“I’m very lucky that I have a husband that obliges my ridiculous requests and sends me lots of pictures because it could have been so much worse,” she added.
For the first time in three months, new mum Rebecca Tafaro Boyer was away from her baby, William as she returned to work after finishing her maternity leave. Like most new mothers who have to be away from their little ones, Rebecca, 31, felt like she was being "overly protective." She had insisted that her husband David "send me hourly updates and recaps on how baby William was handling his first day away from mommy," she wrote in a Facebook post.
Around 2:15 pm William was in his car seat while Rebecca was covering her shift at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital when David sent over a photo. They were getting ready to go run some errands. In one of the pictures, Rebecca noticed that the seat's straps were dangling loosely, and the chest clip was resting too low on William's chest. “When I actually looked at the picture he sent, I realized that the car seat really wasn’t safely secured,” she said. “I just sent him a quick text and said, ‘Hey, fix the car seat,’ basically. And he did it — luckily.” Rebecca told PEOPLE.
Only 15 minutes later, David called Rebecca to inform her that they had been involved in a 50mph collision because a car had swerved into their path while making a left turn at an intersection. Rebecca pulled up to the scene saying she wasn't able to breathe until the moment she saw her husband and her baby. “Finally I saw my husband standing on the side of the road with my baby, and they were just laughing." She added, "At that point, I felt better. I was like, ‘Okay.’"
"My precious little bundle of joy was so well restrained in his car seat, THAT HE DIDN’T EVEN WAKE UP," wrote Rebecca relieved that her little one was safe and secure. "I am so thankful that my husband took the extra one minute that was necessary to put William in his car seat safely," she added. The family's vehicle was damaged in the collision. David, on the other hand, sustained several foot fractures and dislocated toes as a result of the collision. Though he may miss a few weeks of work, a full recovery is anticipated. She credits her "annoying nagging mom voice" that her family was safe " at home sitting on the couch" except for a minor injury after an accident.
Rebecca, who often kept her Facebook posts private, was moved to make a public statement after the accident that emphasized the significance of proper car seat installation. “Lots of other moms have been tagging their husbands and saying, ‘See, the strap needs to be up top,’” Rebecca said of the response to her post. According to Safe Kids Worldwide, using a car seat that is correctly installed can cut the chance of mortality by up to 71%. They also emphasize the need of choosing a suitable car seat for your child's age and size. In addition, the NHTSA advises parents to switch to a different safety seat after a moderate or severe collision.
Rebecca said that other parents have contacted her to explain that after reading her post, they discovered that they had also been incorrectly installing their children in car seats.“I’m very lucky that I have a husband that obliges my ridiculous requests and sends me lots of pictures because it could have been so much worse,” she added. Rebecca concluded that the family is relieved that a damaged car — and foot — were the only things they had to worry about on that day, despite her initial concern that her text to David may be interpreted as being "overprotective."
Cover Image Source: Getty Images / T. Pleydell