When it comes to keeping our kids safe, we’ll go to great lengths as parents to ensure our child is never inadvertently put into a position of danger. Whether it’s a matter of putting your kid on a leash, teaching them how to safely wait at the car or some other parenting hack, the greatest way we can protect our kids is through the experience of others.
Parents warning other parents has never been easier than it is today. With the click of a button, you can share something on social media that could legitimately save a child’s life.
That’s what “Growing Humans” vlogger Christine Miller hopes will happen with her recent post about carseat safety.
“12 years ago today was the last time I saw this beautiful smile, kissed his sweet face or felt his little arms wrap around my neck. I had no idea that morning with him would be the last time I heard his adorable laugh and sweet voice call me mommy and see his eyes lit up with life and wonder.”
Christine writes about the morning she lost her son Kyle in a car accident in 2005. He was three years old.
“There is not a day that passes that my heart does not ache with missing him and wondering what he would be like now. Losing Kyle was like being plunged straight into hell, a pain and agony beyond description. If the scars on my heart were visible, people would gasp every time they saw me.”
The Colorado mom says the pain she lives with is like a box of fire inside her heart. It’s a pain she’ll endure for the rest of her life.
“I think the hardest part of it all is knowing easily preventable it was. That’s the dagger that twists in my heart. Had I just known about the dangers of booster seats for toddlers, had somebody warned me, I would have put him in a 5-point harness car seat…and that simple difference would have changed everything.”
Christine says she genuinely believes that if Kyle had not been in a booster seat, but instead, a five-point harness carseat, he would still be alive today. She says it’s the mistake that she’s had to live with for the 12 agonizing years since losing her son.
“I would be able to hug him and tell him I love him and watch him grow into a man. But I lost all of that because of ONE mistake.”
Because of what happened to Kyle, and how easily her unknown mistake could literally save another child’s life, Christine has made it her life mission to prevent anyone else from having to live her tragedy.
“Car accidents are the #1 killer of children, and statistics show that 80-90% of car seats are installed or used incorrectly! Read that again and let it sink in. We are not protecting our children from the single greatest threat to their lives! It’s madness.”
“Why are we not talking about this?! Why are there no awareness campaigns? We try to protect our kids from everything from pesticides, GMOs, sharp furniture corners and cancer, but then buckle them into unsafe car seats. This needs to change.”
Christine has a point—every mom on the block is talking about their gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free pantry. They can look at ingredients on a package and tell you whether or not their child can eat it. But could those same moms look at a car seat in their vehicle, or any vehicle for that matter, and be able to identify whether or not it’s installed correctly?
That fruit roll up looks “dangerous” to your kid. But how about the only thing that could save their life should something happen to that big hunk of metal going 75 down the freeway.
Christine ends her post with a desperate plea to anyone who has, or even knows, a young child:
“Research proper car seat usage and talk about it with everyone you know. I’ve lost friends and family members because they were offended that I pointed out their incorrect car seat usage. But to say nothing and have another child’s death on my conscience is not something I’m willing to risk. So please, speak up if you see a child in a dangerous situation. You could save a life. Children’s lives are more important than parents’ egos.”
She says if someone had spoken up to her over a decade ago, Kyle might still be alive today.
“Car seat safety is not a ‘parenting choice,’ it’s a matter of physics and facts.”
As parents, we carry little lives in our hands. It is our responsibility to do everything in our power to keep them safe from anything that poses a threat to their well-being, or their life.
Do your research today, and educate yourself about the ways you can protect your kiddos from the number one killer of all children.