Mum’s warning to parents over deadly car seat mistake: ‘I wish someone had warned me’

Cameron's Story is Saving Lives

by Kayleigh Dray |
Published on

Can you see anything wrong with this photo? This mother didn't - and it resulted in her baby's death

Four years ago, Holly Wagner's 11-month-old son died because he wasn't properly buckled into his car seat.

Since his tragic passing, his heartbroken mother made it her mission to make a powerful plea to anyone travelling in a car with a child.

Speaking to US site ABC7, Holly revealed at the time that if a child isn't secure, it could be fatal - as she found out the hard way.

GALLERY: RIP to all the celebs who passed away in 2017

Gallery

RIP to all the celebrities we lost in 2017 slider short

dead celebs1 of 33
CREDIT: BBC

Andy Cunningham

Andy Cunningham was best known as the main character and puppeteer on his well-loved children's TV show Bodger & Badger.

dead celebs2 of 33
CREDIT: Hughes Entertainment

John Heard

John Heard became a household name after starring as father Peter McAllister in the Home Alone films alongside Macaulay Culkin.

dead celebs3 of 33
CREDIT: Getty Images

Peter Sallis

Peter Sallis was a British actor, best known for being the voice of Wallace from the famous Aardman Studios duo Wallace & Gromit.

dead celebs4 of 33
CREDIT: Getty Images

Sir John Hurt

Sir John Hurt CBE was a well-known and well-loved British actor. Over his 56-year career, he appeared in over 129 films and many TV roles, with 40 of his characters dying – a record for a mainstream actor.

dead celebs5 of 33
CREDIT: Getty Images

Tony Haygarth

Tony Haygarth was an actor from Liverpool. His career spanned 42 years and saw him star in many films and a lot of stage shows, for which he was nominated for Lauren Olivier Theatre Awards for Best Actor in a Supporting Role.

dead celebs6 of 33
CREDIT: Getty Images

Chris Cornell

Chris Cornell was a musician, best known for being the lead singer of rock bands Audioslave and Soundgarden. He also wrote and performed the theme song for Casino Royale, the 2006 James Bond film which was the first to star Daniel Craig as Bond.

dead celebs7 of 33
CREDIT: Getty Images

Bill Paxton

Bill Paxton was an American actor whose career spanned 42 years. Starring in big blockbuster films such as The Terminator alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger, Aliens with Sigourney Weaver, True Lies again with Schwarzenegger and Apollo 13 with Tom Hanks.

dead celebs8 of 33
CREDIT: Getty Images

John Noakes

John Noakes was a TV presenter. He was best known as being the longest-serving presenter of children's TV show Blue Peter, hosting for 12 years and 6 months.

dead celebs9 of 33
CREDIT: Getty Images

Chuck Berry

Chuck Berry was an American guitarist, singer and songwriter. He is widely acknowledged as being the biggest pioneer of rock 'n' roll, having begun his career in the 50s when the genre was just beginning to come about.

dead celebs10 of 33
CREDIT: Getty Images

Joni Sledge

Joni Sledge was one of the founding members of 70s pop girl group, Sister Sledge, who were known for the massive hits We Are Family, He's The Greatest Dancer and Thinking Of You.

GORDON KAYE11 of 33
CREDIT: Getty Images

Gordon Kaye

Gordon Kaye was an actor from Huddersfield, West Yorkshire. Although he enjoyed varying success throughout his career, it was in comedy series 'Allo! 'Allo! that he really became a household name.

dead celebs12 of 33
CREDIT: Twitter/ Santa Montefiore

Tara Palmer-Tomkinson

TPT was the original "It Girl" of our time - she was famous for being famous. She paved the way as a 90s socialite, and everyone loved her.

dead celebs13 of 33
CREDIT: BBC

Sara Coward

Veteran Archers actor Sara Coward played her character Caroline Sterling on the BBC Radio 4 show for a massive 40 years.

dead celebs14 of 33
CREDIT: Getty Images

Erin Moran

Erin Moran was an American actress, best known for her role as Joanie Cunningham on US TV show Happy Days alongside Ron Howard and Henry Winkler.

