There is no doubt that parents go crazy when having their first baby.
Are they eating enough? Are they growing properly? Is the seat set up right? These are some of the numerous questions that go through new parents’ minds.
But some safety and health concerns tend to decrease when a child becomes a bit older, and one is proper vehicle safety.
Many people have experienced terrible injuries due to improperly wearing seatbelts or not placing their child in the proper booster or car seat. Professionals call it ‘seat belt syndrome.’
“When children are not properly restrained, meaning they are in a lap-only belt, they are in an ill-fitting lap/shoulder belt, or even if they moved the shoulder portion of the seat belt behind them or under their arm (whether in a booster seat or not) to keep it from rubbing their neck, they are at a greater risk of seat belt syndrome,” Safe Ride 4 Kids explained.
One mother had the misfortune of experiencing seat belt syndrome after her daughter was almost cut in half after their vehicle, unfortunately, crashed into a tree.
6-year-old Samantha Martin and her father were driving home when the father lost control of the car and crashed into a tree.
Speaking about the incident, Samantha’s mother, Shelly, told NBC12 about how she got a call from a deputy: “It’s a phone call you do not want. It’s awful […] Your mind kind of thinks of all sorts of things.”
Dr. Charles Bagwell told NBC12: “Where you could see the stripe of the seat belt in an enormous bruise across her abdomen, as well as the fact that the edge, the far edge of the belt, had actually cut through her abdominal wall, and she had protruding intestines from that. She was just about cut in two. Much of which, quite frankly, couldn’t be repaired. The injury was too severe.”
Surgeons used a binder on the 6-year-old to keep her organs together. Samantha spent several weeks in the pediatric acute care unit.
Shelly, who feels guilty about the crash, said Samantha should have been in a booster seat.
“A lot of people seem to think that when the children don’t fit so easily in the booster, that it’s okay to them out of the booster. That’s not the case,” she expressed.
“Samantha also moved the shoulder belt behind her. So now the lap belt was carrying twice the force and, because she’s not tall enough without a booster, the lap belt went across her stomach instead of her hips. Doctors call the injury this caused ‘the seat belt syndrome.’”
Shelly takes the opportunity to warn other parents about the effects of improper car safety. “Stuff happens so quickly, so quickly.”
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