Toddler’s Fatal Escape From Car Seat Is Mother’s Nightmare

rearview mirror I can't imagine ... that's what we say in the wake of most tragic deaths involving children. The thing about the death of 2-year-old Dallas Martinez in Ogden, Utah, who was killed after falling from a moving car, is that I can imagine all too vividly how something similar could happen to my toddler ... or to any toddler. 

According to Fox 13, his mother was driving down the street around 1 p.m. on Tuesday. Dallas was supposedly strapped into a car seat next to his 3-year-old sister when his mother heard a door open. Somehow he had escaped from the car seat, climbed out of the car, and fell to the pavement. His mother's car had run over and killed him before she even knew what happened. In a flash, just like that, her baby was gone.

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Police say that it doesn't appear there was any negligent behavior, though they will continue investigating the case to determine if he was properly secured in the seat. It may just be a case in which the mother did everything right, and the boy figured out how to escape.

Regardless of the specifics, this is a story that will give me nightmares. My own 2-year-old has attempted to get out of her car seat several times while I'm driving. She's never been able to get all the way out of it, but she's managed to undo part of it. I can see how it can happen, and it does. A recent study showed that half of all toddlers have unbuckled their seatbelt at one point or another.

So what's a parent to do to prevent a similar tragedy? Making sure you're using your car seat properly is a good start. There are also alarms that can alert you if the buckle comes undone. For this mother, however, there is nothing she can do now to get her son back, and I ache for her and her family. One thing I can't even come close to imagining is the heartache she surely is feeling.

Has your child ever escaped from his or her car seat?

 

Image via TooFarNorth/Flickr

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