Mum warns parents to use rear-facing car seats for as long as possible with graphic injury image

A mum has shared a graphic image of the damage a seat belt can cause in a car accident, in a bid to warn parents against moving their children out of a rear-facing car seat to soon.

Therese, a mum of three, is on a mission to educate parents on the dangers of seating a child in a high back booster chair before they need to be.

The parenting enthusiast has set up a blog and a Facebook page on the subject, with extensive research to show that children are safer in rear-facing car seats for as long as they sit at the approved weight limit.

To show the damage that can be caused when sitting front facing in a car, Therese shared a graphic image that she found of seat belt burns after a car accident. The image shows an adult with painful looking burns and bruises down their chest, across where their seat belt had been holding them.

‘I did some research on seat belt injuries in adults… I wanted to share a photo with you that I found. This is what a seat belt injury looks like on an adult – who was correctly secured in the car and had a frontal collision.

‘It looks very bad doesn’t it. You can see clear trauma to the muscles and tissue of the breast as well as some minor lacerations to the neck from the seat belt burning into you on impact.’

Therese made the point that although wearing a seat belt is important, it can still harm you – and on a child these injuries would be much worse.

‘This was an adult – imagine this type of an injury or worse on a child.’

She explained that a rear-facing car seat protects a child from this type of injury and as long as your child still fits inside safely, parents shouldn’t rush to upgrade to a high backed booster chair.

‘So what I am trying to do – is show that this is the injury inflicted on an adult – so with that knowledge in the back of your mind – maybe it will make you think twice before you decide to jump to the high back booster or just a seat belt on your child – as a rear facing car seat would never do this to the child.’

The blogger points out that if your child is over the weight limit for a rear facing car seat then it is important to use the correct chair, but there’s no rush to get them to the next stage before they are over that limit.

"Mamma stop taking pictures…" haha.

A post shared by Therese Gilbert-ERF CRS Expert (@inniebin) on

‘It is true that some times we do not have a choice – and a high back booster is the only next option. Perhaps your child has reached the weight limit of their current car seat – or any car seat that has a harness. Then yes you should use a HBB as you should never ever use the harness above the approved weight limit.’

‘But when you have the option to rear face your child – take it. And do it for as long as possible. Turning forward facing is not a milestone to look forward to. The differences in safety between forward facing and rear facing – are too great. Don’t be in a hurry.’

How long did you keep your children in a rear facing car seat? Tell us in the comment box!