A Pennsylvania mom underscored the importance of car seat safety after a harrowing experience with her children.
In the U.S., an estimated 75 percent of car seats are installed incorrectly, and a 2017 report published in The Journal of Pediatrics showed that 43 percent of kids killed in car accidents aren’t properly restrained.
On Tuesday, Jenna Casado Rabberman shared a story on Facebook that showed why this matters. She posted a photo of her wrecked 2015 Honda CR-V next to her 6-week-old and 2-year-old children’s car seats.
“THIS is why you buckle your kids into their car seats correctly every SINGLE time,” the mom wrote. “Even when they scream because the straps are tight. Even when they complain about the chest clip or being rear facing.”
Rabberman explained that they’d stopped to pick up some milk on the way home from preschool the previous day. “We were minutes from home. Another car slammed into us. You never think it will happen to you,” she wrote. “My boys escaped without a scratch but the paramedics told me it could have been very different had I not taken the extra 2 minutes to be sure they were buckled correctly.”
She concluded, “I will be fine, my kids are fine, everything else can be replaced. Sending thanks to God for keeping us safe (along with Honda, Graco & Chicco).”
The post received more than 145,000 likes and has been shared nearly 275,000 times.
Following the viral attention, Rabberman updated the post to share details about her children’s car seats, which were a Chicco Keyfit 30 infant seat and Graco Children’s Products 4ever car seat. She explained that both were rear facing and will be replaced as a result of the accident.
The mom wrote that she never expected so many people to see her post. “I really only posted it for family & friends but hopefully it will save a life by making someone think twice about buckling their child in.”
She also called on people to show compassion to parents who find themselves in her situation.
Although proper car seat installation can be challenging to many parents, there are fortunately many resources available to help people keep their little ones safe in cars ― from informational websites to child passenger safety experts in local communities to car seat inspection stations.
- This article originally appeared on HuffPost.