Parents do everything in their power to make sure their children are safe, and when it comes to riding in the car, that means always having the seatbelt buckled.
However, one Virginia mom learned the hard way that seatbelts can be deadly to small children when her daughter was nearly cut in half after her dad lost control of the car and crashed into a tree. Not only was 6-year-old Samantha Swartwout left with a bad concussion, but her entire abdomen was split open from the seatbelt digging into her skin.
“Her intestines were out on scene on the left side,” said mom Shelly Martin, who learned that her daughter wouldn’t have been injured if she were in a booster seat. “She would not have been this hurt in a booster,” Martin said. “Don’t think that just because your child is 7 or 8 years that they are too big… they aren’t!”
Technically, children should use booster seats until they at least turn eight years old, and grow to four foot nine inches. And while Samantha is now released at home, she is still undergoing rehabilitation and sees a psychologist, which is why Martin is sharing her story to warn other parents. “If we can raise awareness and save another child then at least we can bring something good out of this,” Martin said.
Watch the entire video below to see the unexpected way a seatbelt almost cost a little girl her life.
Did you know how dangerous seatbelts could be to young children without a car seat?
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[Featured image: Samantha Swartwout/GoFundMe]