An unfortunate accident has taken place in New South Wales, Australia, involving a forward-facing child seat. The accident involved two little girls – one, in a forward-facing child seat sustained serious injuries, while the other, in a rear-facing child seat, escaped with just a bruise.

Their mother, Angela Brown, recounted the accident in a Facebook post. As she was travelling home, her SUV lost control and slammed into a tree at 100 km/h. “The impact caused our car to flip forward over its bonnet and onto its roof. At the same time, the large tree snapped and landed on top of the car, trapping us in it,” Brown wrote.

One would have thought that her daughters, who were in child seats would be somewhat protected, however, it turned out that her daughter who sat in a forward-facing position sustained worst injuries than her sister – who was sitting in a rearward position.

The two-year old, who Brown calls Miss 2 in her post, had to be airlifted to a hospital as her vertebrae was found to be broken in two places, according to the doctors. At this moment, her daughter is still in the hospital. “She was one of the youngest to be fitted with a Halo Brace. The doctor told us that most children with her injury don’t normally make it,” she said.

A separate incident where a rear-facing child seat also saved a two-year old’s life

Brown left a final message in her post, that we too encourage all parents to take heed of. “I was always unsure about when turning my babies around but after our crash and the hard evidence we are presented with I will forever rearward face my babies as long as I possibly can. Don’t make the same mistake as I did. It could cost you your baby’s life.”

We wish Angela Brown and her daughter a speedy recovery, and we wish to remind all parents: if you have prematurely put your child into a front facing child seat, maybe it’s worth taking time off to switch him or her back to a rear facing child seat, immediately.

Many parents switch to front facing on their child’s first birthday because of bad advice. You should instead keep your child in rear facing child seats until they reach the top height and/or weight limit allowed by your child seat’s manufacturer. This can be up to 18 to 21 kg (this can be the weight of a child well over 3 years old) for ISOFIX seats, and even more for seatbelt seats.

Watch the video below to understand why rear-facing is safer than forward-facing.