This Viral Video About Booster Seats Is A Scary Wake-Up Call For All Parents

Ad failed to load

About 15 years ago, my mom and I were in a car accident. A sports car sped down the highway and hit a vehicle that stop short, which caused it to careen into our SUV. It was a frightening experience that left a lasting impression and has caused me to be extra cautious while I'm on the road. And now with a toddler in tow, I'm even more terrified of what might happen while I'm driving. That's why this viral video about booster seats has put the fear of God in me, and every parent should watch it.

Last month, the Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) posted a short video to its Facebook page that used graphic imagery to discuss the dangers of chucking your kid's booster seat too soon, according to Scary Mommy. The research-backed piece starts innocently enough: A 9-year-old boy straps himself in the backseat, without a booster, of his mom's SUV. His mom starts driving slowly down the street when another car slams into their vehicle. The mom wakes up with blood on her face; she turns to see her son, who is bloody and unconscious. At the hospital, the doctor informs her that he may have suffered serious internal injuries.

Ad failed to load

The video is terrifying to watch, to be honest — and purposefully so. Car accidents are the leading cause of death among children, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC estimates that, during 2015, more than 660 children 12 years old and younger died, and more than 121,350 were injured, in auto accidents. Of those kids killed, 35 percent were not buckled in their seats. In one year, more than 618,000 kids ages 12 and younger rode in cars without being strapped into a safety seat or booster seat, or using a seat belt, at least some of the time, the CDC reported.

Although child passenger safety laws differ by state, best practices dictate that kids remain in belt-positioning booster seats until they are 12 years old, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Children would stop needing a booster seat when they reach 4-feet, 9-inches tall. So, even you think your kid's big enough to only use a seat belt, chances are you're wrong.

As Child Passenger Safety instructor Georjeane Blumling explains in the video, which was produced by EVMS, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, and the Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters,

Ad failed to load
An unrestrained child, even at 30 miles an hour, will experience the same force as if they fell out of a third-story window. Children simply do not fit in a vehicle with an adult seat belt until they are at least 4-foot-9.

A lack of a booster seat can have fatal consequences in the event of a motor vehicle accident. As depicted in the video, strapping your kid in the seat of a car before they're ready can result in life-threatening injuries. Dr. Phillip Thomas, a pediatrics resident at Eastern Virginia Medical School, explains in the video,

Ad failed to load
Far too often, you see many kids come in with internal organ damage, damage to the large vessels. All due to improper use of adult safety belts in kids that should have otherwise been in a booster seat.

Auto accidents are frightening, even if you're not a parent. But when you have a kid to care for, you see every car on the road as a possible death machine. I know that I am scared that the wrong turn or the overzealous driver may put me and my son in a deadly situation. If nothing else, the Eastern Virginia Medical School video reminds parents that they should remain diligent in following current child passenger safety recommendations. Doing so can be lifesaving.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

15 Baby Names With Unique Nicknames, So Your Family Has Options

I love a good diminutive name, also known as a nickname. I believe I’m partial to them because of my own name, Abigale, but I go by Abi. And since they’re both uniquely spelled, everyone thinks my name is pronounced Ah-bee for some reason — but even …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

The Entire Family Can Enjoy These Movies & Shows Coming To Netflix In June

It's just one of those sad facts of life: every month, shows and movies vanish from Netflix, their varied excitements no longer at your fingertips. But luckily the streaming service is always prepared to fill that content void with lots of new things…
By Megan Walsh

The Reason Why Babies Smile At You Will Seriously Make You Smile

Whether you're currently the recipient of your own baby's sweet smiles or you just seem to be a magnet for baby grins in general, you might find yourself wondering why babies are always smiling at you. Sure, you could be a 'smile whisperer' but scien…
By Kate Miller

8 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say That, Yes, You Are Their Favorite

For a baby to show a preference for a specific person is not only normal, but an essential part of their development. Babies need to form strong attachments to their caregivers for their emotional, social, and physical wellbeing. Usually, but not alw…
By Kimmie Fink

10 Reasons Why I Won't Apologize For Giving My Toddler A Pacifier

My first child had no interest in a pacifier. I tried a couple times to get him to take one, but he always spat them out and gave me an incredulous, judgmental look. But my second? It was love at first suckle. And after a while, the incredulous, judg…
By Jamie Kenney

Being A Dog Parent Prepared Me For Having A Baby, Really

I’ve always wanted kids; I was never as sure about raising a puppy. Then I spent six months living with someone who brought home an eight-week-old golden retriever puppy, and I see no way to make it out of that experience claiming not to love dogs. I…
By Heather Caplan

