Every parent knows that car seats are crucial to child safety while passengers in a car. As children grow older and bigger and transition from infant seats to car seats to eventually booster seats, some parents often feel the pressure to get rid of the booster seats completely, especially as their children grow older. One mom of a 9-year-old boy is crediting her son's booster seat for keeping him safe during a serious car accident and is letting other parents know just how important booster seats are even for older children.
Jen McLellan writes the popular blog Plus Mommy and recently shared a harrowing story on her Facebook page. McLellan explained that she had received a phone call from her husband telling her that he and their son had been in a car accident, explaining that an SUV had run a red light and hit her husband's car. McLellan rushed to the scene but told PEOPLE, “I didn’t realize how major of an accident it was and that my husband wasn’t okay until I arrived on the scene to see fire trucks and ambulances had already arrived,” she said.
The car was destroyed, and Jen told the magazine “It was worse than I could’ve imagined. My boys were moved to the ambulance to be evaluated, and I tried to process everything that was happening.”
While her son Braeden suffered from some scrapes and bruising from his seatbelt, McLellan explained in her Facebook post that it was his booster seat that helped minimize the injuries that could have happened. "Paramedics were surprised how well my son was after seeing the car wreck," she wrote. "They said he would've been far more injured had he not been in a booster."
She went on to explain that her son had been asking to stop using his booster seat, but now she's so thankful she held her ground. "I can't tell you how many arguments I've had with my 9-year-old about him not wanting to be in a booster because his friends don't use one. I'm forever thankful I never budged."
“The paramedics said they don’t see kids his size doing so well after an accident like this. They praised my husband and me for having him in a booster and said it saved him from far worse injuries,” McLellan told PEOPLE. “I was so incredibly thankful my son was able to walk, but he was clearly in pain from the seat belt impact, and we’d later learn his left hip was also badly bruised.”
The blogger explained that she shared her story to help educate other parents on just how important it is to keep children in their booster seats even when they're complaining that they're too old. “I felt called to share our story after hearing the paramedics, care providers at the ER, and his pediatrician all say how thankful they were our son was in a booster,” she says. “Everyone said things would’ve been so much worse had he not been in a booster because they often see kids who aren’t properly restrained.”
The family has launched a GoFundMe account as McLellan's husband still isn't able to return to work since the accident, and according to the account, the family's insurance is on hold until a police report is issued.
As for Braeden, McLellan said that "physically he’s doing much better, and I know the booster is to thank for that! Emotionally he’s still processing everything that happened and his father has a long road to recovery,” she explained. “I now tell my son, ‘Cool kids are safe kids!’ My son has been fighting us on being in the booster for the past two years. My husband and I are so glad we never budged!”
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