One mum has shared a reminder of the importance of proper car seat safety after the death of her son.
Vlogger Christine Miller, from the Growing Human’s YouTube channel, detailed her heartbreak in an emotional Facebook post, explaining that the loss of her son Kyle in a car crash 12 years ago could have been prevented if he’d been in a different type of seat.
The post, which has been shared nearly 150 times, is dedicated to ‘the sweetest, kindest, most gentle soul [Christine] has ever known,’ and opens with an intimate insight into her life with her son.
’12 years ago today was the last time I saw this beautiful smile, kissed his sweet face or felt his little arms wrap around my neck,’ she writes.
‘I had no idea that morning with him would be the last time I heard his adorable laugh and sweet voice call me mommy and see his eyes lit up with life and wonder.’
‘I still remember so clearly how he would only fall asleep if I laid down with him and let him stroke my cheek, and I’d whisper “I love you” in his ear after he fell asleep, or how much he adored his big sister and animals of all shapes and sizes, but especially turtles.’
Tragedy truck the family when their car was involved in a collision, and three year old Kyle was thrown out of the car and killed on impact.
Had he been sat in a car seat, rather than a booster seat, Christine says, the tragic accident could have been avoided.
In the UK, no one measuring under 125cm or 22kg is allowed to travel in a car sitting in a backless booster seat, but this new measure only applies to seats manufactured after March 2017 – and in America, where Christine and her family are from, ‘statistics show that 80-90% of car seats are installed or used incorrectly’, and ‘car accidents are the #1 killer of children.’
‘We are not protecting our children from the single greatest threat to their lives!’ she writes in the post. ‘It’s madness. [Nothing else] pose as a great of a risk of death as car accidents. And deaths by car accidents can, in many cases, be prevented by proper car seat usage!’
‘Why are we not talking about this?! Why are there no awareness campaigns? 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.’
She even admits that her efforts to educate those around her with small children have seen her lose friends and family in the past, as they sometimes become ‘offended’ when she points out an incorrect fit or useage. However, she adds that to have another child’s safety on her conscience is not something she is ‘willing to risk.’
‘Please speak up if you see a child in a dangerous situation,’ she implores. ‘You could save a life. Children’s lives are more important than parents egos. If someone would have done so for me, Kyle would still be here.’
Christine’s message has met with widespread support from parents around the world, with many thanking her for her warning in the comments.
‘Thank you for sharing your sons story with me. I have to small boys 2 and 3 that i will be buying new rear facing car seats for,’ wrote one.
Another said: ‘Thank you sometime it’s easier to not battle over the car seat but reading this story is a gentle remind the battle is worth it at the end of the day.’