Every parent’s worst nightmare came true for North Dakota mom Hannah Mckinney Pope when she and her two-month-old daughter were involved in a terrible car accident. In a viral Facebook post about car seat safety, Pope details what exactly happened and how her infant daughter Robin actually slid out of her otherwise secure car seat.

Pope was driving her minivan with her daughter strapped in the back when she was involved in the accident. Her van flipped twice, back to front and finally rested on its side. Baby Robin was ejected from her car seat, and thankfully only sustained a hairline fracture in her arm and a few cuts. So what happened?

When Pope located the car seat in the vehicle, they were astonished to find that the straps were still pulled tight and locked. Additionally, the seat was still securely locked in the car seat base. In essence, the car seat did its job and was safely installed.

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The reason Robin was ejected was because the after-market sheepskin strap covers Pope installed that did not come with the car seat. In a statement to Good Housekeeping, she states a car seat instructor identified that “the sheepskin seatbelt strap covers quickly [slid] against her daughter’s shirt causing her to fly out of the seat.”

This incident serves as a reminder that parents should exercise extreme caution when using any products related to their child’s car seat safety.

The Car Seat Lady reminds us that “Anything in the original box with the car seat (or sold separately AND specifically allowed by the seat manufacturer) has rigorous standards it must meet; most importantly, it has been crash tested with that particular car seat AND proven to be safe.”

Rule of thumb? Stay away from the cute accessories you buy separately and stick with those that came with your seat. Hannah Pope learned the scary way that safety trumps style every time!

Do you have after-market products you use with your kiddos car seats? Will you be removing them after hearing Pope’s story? Let us know in the comments below!

––Karly Wood

featured photo: Graco 

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