If you ever thought that your child is too big for a booster seat and doesn´t need one anymore, think again!
That´s the message and warning that a mom is giving to all parents after her daughter almost died in a horrible accident last September.
Samantha Swartwout was riding in the back seat of her father´s car when they collided into a tree. The car veered off the road and crashed violently into the tree… The collision was so strong that that the belt that was on the child opened up her abdomen area exposing her intestines.
Samantha was rushed to the hospital unconscious, doctors had to use advanced technology to sew the child´s severed belly and to put her organs back in place.
Samantha´s dad suffered some minor injuries and Samantha might have escaped with less serious injuries if she had been in a booster seat.
According to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, a child should remain in a booster seat until he or she is at least 8 years of age and 4 feet 9 inches tall although these rules are different from state to state.
“She would not have been this hurt in a booster,” Samantha´s mom Shelly Martin said. “Don’t think that just because your child is 7 or 8 years that they are too big… they aren’t!”
Booster seats are very important to keep children safe; a booster seat helps ensure that the lap belt sits across the hips, instead of the stomach, that´s why Samantha suffered those horrible injuries. According to Samantha´s surgeon, Dr. Charles Bagwell, without a booster seat “the child is thrown forward with an absolutely enormous force, and the seat belt almost acts like a knife.”
After spending three weeks hospitalized, Samantha was finally released in October. She is doing well physically but she has suffered lingering psychological effects from the crash. She has received treatment because she is having nightmares and has been suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome.
“She is also afraid to be by herself,” her mother said. “There are so many sides to the aftermath that people don’t think about.”
What happened to this child shouldn´t happen to any other child, it is just a matter of responsibility. Please share this post so other parents can learn from this story!