My child’s safety is the most important thing in the world to me. When the family loads into the car, I check again and again that everyone is sitting safely with their seatbelts on.
That’s exactly how Shelly Martin’s husband acted when he put the couple’s 6 year old daughter Samantha in the back seat of their car. But just minutes later he was forced to make a horrifying call to his wife…
Now Shelly wants to warn other parents about what can happen if you follow seatbelt recommendations blindly.
This is such an important message. Please help us share it so that all parents can be aware of the danger.
The car that Samantha and her dad were travelling in suddenly skidded and crashed into a tree 200 feet away. The crash was so forceful that the seatbelt Samantha was wearing sliced open her stomach.
Samantha’s dad managed to get himself out of the car and call Samantha’s mom. Shelly was of course in shock and says she will never forget that moment. Her daughter was severely injured and had serious injuries on her stomach.
“Her intestines were out on scene on the left side,” Shelly tells CBS News.
It isn’t unusual for 6 year olds to sit without a booster seat in cars. It’s actually recommended in Virginia, where the family lives. But Shelly is convinced that her daughter’s injuries wouldn’t have been as severe if she had been travelling in a booster seat.
“She would not have been this hurt in a booster,” she says.
And she has a message to all parents who travel by car with their children.
“Don’t think that just because your child is 7 or 8 years that they are too big (for a booster)… they aren’t!” she says to CBS News
Samantha also received bad head and neck injuries during the crash, but has recovered well from her injuries. But of course, she is suffering long term effects from the crash, and is seeing a psychologist to cope with post-traumatic stress.
Her family describe how they have felt helpless at times, but that spreading this warning to other parents gives them strength.
”If we can raise awareness and save another child then at least we can bring something good out of this,” Shelly says.
Shelly Martin and her husband nearly lost their child because they listened to state recommendations about child seats. Now they want to prevent others from suffering the same way.
Share their story to help other parents prevent their children from being harmed.
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