According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death in children younger than 13.
A Pennsylvania mother’s chilling photo of her totaled Honda CR-V and two perfectly-intact toddler seats are serving as a reminder to parents everywhere the importance of car seat safety.
Jenna Casado Rabberman was driving home from preschool with her two young sons, 2.5-year-old Beckett and 6-week-old Brooks, on September 25 when their car was struck by another driver.
“I’m not one to post anything too heavy or personal on Facebook,” Jenna wrote on the social media platform. “But guys… THIS is why you buckle your kids into their car seats correctly every SINGLE time. Even when they scream because the straps are tight. Even when they complain about the chest clip or being rear facing.”
Though her vehicle was totally destroyed, Jenna’s sons survived the accident “without a scratch.”
“You never think it will happen to you,” Jenna writes.
Beckett was strapped into a Graco 4Ever All-In-One Convertible Car Seat, while Brooks was fastened tightly into a Chicco Keyfit 30 infant seat. Both of which were rear-facing, and completely intact following the accident that destroyed her vehicle.
“Paramedics told me it could have been very different had I not taken the extra 2 minutes to be sure they were buckled correctly,” Jenna wrote.
Though she suffered a few minor injuries, and says it will be a while before she’s comfortable with her kids in a vehicle again, Jenna is grateful for the opportunity to remind others just how important those two extra minutes are.
“I debated on sharing this photo but decided that if I could make one person think twice about buckling their child in then our accident would have a purpose,” she told ABC News.
Safe Kids Worldwide is a nonprofit organization working to help families and communities keep kids safe from injuries. Their Car Seat Checkup is just one of the many resources available for parents to ensure your children ride safely each and every time.
As for Jenna, she says the vehicle and car seats will be replaced and her body will heal.
“Sending thanks to God for keeping us safe (along with Honda, Graco & Chicco).”