Nashville, Tennessee, mom Mae Alderman never even suspected that her son could escape from his car seat.
The “very active” 11-month-old had outgrown his infant carrier, so mom did what she believed to be the next step.
She bought a booster seat and a strap-cover accessory. But as they were driving down the interstate one day going around 65 mph, her son had done the unthinkable.
The child managed to wriggle out of the car seat and stood up while his mom was still flying down the highway.
Terrified, Mae immediately pulled over and put her son back in his seat. But when she returned home, she realized what she’d done wrong.
After researching car seats on the internet, the mother learned that she’d unknowingly put her son in a car seat that was too big for him.
“I had no idea that rear-facing was even possible at that size and I had no idea that there were seats between the infant carrier and the booster,” she wrote.
That same day, the concerned mother went out and bought the correct seat for her child.
“Later that day, I purchased an appropriate 5-point-harness seat that could be rear-faced and didn’t turn him back around for another year or so,” she explained.
Mae was also thankful that they’d never been in an accident before, adding that, “My son might not have been alive. That car seat would have never protected him in an accident.”
Her son is now 7 years old, and Mae has taken to social media to spread the word about car seat safety with a few tips.
“Forward facing is not a milestone,” she wrote. “In fact, it’s way more dangerous. Rear-facing has been said to be 300x safer in an accident for both children and adults. You can rear-face a car seat as long as you see fit.”
“Pull the chest clip all the way up between the mid chest and sternum,” she continued. “A chest clip all the way at the bottom can cause internal organ damage in the event of an accident. Pull the buckles tight enough that you cannot pinch up excess material. If you can, it’s too loose.”
She also explained how any bulky clothing or additional seat accessories can make the buckles too loose and hinder the seat’s ability to protect a child.
Mae ended her post with an encouraging note to mothers who may have made the same mistake as she did.
“If this photo made you realize your baby is in the wrong seat, don’t feel bad. I didn’t know any different, and I did what I thought was right with the information I had. Now that you have the information, you have the power to make your kid safer.”
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