NORTHWEST ARKANSAS, (KNWA/KFTA) — One local mom is spreading awareness about the proper use of car seats after being involved in a crash with her family, including her son.
Haley Phillips says she was at the intersection of Pleasant Grove Road and 26th Street in Rogers when she was involved in a car crash that left her car flipped upside down. She says if her 2-year-old was not properly secured in his car seat, it could have cost him his life.
It started out as a fun day at the park for Phillips, her husband and her son. She never imagined that day would end at the emergency room.
Their car was flipped over after colliding with another vehicle and is a total loss. Phillips says she and her husband were both wearing their seatbelts, and their son was in his car seat. They all walked away with minor cuts and bruises
Phillips remembers the moment she first laid eyes on her son crying, hanging upside down from his seat.
“I look back and he’s screaming mommy, mommy because he doesn’t know what to do. It was the biggest relief for me to see that he was okay and that he was breathing… and it could have been much different,” said Phillips.
She’s been adamant about car seat safety and knows firsthand that they save lives. She encourages parents to go a certified technician like she did to learn the in’s and out’s of the car seat, how to properly install them, and the type to use for your child.
Traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for children between the ages of one and 13 years old. That’s according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
If you have a child or infant in your car, then you should have them in a car seat. Many local police and fire stations have certified technicians to help you properly install your car seat.
Corporal Johnny Foster with the Fayetteville police department tells us it’s important to use the right car seat appropriate to your kid’s age, height and weight. He says it’s recommended that newborns to at least 8 years old, or until a child reaches 80 pounds uses a car seat.
There are many different types. You have full car seats with a harness or a booster that gives your kid a lift so they are properly secured under their seat belt.
“It doesn’t take much, the force of the accident versus what they hit causes that car seat to go forward with lots of force and if it is not installed properly. They can fly through the air, the car seat can fly through the air and hit something, there is a lot of things that can happen,” said Foster.
He adds that once the car seat is installed and secure, the base shouldn’t move more than an inch and the harness should be properly fastened.
The Fayetteville Police Department gives away about 300 car seats and boosters every year. it is hosting an open event next Thursday, August 5 from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Northwest Arkansas Mall. It takes place between the old Sears and JCPenney.
They’ll have many technicians on hand to show you how to properly install car seats. If you have a car seat you can come by and get a safety check.
Phillips adds that after the crash so many people came over to help, someone got her son out of the car, another was helping her husband, and she said she is thankful for the quick actions of all those who stepped in.