Every day, with every decision made, we weigh up risk.
Is it too soon to let my child play with lego? They might choke.
Is it too soon for my child to go swimming independently? What if something happens in the water?
Is it okay for my child to walk to the corner store for some milk? What if someone snatches them into their car?
Is it time to change the car seat from rear to front facing? They might die.
That’s not hyperbole. That a child might die in a front facing seat is a very real possibility, and it is the lived experience of Mudgee woman, Angela Brown.
Earlier today, Angela posted photos of her almost two year old daughter who has been a patient at Westmead Hospital since late February.
Angela writes, “On the 26th of February my happy world shattered and I woke up to my new nightmare life.”
At 100kms an hour, Angela’s car slammed into a tree. The car flipped and landed upside down, while the impact on the tree caused it to crash on top of the SUV.
Angela’s two-year-old daughter, in her front facing seat had a large cut on her forehead. Angela’s baby, in her rear facing seat had no visible sign of injury.
Eventually, after the family was picked up by Careflight and transferred to Westmead, Angela’s two year old daughter was diagnosed with a broken c2 and c3 (that is, she had broken vertebrae) and had torn the ligaments in her c1.
Angela writes, “I was always unsure about when turning my babies around but after our crash and the hard evidence we are presented with I will forever rearward face my babies for as long as I possibly can. Don’t make the same mistake as I did. It could cost you your babies [sic] life.
“So far we have been treating her injury for 3months with no idea of when she will be fully recovered.”
Angela’s post has been shared over 2,000 times and many of the commenters noting how important Angela’s message is.
One commenter writes, “I turned Bella at six months, and after hearing about missy I turned her back.”
Kidsafe’s national guidelines recommend that children stay in a rearward facing child restraint until they outgrow it, and they note that there are rearward facing restraints soon to be manufactured for children as old as three years old.
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* Featured image via Facebook