A Florida mom and her two small children are lucky to be alive after a major car crash on Halloween. Despite the fact that the backseat was nearly demolished in the accident, the car seats managed to save the lives of the 1- and 3-year-old children.
On Saturday, the local Wakulla Country Fire Rescue in Crawfordville shared dramatic photos of the family car after the accident on their Facebook page. The impact of the crash was strong enough to break part of the car seat itself, but it still protected the small children.
Amazingly, the family members, along with a driver in another vehicle, were transported and treated at a local hospital for only minor injuries, according to Wakulla Country Fire Rescue.
First responders were shocked when they arrived at the scene and discovered that there were no life-threatening injuries, despite the massive damage to the family’s car. “When we first looked at that vehicle, your first reaction in that spilt second is, ‘That’s not survivable,’” Michael Morgan, Wakulla Country Fire Rescue fire chief, tells Yahoo Parenting. “We were amazed to find there were two children in the backseat that were virtually unharmed, except for some bumps and bruises.”
While hundreds of people have commented on the photos, many have pointed out that the car seats were not installed properly — namely, that the car seat for the 1-year-old was reportedly installed forward-facing when it should have been rear-facing. Children up to 2 years old who are placed in forward-facing child safety seats are significantly more likely to be seriously injured in a car crash than children of the same age who are in rear-facing car seats, according to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
“We’ve heard some concerns that the car seat was not safe in the vehicle, according to some car seat experts,” notes Morgan. “That the seat was facing front instead of back. But the outcome is what we’re concerned about. We commend the mother for having the children in the car seat. If they hadn’t been restrained in a child seat, it would have been worse. It could have been a lot worse.”
According to the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, only one in four child car seats is properly installed. Parents can make sure car seats are put in correctly by consulting with a local car seat safety expert, which can be found by going to seatcheck.org and searching by zip code.
(Photos: Wakulla County Fire Rescue)