dead celebs15 of 33
CREDIT: ITV

Moray Watson

Moray Watson was a British actor, most famous for his role as Brigadier Arthur Maiford in The Darling Buds Of May alongside David Jason and Catherine Zeta-Jones.

dead celebs16 of 33
CREDIT: Getty Images

Sir Roger Moore

Sir Roger Moore was a British actor best known for playing the iconic role of James Bond in seven of the series' films. With a career spanning 72 years, the 89-year-old actor moved away from acting and became an ambassador for UNICEF in 1991.

dead celebs17 of 33
CREDIT: Granada TV

Roy Barraclough

Roy Barraclough was a legendary TV actor whose career spanned five decades. Starring as Alec Gilroy in Coronation Street, he originally started as a bit part in the 70s.

dead celebs18 of 33
CREDIT: ITV

Carol Lee Scott

Carol Lee Scott was a British entertainer, best known for her role as the titular character in children's TV programme Grotbags.

dead celebs19 of 33
CREDIT: Getty Images

Chester Bennington

Chester Bennington was the lead singer of popular rock band Linkin Park. They enjoyed huge success, winning a multitude of awards.

dead celebs20 of 33
CREDIT: BBC

Hywel Bennett

Hywel Bennett was a Welsh film and TV actor, possibly best known as the title character in Shelley and as gangster Jack Dalton in EastEnders, who ordered the killing of Dirty Den Watts in 1989.

dead celebs21 of 33
CREDIT: Warner Bros

Robert Hardy

Robert Hardy was a British actor whose career spanned 70 years. He has played Winston Churchill many times, was popular as vet Siegfried Farnon in All Creatures Great and Small – and also starred in the Harry Potter film series as Minister for Magic Cornelius Fudge.

dead celebs22 of 33
CREDIT: Getty Images

Glen Campbell

Glen Campbell was a country music legend, best known for his hits Rhinestone Cowboy and Wichita Lineman. He was married four times, and had eight children.

dead celebs23 of 33
CREDIT: Getty Images

Bruce Forsyth

Bruce Forsyth was arguably one of the most favoured national treasures that the UK has ever produced. His career spanned across 75 years, and the Guinness World Book of Records recognised him as having the longest television career for a male entertainer.

dead celebs24 of 33
CREDIT: Getty Images

Liz Dawn

Liz Dawn was an actress best known for her role as Vera Duckworth in Coronation Street, which she played for 34 years.

dead celebs25 of 33
CREDIT: Getty Images

Hugh Hefner

Hugh Hefner was an American businessman, magazine publisher and renowned playboy. He created the Playboy magazine in 1953, and stayed as its editor-in-chief.

dead celebs26 of 33
CREDIT: Getty Images

Tom Petty

Tom Petty was a world-famous musician who was best known as the lead singer of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. He sold more than 80 million records around the world, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Half of Fame in 2002.

dead celebs27 of 33
CREDIT: Rex Shutterstock

Sean Hughes

Sean Hughes was a stand-up comedian, comedy writer and actor. He had his own TV show, Sean's Show, and quite often appeared as a guest captain on Never Mind The Buzzcocks.

dead celebs28 of 33
CREDIT: ITV

Iain Rogerson

Iain Rogerson was a British soap actor, and had appeared in most of the big shows - having parts in Emmerdale, Doctors, Casualty, Heartbeat, The Bill and most prominently, Coronation Street as Harry Flagg, a love interest of Eileen Grimshaw between 2002 - 2004.

dead celebs29 of 33
CREDIT: Rex Shutterstock

Antonio Carluccio

Antonio Carluccio was a world-famous restauranteur who launched the Carluccio's restaurant chain. The celebrity chef, dubbed the "Godfather of Italian cooking", also helped launch the career of Jamie Oliver and was well-known for his appearances on British TV.

dead celebs30 of 33
CREDIT: Rex Shutterstock

Rodney Bewes

Rodney Bewes was a British TV actor best known starring in The Likely Lads as Bob Ferris with his friend James Bolam.

