Her warning is crucial information for parents, especially in the winter.

By Maressa Brown
December 15, 2017
car seat
Credit: Arkom Suvarnasiri/shutterstock

Of the many ways you can keep your little one safe throughout the day, ensuring that they're properly buckled into their car seat is key. After experiencing a heart-stopping event on the road, one mom set out to share an important reminder with other parents. The warning has been going viral since appearing on the popular Facebook group "Breastfeeding Mama Talk."

In the post, a mom named Elizabeth recalled a scary accident that occurred while she was driving at night on a state highway with her 2-year-old in his car seat. It had begun to snow, and she realized quickly that the roads were getting slick and the visibility was low. "I was driving about 40 in a 60, wasn't on my phone, and radio off so I could focus more," she shared. "Jackson was sleeping in his car seat behind me. About 5 miles before we got home, my car fishtailed and we hit the ditch. I don't remember exactly what happened, but I think we flipped end over end and landed upside down in a swamp. There was no traffic, I was upside down hanging by my seatbelt, and my son was crying in the back. By some miracle, my phone had not flown so I was able to call 911 right away. I got myself unbuckled and got Jackson out soon after. He stopped crying as soon as he was out of his car seat."

Thankfully, another driver saw them in the ditch and came to help them. "We were stuck in the vehicle -- doors wouldn't open and water flowed in if the windows were opened," Elizabeth explained. "The passerby was able to open the back hatch of the van and get us out. By some miracle, we were both unharmed."

She then backed up to explain that when she first went to rescue her son, his "car seat was right where it was supposed to be, and he was right where I had buckled him. No coat, five point, snug as a bug. He didn't even have marks from the steps after hanging upside down for 5 minutes!"

The bottom-line, as far as the grateful mother is concerned? "Without his car seat and its proper use, this day could have been much different for us," she noted. "The car was totaled, but the car seat looked as good as new and was still buckled in tight when we went the next to gather my things. It happened so fast. We were almost home. And I never thought it would be me that it happened to."

According to Debbi Baer, RN, who runs TheCarSeatLady.com, a five-point car seat is one of the safest options. But there has been confusion over the "no coat" rule. But according to Consumer Reports, "as a general rule, winter coats should not be worn underneath a car seat harness because that can leave the harness too loose to be effective in a crash."

Thankfully, this mom's warning is going viral and spreading the word on these crucial, life-saving rules of thumb!