Mum issues car seat warning after being told her toddler could have been 'internally decapitated'

A mum is warning parents to keep their children’s car seats rear-facing after surviving a car crash that nearly “internally decapitated” her toddler. Teacher Cara Steele had collected her 18-month-old son Albie from the childminder’s after work and was making her way home from Stockport when the incident happened. A pick-up truck hit her car from behind in  Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire, crushing the boot of her Vauxhall Astra Estate, the MEN reports.

Albie was deemed fit by the paramedics and although Cara needed an X-ray on her spine and shoulder, it showed no fractures. She was told by a paramedic and a traffic officer that if Albie had been front facing, it would have been ‘a very different scenario.’ They said the child could have suffered severe spinal injury or even internal decapitation where the spinal cord is severed from the force of the impact.

Mum-of-one Cara, 34, shared photos of the crash as a warning to other parents to keep their little ones in rear facing car seats until they reach the recommended 25kg, or 55lb – up to around six years old.

In her post, which has been shared thousands of times, Cara said: “If this makes one person consider extended rear facing, or turning their child back to rear facing then my story has helped somebody. “Albie is only 18 months old but he will rear face until he’s 25kg. There’s so much information out there about the benefits of rear facing, I only ask that people educate themselves with it.”

“Albie had a couple of bruises on his leg, a small cut on his eye and on one of his legs, which we think came from the glass, but very superficial,” Cara told the M.E.N.

Cara Steele had collected her 18-month-old son Albie

“He’s only 18 months so it’s hard to say fully how he is as he can’t communicate with us. We can assume he has been aching as he will have had some force from the impact. “We’ve had a couple of wake ups in the night which isn’t usual for him, but have been doing paracetamol and ibruprofen and that seems to be fine.

“He was asleep when the truck hit, which means he would have been as relaxed as possible, which will have helped with whiplash too.

“We were told that if he had been forward facing he would have risked severe spinal injury or even internal decapitation.”

Mum issues car seat warning after being told her toddler could have been 'internally decapitated'

For maximum safety, parents are advised to keep children in rear facing car seats until fully outgrown – crossing their legs if needs be and taking frequent breaks during long journeys.

Derbyshire Police said a 19-year-old man was arrested at the scene of Monday’s incident and has been charged with one count of aggravated vehicle taking and one count of driving without insurance. 

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