Carmel mom says her son was strangled by a seat belt

Posted at 9:50 PM, Jul 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-05 23:05:52-04

CARMEL —A video that went viral just this week highlighted a dangerous situation that all parents should know. The footage showed a Georgia Chick-fil-A manager jumping out of the drive-through window to save a boy who was being strangled by his seat belt.

A mother from Carmel says the same thing happened to her son.

When you pull the seat belt all the way out, many seat belts lock, and when they pull back in, they can wrap around kids' necks and cause strangulation.

"Just that moment of helplessness and panic, it was horrible," Allison, a Carmel mother, said. "It was just tied around so tightly. He was actually trying to claw it off of his neck."

Allison was driving in front of her parents with her son, Kyle, in the back seat of their car, in his booster seat, when her parent's car disappeared.

"We noticed their car on the side of the road," Allison said. "Kyle had wrapped the seat belt around his neck, and they were unable to loosen it or get him off of it."

Allison and her husband were panicked.

"Just feeling helpless - we didn't have the proper tools to cut him free," she said.

"The seat belt does what it's supposed to do, and it locks down and tightens up and restricts the motion so that can create a choking hazard for kids," Linise Gordon, Wayne Township Fire Department Public Information Officer, said.

Gordon says parents can be prepared for this situation with seat belt cutters and window blasters. They can help you escape if your car is sinking underwater, or to save your child if their seat belt is chocking them. Seat belt cutters can be as cheap as just a few dollars.

"You wanna grasp the belt webbing away from the victim's body," Gordon instructed. "Place the blade side toward the seat belt and cut away from the victim's body."

Good Samaritans helped cut Kyle free. "Three people stopped and heard me and just jumped into action," she said. "He walked away with just some scratches and bruises."

Allison is sharing her story in hopes everyone will equip their cars with a seat belt cutter.

"We're just trying to use this incident as a way to bring awareness of the hidden dangers of these seat belts when they go into lock mode," she said.

The Wayne Township Fire Department also wants parents to know how important it is to make sure your kids are in the right car seat. They recommend following height and weight requirements, rather than age, when it comes to moving from a car seat to a booster seat.