By Daina Hodges
Tears welled in my eyes and goose bumps crept across my skin when I heard his voice crack as the emotions began rising in his throat. The certified child passenger safety technician was sharing a story with me about a rollover crash which involved a mother and her young child.
The vehicle they were in ultimately came to rest on its top. Those first on the scene didn’t take time to consider the fates of those in the vehicle before they raced to provide help. The mother was clearly shaken and in pain but mostly worried about her child she could hear crying unsoothed by her efforts to provide comforting words. The child was found hanging upside down from his car seat.
Emergency responders removed the mother and child from the vehicle to find that aside from minor injuries (bumps, bruises, scrapes and scratches) they were both okay. The mother’s fears from the wreck and the thoughts of consequences that could have been were soon replaced by thankfulness.
Just a week prior to her crash she had made the time commitment to attend a child passenger safety check lane to learn how to correctly use her child’s car seat. She’d always been adamant about buckling the car seat into the vehicle but something about the way it moved when she put her child in and leaned when she turned a corner bothered her.
The certified technician at the check lane showed her how to lock the seatbelt to hold the car seat in tight and also discussed the fit of the harness on the child and how it needed to be adjusted. The mother contacted that technician to express her sincere gratitude.
The technician was clearly moved as he shared the story with me and the realization he may have saved a life and I, in turn, was also met with emotion and pleased to call him a hero.
Daina Hodges is the Outreach Coordinator for Safe Kids Kansas.