A Pennsylvania mom’s photo of two child car seats beside her mangled Honda CRV has been shared by more than 270,000 people on Facebook since it was posted on Sept. 26.
Jenna Casado Rabberman stopped for milk on her way home from preschool on Sept. 25 when another car slammed into her 2015 Honda CRV. Both of her children were strapped into rear-facing child car seats and escaped the gruesome crash unscathed.
“You never think it will happen to you,” the mother wrote on Facebook. “My boys escaped without a scratch but the paramedics told me it could have been very different had I not taken the extra 2 minutes to be sure they were buckled correctly.”
Casado Rabberman posted the photo for friends and family, but it struck a note with other people on social media. The post drew 63,000 comments and 144,000 reactions in just three days.
“THIS is why you buckle your kids into their car seats correctly every SINGLE time,” Casado Rabberman wrote. “Even when they scream because the straps are tight. Even when they complain about the chest clip or being rear facing.”
Casado Rabberman said her infant boy is just 6 weeks old and that her older son is 3 years old.
The infant was strapped into a Chicco Keyfit 30 seat and the 3-year-old boy was in the Graco Children’s Products 4ever seat.
“I will be fine, my kids are fine, everything else can be replaced,” the happy mom wrote. “Sending thanks to God for keeping us safe (along with Honda, Graco & Chicco).”
The post was flooded with comments from people who were relieved that everyone escaped the crash unharmed. Although it was not her intention to have the post go viral, the mom wrote that she’s happy it did.
“I never expected this post to be seen by so many people!” she wrote. “I really only posted it for family & friends but hopefully it will save a life by making someone think twice about buckling their child in.”
In 2015, a total of 248 children under the age of 5 were saved by car seats, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). During the same year, 35 percent of children under 13 who were not strapped into child seats or used seatbelts during a crash were killed, according to the NHTSA.
The majority of children, 59 percent, are not strapped into their seats correctly, the NHTSA said. To learn how to properly use a car seat visit NHTSA’s car seat page.