September 29, 2017
A Pennsylvania mother's cautionary tale on the importance of properly using car seats has now been seen by thousands.
Jenna Casado Rabberman, of Lancaster, took to Facebook earlier this week to share an unsettling photo of her totaled 2015 Honda CR-V with two undamaged car seats beneath the wreckage.
"This is why you buckle your kids into their car seats correctly every single time," she wrote in a post that has since been shared more than 270,000 times. "Even when they scream because the straps are tight. Even when they complain about the chest clip or being rear facing."
Rabberman told ABC News that she was driving home with her two sons, Beckett, who is just about 3 years old, and Brooks, 6 weeks, on Monday when she got into a car crash. Rabberman picked the boys up from preschool and stopped at the store to grab some milk when another motorist slammed into her, though the boys were able to come away from the incident "completely unharmed."
"I never expected this post to be seen by so many people!" she updated the post to read later in the week. "I really only posted it for family & friends but hopefully it will save a life by making someone think twice about buckling their child in."
Pennsylvania law requires children under the age of 4 to be in a car seat, while children under the age of 2 must be placed in a rear-facing car seat until they outgrow its weight and height limit, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. Children between the ages of 4 and 8 must be placed in a booster seat.
Some of the most common mistakes that come from using a car seat include incorrect installation, reclining the seat at an improper angle or not taking off a child's outwear, according to The Mayo Clinic. The medical research group outlines its advice on how to avoid the most common car seat missteps here.