Pa. mom’s viral post of crash shows importance of child safety seats

The Lancaster County woman was driving with her 2-and-a-half-year-old and 6-week-old sons in the car when the crash happened

Viral post of car seats after Lancaster crash
Credit: Jenna Casado Rabberman Facebook via WHTM


LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) – A Pennsylvania mom posted a picture of her vehicle totaled on Tuesday. The two car seats in it looked untouched. Now her cautionary tale has gone viral.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, Penn State Children’s Hospital, and local police held a car seat safety event at the Silver Spring Square in Cumberland County Friday morning. People like Jodie Wasikowski, a grandmother of three, filled the parking lot to have their child seats checked.

“My daughter recently moved back to the area with my 2-and-a-half-year-old granddaughter,” she said.

Wasikowski wanted to make sure the car seat in her vehicle was installed correctly.

“We had a lot of trouble getting it in. I called over to highway safety and they suggested I come on out here,” she said.

Many came out after seeing Jenna Casado Rabberman’s viral picture on Facebook that’s been shared more than 280,000 times as of Friday night.

“My reaction was mixed,” Wasikowski said. “Horrific, terrible but then to see the two car seats sitting there just pristine, it really makes you realize how important it is.”

Rabberman, of Lancaster County, told ABC News she was driving with her 2-and-a-half-year-old and 6-week-old sons in the car when the crash happened. Everybody escaped unharmed.

Shannon DePatto, an injury prevention specialist at Penn State Children’s Hospital, said car accidents are the leading cause of death for children.

“Making sure that car seat is installed properly is so important. We see on a national average 73 of seats are installed incorrectly,” DePatto said.

She said if the car seat isn’t installed correctly, the child could be thrown from the vehicle in a crash.

“We just want to make sure we’re doing everything possible to protect her,” Wasikowski said.

A child’s car seat should have less than one inch of movement from side-to-side and pass the pinch test — you shouldn’t be able to pinch the belt’s fabric at the shoulder.

The car seat harness should clip at the armpit and go across the chest bone.

For more information on what car seat to buy and how to properly install it, visit the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration’s website.

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