*Trigger Warning: This blog post contains photos of an actual vehicle crash that my family was in. While the photos are of the vehicle only and not injuries, it may still be a trigger for some families.
Disclaimer: I have partnered with Nissan as a Nissan Safety Ambassador to help share tips and spread awareness of common car seat safety issues. I was not compensated for this post. However, for sharing on social media during this week, I will be sent a gift from Nissan as a thank you for helping other parents. All opinions in this blog post are my own and the story shared involved my family.
My husband and I are opposites when it comes to strictly following rules. I like to follow rules, like to the T. My kids even teasingly call me “the rule follower”. My husband, on the other hand, thinks that rules are important, but some can be bent. Amidst the differences, when it comes to the safety of our family, no rules are flexible.
On December 15, 2007, my husband and his ex-wife had just left to go Christmas shopping with the kids. My step daughter was two years old and my step son was only two months old at the time. In the mere blink of an eye, my entire future family went from happily driving for Christmas gifts to rolling the vehicle a total of two or three times. The roof caved in. The vehicle was crushed on all sides. The doors had to be cut off to free everyone from the vehicle and everyone was airlifted. The crash was so significant that a very good friend of my husband’s drove by and didn’t recognize my husband’s vehicle.
I wasn’t involved in the accident, but when I look back at the photos it brings me to tears. What if… I’ve been on scenes of similar accidents, as both a police officer and firefighter, and watched as family members left the accident without their loved ones. It’s absolutely heartbreaking. I am incredibly thankful that everyone was seat belted and the car seats did exactly what they were supposed to in order to keep the kids safe.
This week is National Child Passenger Safety Week and we’ve shared our story to help families understand how important checking your child’s car seat and following recommended guidelines are to ensuring children are safe. The head pediatrician doctor at the hospital my family was flown to visited my husband and wanted to know who had installed the car seats in his vehicle because there were absolutely no injuries to either of the kids. He told my husband that he had never seen a car seat that did not move at all when involved in a roll-over accident. He explained that in most of the roll-over injuries he sees, the children were not properly strapped in the car seat or the car seat itself was not properly secured and moves during the impact of the crash.
Ensuring children are safe in their car seats is so vitally important. Educate yourself and ask for help if you need it. There are several resources, including local safety inspectors, that will check to make sure your car seat is properly installed. Last fall I attended Bloggin’ Mama’s Nissan Safety Academy and learned new information I had never thought of. For example, not strapping my daughter into her car seat in a coat during cold months. Some may have known this, I did not. Never stop trying to learn – you can always learn something new (this goes for many areas of life!)
This year I’ve partnered with Nissan as a Nissan Safety Ambassador and will be sharing tips on child passenger safety with you all week. To get us started, here is a great infographic Nissan has shared with 10 tips for parents with child passengers.
Follow along this week as I expand on each of the above tips and share additional information. Make sure you are following me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tik Tok, so you don’t miss any! You can also follow Nissan on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and catch us on the hashtags #NissanSafetySeries #NissanDiversity or #ChildPassengerSafetyWeek