Angela Brown, a mom of four who lives in Australia, shared a warning for other moms about the importance of keeping your child’s car seat rear-facing for as long as possible, after the family was in a horrific accident.
In February, Brown and her husband were driving with their two youngest children in the car on the way back from a dentist appointment. One daughter was in a rear-facing carseat and the other was in a forward-facing carseat. Brown lost control of the SUV, hit a tree at about 62 mph and they flipped over.
Compounding the terror of the crash, the tree snapped and fell on top of the flipped car, trapping the mom and her girls inside. The air conditioning control vent dislodged during the crash and hit the child in the forward-facing carseat in the forehead. The other child was thankfully not injured, except for a mildly bruised shoulder, and she and her father were transported to the hospital via ambulance.
Brown and her injured 2-year-old daughter who was in the forward-facing carseat were airlifted from the crash site to another hospital where they discovered that the little girl suffered several broken cervical vertebrae in the neck as well as torn ligaments.
Brown wrote on Facebook that her daughter was fitted with a halo brace, which holds the head and neck still so the injured area can heal. The doctor told the mom her daughter was one of the youngest patients to have to be fitted with the brace and that children with her kind of injury “don’t normally make it."
The mom wrote that they’ve been treating her daughter’s injuries for three months so far, and don’t know when she will be fully recovered.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children sit in rear-facing carseats until age 2. However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends that children should stay in rear-facing carseats until they reach the manufacturer’s recommended weight and height threshold limit.
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