A Florida fire department posted photos from a serious car accident to demonstrate the importance of car seats for children.
The Wakulla County Fire Rescue in Crawfordville, Florida, shared several photos of a terrible car crash on its Facebook page. The photo album entitled "Car Seats SAVE two children!" displayed the aftermath of an accident involving a 16-month-old, a 4-year-old, their mother and the driver of another vehicle.
Although the impact of the crash broke the car seat belong to the 16-month-old, no one involved had anything more than minor abrasions. According to the Facebook post, even medical responders were shocked to see the massive structural damage to the car, yet no life-threatening injuries.
“When we first looked at that vehicle, your first reaction in that split second is, ‘That’s not survivable,’” Wakulla County Fire Rescue Fire Chief Michael Morgan told Yahoo Parenting. “We were amazed to find there were two children in the back seat that were virtually unharmed, except for some bumps and bruises.”
Among the hundreds of comments left on the photos, several noted that the car seat for the 16-month-old was not properly installed. The younger child's car seat was allegedly forward-facing, when it should have been rear-facing.
According to The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, children should stay in a rear-facing position until they are 2 years old or reach the weight or height limit permitted by the car seat. When in a rear-facing position, the upper bodies of small children are cradled by the back of their car seats in a frontal crash.
“We’ve heard some concerns that the car seat was not safe in the vehicle, according to some car seat experts,” said Morgan. “That the seat was facing front instead of back. But the outcome is what we’re concerned about. We commend the mother for having the children in the car seat. If they hadn’t been restrained in a child seat, it would have been worse. It could have been a lot worse.”
Parents can ensure their car seats have been placed correctly by consulting with a local car seat safety expert found at seatcheck.org.