It’s a scary encounter and certainly not something anyone plans on. Suddenly your car slips and slides, or out of nowhere another vehicle smacks into you, and the next thing you know you’ve rolled over and are facing oncoming traffic. You’ve been in an crash. Your life flashes before your eyes and your first thought is, are your kids OK in the back?
Kathee from Michigan recently experienced that nightmare while driving her two sons to school in snowy conditions on Interstate 96, a six lane expressway. Cars ahead of her had either rolled over or spun-off the Interstate and one was in her lane. She moved one lane to the left and suddenly a semi-truck in front of her started fishtailing. The next thing she knew her vehicle had done a 180, facing oncoming traffic and was upside down. Her and her precious kids in the back were suspended by their seatbelts.
“I was playing calm mom, but was looking for blood on the ceiling because I knew at least one of us had to have been injured. I was just trying to hear, as my two boys were talking to me and to each other, what did they see and which kid was going to start screaming first, either from pain, or from seeing a bloody mess,” describes Kathee.
“To my amazement, they wanted to know if they could unbuckle their seatbelts and lower themselves to the ceiling. There was powdered glass and glass shards everywhere, and I couldn’t see behind me, but I knew they were OK. We were talking about how I didn’t want them to cut themselves on glass and were going to wait for help out of our car.”
Kathee adamantly says, “BubbleBum car booster seats had kept my boys safe in a rollover!”
BubbleBum founder Grainne Kelly explains, “The BubbleBum car booster seats that the kids were using protected the children by correctly positioning the adult seatbelt. Seat belts are designed with adults in mind and kids are not small adults as their bodies are proportioned differently. Without the BubbleBum booster seat the seat belt would have had a much greater likelihood to have cut into the soft tissue of the abdomen causing potential life-long injuries.”
“Without seat belts, the passengers in this car would have been like frogs in a cocktail shaker,” adds Kelly.
BubbleBum saved two young lives that shocking morning. Kathee did right by keeping her kids calm and waiting for help. Would you know what to do if you and your kids were in an accident?
Grainne offers tips for what you should do in case you find yourself also experiencing the horrific experience of being in a car accident.
- No one plans to get in an accident. Before you even start the engine take a little extra time to ensure that everyone is buckled in properly.
- In the event of a crash, take some deep breaths to calm you down. When you are in a calm state of mind you are in a better position to make decisions and take stock.
- Without a calm parent talking to the kids to reassure them, the kids even when uninjured could have been traumatized. Kids tend not to get frightened in situations when a parent or loved one appears to be in control, they just need to have confidence in their carer.
- The safety of everyone is paramount. If the car is not drivable or you are unable to get out of the vehicle, stay there with the seatbelt fastened and hazard lights on until help arrives, and call 911. If you can get out, turn on your hazard lights and keep away from the crash site as further crashes may occur.
- When you dial 911, you will need to remember WHO, WHAT and WHERE happened. There is a facility on the iPhone to send a text with your location which could be handy in the event of a crash in a location where you are not familiar.
- Take notes and draw diagrams of the scene, it will make it easier for you to remember when you are talking to the police and your insurance. Insurance companies say that even if you think the crash was your fault it may not have been; therefore, you should never admit fault or blame at the scene.
- If you are involved in a crash it is best to go and get checked out at the ER, especially after such a serious crash as the shock can numb the pain of injury for a while. Some injuries are not apparent to the naked eye, but medical professionals will be much quicker to spot the telltale signs. A few days after a crash many people start to develop seat belt injuries, which are bruising and abrasions on the bony part of the hips and across the neck, shoulder and thorax. While these can be uncomfortable, they show how the seat belt did a great job in restraining you.
- Take it easy after a crash for a few days, even if you feel fine. Treat it like major surgery, you wouldn’t jump on a trampoline or go to the gym straight after surgery so best to avoid anything which requires any level of exertion or risk for a few days. Your body and your mind needs time to recover.
- It is a traumatic experience and there are emotional injuries that are not visible from the outside that can also be debilitating. Even if no one is injured, often the driver will be haunted by ‘what if’ scenarios and may need to speak to a professional to get help. Not everyone who experiences stress after a trauma has Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, but it is important to be aware of the signs. For more information on PTSD visit http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd/index.shtml.
BubbleBum is the award-winning portable, lightweight, inflatable booster seat for kids ages 4-11. It easily deflates and folds flat so that kids or parents can carry it in backpacks or mom’s purse, making it perfect for vacations, rental cars, taxis, buses, school trips, carpooling and due to its narrow design, you can fit 3 car seats across the backseat.