Car seat safety can be a frustrating topic for many parents, but it’s an important one.
On May 29, Christine Miller of the vlog Growing Humans shared a devastating story that underscores the importance of child passenger safety.
Miller’s son Kyle died in a car accident 12 years ago to the day at the age of 3. The mom believes that her son may have survived if he had been properly restrained in a car seat with a five-point harness instead of in a booster seat.
In a post that appeared on the car seat safety Facebook page Car Seat Consultants, Miller wrote:
“Losing Kyle was like being plunged straight into hell, a pain and agony beyond description ... I’ve come to realize that this kind of loss is not something you ever get over or make peace with, it’s something you eventually learn how to contain in a box of fire inside your heart, and keep a lid on so that you can function on a day to day basis. But sometimes certain things will open that box, a song, a smell, a flash of a memory and it rages and burns through you anew. It’s a pain I will carry with me until the day I die and can finally be with my sweet son again. I think the hardest part of it all is knowing [how] easily preventable it was. That’s the dagger that twists in my heart.”
Miller said she wished someone had warned her about the dangers of using booster seats rather than five-point harness car seats for toddlers.
“It would have saved his life. It [would] have saved me from going through hell. I would have had the past 12 years of memories with my beautiful boy, instead of 12 years of grief and pain,” she wrote.
“Car accidents are the #1 killer of children, and statistics show that 80-90% of car seats are installed or used incorrectly!” the mom wrote. “We try to protect our kids from everything from pesticides, GMOs, sharp furniture corners and cancer, but then buckle them into unsafe car seats. This needs to change.”
At the end of her post, Miller encouraged people who have young kids or know someone with young kids to research proper car seat usage and share their knowledge with others.
“I’ve lost friends and family members because they were offended that I pointed out their incorrect car seat usage. But to say nothing and have another child’s death on my conscience is not something I’m willing to risk,” she explained, adding, “Children’s lives are more important than parents’ egos.”
Miller wants others to share Kyle’s story and her message about car seat safety. The Facebook post had been shared nearly 5,000 times and reached over 2,000 likes as of Monday.
The mom’s post initially appeared on the Facebook page for the Kyle David Miller Foundation ― a nonprofit organization the family started to raise awareness and offer support for parents when it comes to proper car seat usage.
For Miller, the issue is very straightforward. As she concluded in her post, “Car seat safety is not a ‘parenting choice,’ it’s a matter of physics and facts.”