20 Of The Most Popular Unisex Names Of All Time, That You'll Be Hearing More Of For Sure

You might think of unisex names as a fairly recent trend, but the truth is these versatile monikers have been commonly used throughout history (well, some more commonly than others). That's why the team over at recently compiled a list of t…
By Jacqueline Burt Cote

How To Have A Date Night With No Babysitter, Because It's Easier Than You Think

After having children, many couples feel that their love lives immediately go out the window, but it's so important to make your romantic life a priority so both you and your partner can be the best versions of yourselves you can be. As we all know, …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

9 Ways Baby No. 3 Made My Family Feel Complete

My husband and I decided to have another baby right after we got married and, well, we had no idea what we were getting into. I got pregnant right away, endured a high-risk pregnancy, and, before I knew it, my third baby had arrived. Together, we emb…
By Steph Montgomery

8 Stereotypes About New Dads That Are *Totally* True

Much like new mothers, new fathers have a lot on their plate. Parenting can be scary and complex, especially at first and regardless of your gender. People want to do right by their kids, after all. And since all new parents are a hot mess, dads are …
By Priscilla Blossom

8 Differences Between Being Pregnant In Your 20s Vs 30s, According To Science

Whether you're planning a pregnancy, or just thinking about your future family, it's typical to think about things like child-spacing, how many kids you want, and when to start trying to conceive. When making your pro/con list, you might also conside…
By Steph Montgomery

16 Moms Share Remedies For Their Most Intense Chocolate Cravings During Pregnancy

For better or worse, pregnancy is usually synonymous with odd cravings. Sure, there are the stereotypical combos like pickles and ice cream that plague gestating women the world over, but there are other mind-boggling combinations, too, including but…
By Candace Ganger

Putting Sunscreen On Your Kid Doesn't Have To Be A Fight — Here's How To Do It

I am almost translucent, so me and sunscreen are basically besties at this point. Even though my children are beautifully deep brown thanks to my husband's genetics, I still slather them like biscuits being buttered because I refuse to take risks wit…
By Cat Bowen

19 Moms Share The Way They Cured Their Pregnancy Comfort Food Cravings

I was obnoxiously sick during the first trimester with, "lucky" for me, both of my pregnancies. For the first three months I lived on saltines, lemonade, and fresh bread. Once I was able to eat, however, all I wanted was savory and sweet comfort food…
By Dina Leygerman

I Used To Judge Formula-Feeding Moms — Until I Became One

The other patrons in the hip Brooklyn restaurant probably couldn’t care less what I was feeding my baby, but I’ll always remember the shame I felt as I quickly mixed up his bottle of formula in front of them. I admitted to my childless friend that I …
By Katherine Martinelli

7 White Lies It’s Necessary To Tell To Keep Your Relationship Healthy

Telling lots of lies typically isn't associated with a healthy, strong, lasting relationship, and that's still certainly true, but not all lies are exactly the same. Though you've probably heard from someone at least once or twice that the lie they t…
By Lauren Schumacker

The Skinny Jeans That Saved Me Postpartum

Accepting my post-pregnancy body is hands-down one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. It’s something that I still work on every single day. During my first pregnancy, I was 20 years old, so I managed to bounce back quickly. In fact, I dropp…
By Allison Cooper

7 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say They Feel Safe

In those first weeks of new motherhood, it can feel like you need an interpreter for your newborn. With their limited means of communication, figuring out what message your baby is trying to get across to you can be a challenge. With time, however, y…
By Kimmie Fink

Here's Why Dogs Are Obsessed With Babies' Poop, According To Science

Most family dogs seem to understand babies, and they're more than happy to make friends with the newest member of the pack. It's adorable... for the most part and until you go to change your little one's diaper. Suddenly, you're wondering why dogs ar…
By Lindsay E. Mack

6 Signs You're Meant To Have A Big Age Gap Between Kids

There's a five year age difference between my two children, to the day. Their age gap wasn't planned but, for a variety of reasons, works well for our family. And since I was so focused on having a second baby, I totally overlooked the signs that wou…
By Candace Ganger

My Dog Knew I Was Pregnant Before My Family Did

Growing up, I was 100 percent sure I'd be a mom one day. To a dog, that is. My baby plans came later. And once my husband and I were sure we wanted both a dog and a baby, we'd add to our joint dog-and-baby name list over Sunday brunch or on date nigh…
By Melissa Mills