Toddler 'could have been killed' in crash if mum followed pals' car seat advice

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A tiny toddler would have died in a horror crash if his car seat wasn’t rear-facing, his traumatised mum claims.

Axton Di Liberto, who is 23 months old, somehow escaped with minor injuries after the vehicle in which he was travelling collided with an “out-of-control” car.

His grandmother Bronwyn, 55, and uncle Bailey, 21, also travelling in the car suffered more serious injuries.

But the tot’s mum Tathra, 35, had asked her relatives to always put Axton in a rear-facing car seat, which she said may have saved his life on this occasion.

“Mum suggested to just turn him to the front, but I said not to, and helped her adjust it. And thank god we did,” Tathra said.

Axton was involved in a severe car crash but avoided major injuries

 

“Luckily, Axton didn’t have a scratch on him.

“Thankfully, Axton is fine, and mum told me that the paramedics, police and firefighters all told her the rear-facing car seat saved his life. Without it, he could have suffered internal decapitation, neck injuries or a broken spine. He could have been killed or paralysed for life.

“There is a bit of debate about when kids should be turned front-facing, and I really would urge parents to keep them rear-facing for as long as possible. It is so much safer, based on science and evidence.”

The crash in Queensland, Australia, left Bailey with severe whiplash and seatbelt bruising, and Bronwyn with a tendon completely torn off the bone in her knee.

The accident happened in Queensland, Australia

The youngster was travelling with his gran and uncle at the time of the smash

 

Australian guidelines state children can be placed front-facing from six months old. It differs notably from UK law which states children need to be at least 15 months old before they can use a front-facing car seat – while US guidelines suggest the child remain in a rear-facing car seat until they are two years old.

But Tathra, of Lowood, Queensland, Australia, said: “The guidelines say that babies can be turned front from six months, but I think the laws need to be changed and made until they are at least two years old.

“I’d dropped him off at their house on the Friday afternoon. Mum and I were actually discussing the rear-facing seat, as they were going to put it in their car.

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“I got a phone call from my brother after 5pm the next day who told me that they’d all been in a car accident. I felt sick to my stomach. They’d not even got two miles from the house when it happened. They were just going to grab some dinner together.

“My brother can’t move his arm and collarbone due to the pain. Poor mum has had a tendon pulled off her knee, and her entire chest, belly and legs are completely black from bruising.”

The traumatised mum desperately wants the law changed in Australia.

Tathra wants the law on car seats to change

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She continued: “The guidelines say that babies can be turned front from six months, but I think the laws need to be changed and made until they are at least two years old.

“I used to get criticised by loads of people who told me he was too old for it, or that he would get bored. But at the end of the day, it can save your child’s life. I’d never want to risk it.

“Now I just want to help spread the message and raise awareness about rear-facing car seats

“When I think about how easily we could have lost him, I get teary. My husband and I are quite traumatised by it all.

“I’m just so thankful that he is still with us. This could have have a far more tragic outcome.”



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