Mother warns parents after infant thrown from car seat during crash

A mother is warning other parents after her 2-month-old daughter was thrown from her car seat during a crash.

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Hannah McKinney posted on Facebook that her child, Robin Pope, was involved in a bad rollover crash and was ejected from her car seat and thrown to the back of the van, despite being tightly strapped in. Luckily, little Robin is OK, only suffering a hairline fracture in her upper arm.

McKinney said she believes it happened because of the sheepskin seat belt covers that were added onto the car seat to make it more comfortable.

"With the force of the vehicle, the sheep skin slid against her shirt and made her go flying out. Please, please, please, please DO NOT put things on a car seat that did not come that way from the manufacturer," she said. "Plus, anything on a car seat in an accident voids the warranty."

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We spoke with an expert at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta about car seat accessories you should avoid.

“You never want to add anything to a car seat that doesn’t come with it. It’s not crash tested with the car seat,” Johanna Martinez said.

Martinez is a child passenger safety specialist and instructor at Scottish Rite hospital. She demonstrated what can happen when strap covers, items parents typically purchase for comfort, are used.

“Notice now these are so long that it’s pushed the chest clip out of position so now this is over the mid stomach here and harness isn’t on the shoulders. So in a crash, the harness will fall off the shoulders, allowing the baby to be ejected,” Martinez demonstrated.

She says instead the retainer clip is supposed to sit at armpit level

“People think because they’re being sold they’re safe to use,” Martinez said.

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Unless approved by the manufacturer, experts say avoid using any aftermarket products with your car seat. Even something as simple as a head pillow for the baby can be harmful.

Also, Martinez says, never put your baby in the car seat wearing, say, a bulky coat or jacket.

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