One mom's story proves there's no such thing as being overprotective or too "naggy" when it comes to car seat safety.
Rebecca Tafaro Boyer was on her first day back to work as a nurse on July 15. Considering that leaving your baby for the first time can be really hard on both Mom and Baby, the Memphis, Tennessee, mom demanded hourly updates from her husband, David.
At around 2:15 p.m. that day, Rebecca got a photo and text from her husband of their 3-month-old baby, William. The photo, sent by David during their trip to Walgreens, shows William asleep.
But Rebecca, who's reportedly seen as a "super annoying overprotective mom," noticed that the baby's straps were too loose and the clip was too low. Instead of biting her tongue, though, the mom immediately sent a text telling her husband to fix it, adding an extra note to also be careful in the heat.
"And because I know my husband, I’m sure that he laughed at me and rolled his eyes before tightening the car seat and fixing the chest clip," Rebecca wrote on a Facebook post that has since gone viral.
Just 15 minutes later, she got a call from David saying he and William got in a wreck and their car was totaled. Less than three miles from their house, someone in an SUV had tried to make a left turn into oncoming traffic and crashed into David's car, which was going almost 50 miles per hour before he slammed on his brakes.
"My precious little bundle of joy was so well-restrained in his car seat THAT HE DIDN’T EVEN WAKE UP," Rebecca wrote.
David, though, broke his foot in three places and has three dislocated toes. But Rebecca is still grateful her husband took the extra minute to secure their baby properly.
"The car is a loss, but cars can be replaced—my boys can't be," she said. "I can’t even begin to imagine how different the outcome could have been. I truly believe that the reason my family is at home sitting on the couch with a pair of crutches instead of down at the hospital is because of my annoying nagging mom voice."
The family was able to get their Britax Römer BSafe 35 replaced (thanks to some readers letting them know that their car insurance company might reimburse her for the cost of a new car seat). After the accident, they've sprung for a Britax Römer BSafe 35 Elite seat, which has an added layer of side impact protection.
Rebecca is using this experience as a chance to remind parents that infants should be rear-facing in the back seat until the age of 2, or until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by their car seat manufacturer (brush up on the American Academy of Pediatrics' car seat guidelines here). This grandma, whose granddaughter was in a life-threatening car accident, is adamant that children be kept rear-facing until they've hit maximum requirements.
Rebecca also says babies should be snugly secured in a "five-point harness in a car seat base that doesn't move more than one inch in any direction." (Here's firsthand experience on how important using a five-point harness is.)
Last points: Accessories like inserts and strap cushions that don't come from the manufacturer can compromise the safety of your child. And if you're going to discard your car seat, "go HAM on it with a knife and pair of scissors" before you stick it on the curb to prevent people from reselling your defective car seat.