasn't even a year old.
Later, Holly came across this photo of her son that she had posted to Facebook not long before the tragic accident. Now, she sees all the mistakes she was making about car seat safety, but she says that no one ever corrected her. The harness straps holding Cameron in the seat are loose and twisted; more importantly, he is facing the wrong way! The American Association of Pediatrics and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration both recommend that children under the age of two are placed in rear-facing car seats.
Now, Holly is committed to sharing her story with others, in the hopes that someone else learns from it. She explains that her goal is education, not humiliation. She said, "When I comment on your post of your children not buckled in properly, or stop you in the Walmart parking lot and try to give you advice, don't take it as me calling you a bad guardian. Take it as a bereaved mother trying to help keep your children safe to save you and your child the pain and suffering. All children deserve to live a long, happy, and SAFE life!"
Not sure exactly how to properly buckle your kid in? Take a look at this handy guide below to make sure you're up-to-date on car seat safety.
Learn more about Cameron and Holly's story in the video below.
Don't forget to SHARE this lifesaving warning with your friends and family!