Six-year-old Samantha was riding back from the county fair with her dad when their car crashed into a tree in Henrico, VA. Samantha’s mom, Shelly, received a phone call no parent should ever have to get.
While dad’s injuries were not life-threatening, Shelly learned Samantha suffered a head injury and stomach lacerations.
Surgeons had to use a binder around Samantha’s belly to literally hold her organs in place.
You see, there was a critical reason why Samantha sustained these horrific injuries.
Now Shelly is bravely warning other parents about two big mistakes that many people make…
[H/T: NBC 12]
Samantha, 6, was riding in the car with her father in Henrico, Virginia, when they crashed into a tree.
Mom Shelly was notified about the accident. Imagine receiving the devastating news that your child is in the hospital being treated for a head injury and stomach lacerations.
Samantha’s parents made the mistake of thinking she outgrew her booster seat.
They also made the mistake of placing the shoulder belt behind her, which increased the force of the lap belt on her stomach.
The seatbelt left a giant bruise across Samantha’s stomach and even cut through her abdominal wall.
Doctors said she was “just about cut in two.”
Surgeons used a binder around her belly, literally holding her together.
Every night, Shelly slept in the hospital by her daughter’s side.
Reportedly, Laura Kenny was one of the first heroes who stopped after the crash to help the badly injured child.
Three weeks after the crash, Shelly is taking Samantha home.
During the recovery process, Shelly will have to assist Samantha in performing her everyday functions.
The binder will holds her together until she heals.
Samantha is on the road to recovery.
Meanwhile, parents across the country are spreading the word about “Seatbelt Syndrome.”
In response to Shelly’s story, The Car Seat Lady wrote the following on Facebook:
“Shoulder belts are shoulder belts — NEVER behind-the-back belts, NEVER under-the-arm belts.
“This exceptionally brave mom is talking about the mistakes she made that led to her 6-year-old daughter suffering a head injury and massive abdominal injuries in a crash — as the injuries were PREVENTABLE had she only been wearing the shoulder belt in front of her and riding in a booster seat.”
“Putting the shoulder belt behind the back takes away all protection for the head and chest, and allows the head to move much farther forward than it should — far enough that the head often hits something hard like the back of the front seat or the door, which hurts the head and the neck.
“Putting the shoulder belt behind the back ALSO worsens the lap belt position, as without anything to hold your upper body back, you jack-knife over yourself in the crash. Since you bend at your belly button and not at your hip bones, the lap belt slides up over the strong hip bones and into the belly, just like it did on this child, and nearly cut her in half.”
“When the lap belt goes into the belly, we see massive abdominal injuries like this child suffered, as well as lower spinal cord injuries, which she thankfully didn’t have.
“Please note: the shoulder belt rubbing the side of the neck in a crash will NOT hurt the child any more than giving them a minor abrasion. It won’t decapitate them, or any of the other horrible things people imagine it will do. A properly fitted booster will not only provide proper lap belt position, but also proper shoulder belt position.
“Please SHARE, as putting the shoulder belt behind the back or under the arm is an all too common mistake that can have tragic consequences.”
Shelly is sharing her story in the hopes all parents will learn when and how to use child safety seats and seat belts. Please SHARE this with your friends on Facebook.
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