This past summer, seven-year-old Brynn Duncan from Moorhead became the
definitive illustration of a child who would have benefited from a stronger
child restraint law in Minnesota. On Aug. 18, 2008, Brynn was restrained with
only a seat belt, since that's all the law requires, while riding with her
grandmother. Because the adult seat belt did not fit properly, the lap portion
rode up above her hips and onto her stomach. Brynn had placed the shoulder
portion of the adult seat belt behind her back as children of this age and size
often do to prevent it from resting on their faces.
When the vehicle she was riding in was involved in a crash, the impact snapped
Brynn's body in half. Because the top portion of the seat belt was not in place,
her spinal cord was badly injured. Because the lap portion of the seat belt was
not on her hips, her internal organs were catastrophically damaged.
The initial damage to Brynn's body was a torn spinal cord, a severed intestine,
a bruised heart and a damaged kidney. While in surgery, Brynn's kidney, appendix
and gall bladder were removed. In addition, Brynn suffered immense pain,
depression, severe fevers and infections. Weeks went by as her survival lay in
the balance. For 82 days, Brynn went from one hospital to the next, one surgery
to the next, fighting to survive. Eventually, Brynn was sent home with
substantial, life-long injuries.
KEEP YOUR CHILD IN A BOOSTER SEAT.