The Text That Alerted Rebecca to William Being Strapped in Incorrectly
Rebecca Tafaro Boyer is thankful for that "nagging voice" she says others use to classify her as an "overprotective mom" after that nagging saved her 3-month-old son's life in a crash on July 14. On her first day back to work after maternity leave, Rebecca checked in with her husband David several times to see how their son William was doing, when he sent her a photo of him in his car seat during an errands run — had she not chosen to "nag" him about William's loose straps and low chest clip, the rest of the day could have turned out much different for the family of three.
"Because I know my husband, I'm sure that he laughed at me and rolled his eyes before tightening the car seat and fixing the chest clip," Rebecca wrote on Facebook. "At 2:30 my phone rang, my husband's panicked voice came through the line: 'Honey, we had a car wreck. We are fine, but the car is going to be totaled.' The boys were less than three miles from our house when a woman pulled into oncoming traffic to try and make a quick left turn. David just didn't have enough time to stop — it could have happened to anyone. He slammed on the brakes at nearly 50 miles an hour before colliding with the front passenger side door of her SUV. My precious little bundle of joy was so well restrained in his car seat THAT HE DIDN'T EVEN WAKE UP. Even with the impact of the two cars, William only received a minor jolt — so insignificant that he was able to continue on with his nap, and then spend the next two hours flirting with nurses in the Le Bonheur ED."
"My precious little bundle of joy was so well restrained in his car seat THAT HE DIDN'T EVEN WAKE UP."
Although David suffered minor lower body injuries and the family's car is totaled, Rebecca couldn't be more grateful for the fact that her husband listened to her car seat direction. Now that she and her family has come out the other side of this stressful experience, Rebecca is sharing what she personally knew about car seat safety and William's Britax B-Safe 35 Infant Car Seat prior to the accident, as well as what she's since learned from kind strangers, to ensure that all parents are strapping their babies into the car correctly every single time.
Rebecca's Tips on Proper Car Seat Use
- "All infants should be REAR FACING in the back seat until at least the age of 2 and snugly secured in a 5-POINT HARNESS in a car seat base that does not move more than one inch in any direction."
- "According to the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) my expensive, barely broken-in car seat is now garbage. Any car seat that has been involved in a moderate to severe motor vehicle incident where the car cannot be driven away from the scene of the crash immediately becomes defective."
- "All seats manufactured in the US of A have to meet specific safety guidelines put in place to protect your peanut. So no matter the price range there is something out there to keep your child safe!"
Additional Car Seat Facts and Safety Tips Rebecca's Learned
- "I had absolutely NO CLUE that my car insurance company might reimburse me for the cost of our new car seat."
- "Depending on which seat you choose for your little one, the carry bar may need to be locked in a specific position to adequately protect your child. . . This is because if the car seat were to be ejected from the car and land face down, it would act like a turtle shell to protect our little nuggets. . . This may differ between manufacturers — but always check your manual to make sure! The Britax car seat has a diagram printed on the side of the seat demonstrating this information that I had never even noticed until today."
- "Those cute little car seat strap cushions that seem so necessary to protect your baby's sensitive skin from being rubbed by the strap? DEADLY! Any aftermarket item added to your seat can compromise the safety of your child. . . This includes dressing your baby in blankets and winter coats! You should never attach anything to your car seat that isn't specifically made by the manufacturer [unless the manual states otherwise]."
In addition to everything she's learned, Rebecca's further validating that her "nagging" was worth it — and is even calling herself a "car seat cop mom."
"Tonight I am on my knees thanking God for watching over my two precious boys, thanking the amazing staff at Le Bonheur Children's Hospital Emergency Department for checking out my little man so quickly, praising Britax for making an incredibly safe car seat, lamenting the loss of my beloved Volkswagen Jetta, and most of all thanking my husband — who has finally proven that yes, indeed, he is actually listening when I nag him!"