In the wake of the introduction of revised car seat safety laws in the UK, one mum has taken to Facebook to remind us of the rules that really do save lives.
In the post, which has gone viral after accumulating nearly 6,000 shares, mother of two Aoife Flynn tells of the terrifying side-on collision she experienced with both of her young children strapped into the back seats.
‘4 weeks ago over the Easter weekend, myself, Carl and the kids were involved in a car accident,’ she explains. ‘It was the most frightening experience of my life. A stupid 18 yr old driving way too fast on a country road lost control of his car and slammed into us. The impact was so hard that it lifted our car off the ground.’
‘Carls quick reactions meant the car hit us side on and not head on. We all walked away with only some minor bruising. Most importantly the kids (3 and 1) were unharmed.’
It’s taken me a few weeks to be able to post this. Please share with your family and friends. 4 weeks ago over the Easter weekend, myself, Carl and the kids were involved in a car accident. It was…
But it wasn’t just her husband’s driving which protected the family – Aoife adds that once the paramedics arrived on the scene, they confirmed what she already knew about car seat safety, and by ensuring her kids were strapped in according to official guidelines she had actually saved their lives.
She continues: ‘The fact they were strapped in tight without bulky jackets saved them from serious injury or worse, that I can’t bring myself to even think about. This experience has left me with horrible flash backs and very scary nightmares about how much worse it could have been. I will never forget the scared little faces of both kids as we dragged them from our wrecked car.’
Sharing the ordeal to Facebook both for closure and as an important reminder to other parents, she advises to ‘[a]lways strap your kids tightly into their car seats. They should never be able to escape the straps,’ and, importantly, ‘[n]ever ever leave coats on the kids while in their car seats. No puffy jackets, no snowsuits, no body warmers.’
In 2015, parenting bloggers began posting about the importance of removing children’s outerwear whilst they’re strapped into car seats, because the straps are not actually secured as tightly to the body as they might appear, and in the worst-case scenario, children could potentially slide out of the straps all together.
Aoife’s story and the praise she received from the paramedics prove that this really is vital, and commenters on the post have thanked her for her reminder, with many tagging friends to spread the message as far as possible.
‘Thank god ye all got out safe. Thank you so much for sharing your story,’ one wrote, whilst a second agreed: ‘Thanks for sharing. Glad you were all ok.’