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.



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Sep. 13, 2009 at 9:38 PM

What a sad story :(

Thank you for the reminder. Keeping our children in the proper seat is such a simple thing we can do for them, and it could literally save their lives.

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Sep. 14, 2009 at 9:07 AM

I still have my 8 year old daughter in a booster seat, because in her captains chair in our minivan, the seat belt crosses her neck. Sometimes she complains about it because none of her friends have boosters, but I'm just not going to budge until I see the seat belt crossing in all the right places without the extra lift. My 6 year old is very petite (wears size 4-5 clothing) and still rides in her 5-point harness car seat appropriate for kids up to 80 lbs. I just can't worry about whether they feel a little "babyish" about it; safety first!

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Sep. 14, 2009 at 12:26 PM

I love my 5 point harness, when the baby outgrows his infant seat we're investing in another for him, and BOTH my boys will stay in them until they outgrow them. 150 dollar investment to save my childs life is WELL worth it. I love that they are rear facing as long as they are too, and will rear face the little one until he is two if our car will let us (couldn't rear face in the last car, and the seat was a gift from my mom)

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Sep. 14, 2009 at 6:47 PM

My son is almost ten,  65 lbs and I still make him ride in a booster.  He says that most of his friends don't have to.  I tell him he is MY kid and I love him and want to keep him safe and he will ride in that booster until he hits 80 pounds.  I have so many friends who seem to think it is "not a big deal",  but I have read too many horror stories,  and if keeping him in the booster until he is bigger could save his life,  you are darn right I will be keeping the booster seat around!

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Sep. 14, 2009 at 9:09 PM

In Northern Idaho the law is 6 years old and 60 lbs, but as a car seat tech I would say that LESS THAN 10% of kids over 5 are in any sort of seat. It is so simple and likely to save a child's life and I have no idea why people are so ignorant on the subject. The #1 killer of children ages 2-14 is a car accident. Those numbers would drop drastically if children were restrained properly!

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Sep. 14, 2009 at 11:02 PM

Jess, I'm so glad this made it to the popular list :)

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Sep. 14, 2009 at 11:09 PM

my 1 1/2 yr old still rides ERF and my 3 yr old is in a 5 point harness carseat. i kno a girl who has her son who is 4 months younger than my 3yr old in just a booster seat and not the one with a back. he isnt that tall or anything. i saw a pic of him on myspace and just thought how dangerous that was!!

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Sep. 14, 2009 at 11:47 PM

My grandma said something to me the other day about my oldest DD - who is 6 - still being in a boaster seat. And I told her that in Texas, the law is until they are 8. But that I didn't really care what the law is - that MY rule is 'booster until she's 8... or older, if she still needs it then'. The law in TX changed a month or so ago to change the age to 8 (I THINK I read that somewhere) and while I was glad they changed the law, my DD was still in a booster and WILL be until she doesn't need one.

I hate it when I see people with their kids not even in car seats - which I have and almost called the police with their license plate number but I didn't have my phone with me. CrAZY!

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Sep. 15, 2009 at 12:16 AM

It is not that difficult to leave our most precious gifts, our children, in a safe, five point harness carseat/booster until they are really ready for an ADULT seat belt. Proper carseat usage SAVES LIVES!

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Sep. 15, 2009 at 12:16 AM

Oh, and THANK YOU Jess!

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