dead celebs31 of 33
CREDIT: Getty Images

Keith Chegwin

Keith Chegwin was a British TV presenter, well-loved throughout the UK for hosting several children's entertainment shows in the 70s and 80s.

dead celebs32 of 33
CREDIT: Warner Bros

Heather North

Heather North was an American TV actress, best known for originating the role of Daphne on the universally-loved children's show, Scooby Doo in 1970.

dead celebs33 of 33
CREDIT: Rex Shutterstock

David Cassidy

David Cassidy was a world-famous musician and actor, best known for his role as Keith Partridge on musical sitcom The Partridge Family and his extensive musical career.

She told ABC7: "I make sure to educate as many people as I possibly can so they don't have to deal with what I've had to deal with."

Just weeks before the car crash that killed her son, Cameron, Holly posted a photo of him in his car seat to Facebook.

In the picture, there was something wrong with Cameron's car seat - and it is a common mistake that many parents are unwittingly making every day.

According to experts, infants and toddlers should ride in a rear-facing car seat until they are at least two-years-old or until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by their car seat's manufacturer.

In Cameron's photo, he can be seen facing forwards with twisted straps.

And, despite the photo being seen by many of Holly's friends and family on Facebook, not one person noticed the danger he was in.

"No-one said anything. I wish someone had corrected me and told me he wasn't restrained properly," she said.

Holly now uses her blog and a Facebook page dedicated to Cameron to help other parents avoid the devastating error she made.

WATCH CAMERON'S STORY IN THE VIDEO BELOW:

She wrote on her blog:

"I was that mom… the one placing her child, the most important thing to her, in the car seat wrong.

"I was that mom that would share pictures like the one above on social media sites and never was corrected.

"I was that mom that would allow friends and family to take my children places and assumed they were safe in the car.

"I was that mom that would put hundreds of miles on the car without a care in the world assuming everything was perfect until...

"...it was too late.

"Now, I'm that mom who doesn't sleep at night.

"I'm that mom who spends most of her shopping trips avoiding the baby boy clothes.

"I am the mom that has learned from her mistakes.

"I am that woman that will tell you you're doing in wrong. And you know why?

"Because I wish every single day of my life now that someone would have told me I was doing it wrong before it was too late."

Brave Holly is now trying to turn her devastating loss into something positive, teaching parents to use car seats safely.

We've taken a look at KidsHealth.org to bring you some safety tips and guidelines for when it comes to securing your own infants in their carseats.

They advise parents to:

  1. Read the entire child safety seat manual.

  2. Shoulder straps should be threaded through the lowest harness slots to best protect your baby. They should be at or below your baby's shoulders.

  3. Convertible seats usually have one of three harness options: the 5-point harness, the tray shield, and the T-shield. The 5-point harness offers the best protection for infants because it can tighten to fit snugly and does not obstruct the baby's head. Both of the other harness options can cover a baby's face and are not recommended for infants under 20 pounds (10 kilograms) or younger than 1 year old.

  4. All straps should fit snugly, especially over the shoulder and thigh areas. Straps should always lie flat, never twisted. If you can pinch any harness webbing between your fingers, it's too loose.

  5. Dress your baby in clothes that keep the legs free. This will allow you to buckle the latch crotch strap properly between the baby's legs. If it is cold outside, harness your baby first and then cover him or her with a blanket (but never cover your baby's head). Never buckle a blanket under the seat straps.

  6. If your baby slouches to one side or the other in the seat (common among newborns), place rolled-up cloth diapers or rolled hand towels on each side of the shoulders. There are supports specially designed for car seats, but only use them if they came manufactured with your safety seat. Never place any kind of padding or blanket under your baby — this can affect the harness's ability to restrain your little one.

  7. While most rear vehicle seats are sloped toward the back of the car for the comfort of adult passengers, safety seats are designed to be installed on a flat surface. However, many safety seats are equipped with an adjustable pedestal to overcome this. If yours doesn't have one, do what technicians do at car-seat checks: "We place sections of a cut-up swimming-pool noodle under the area where the baby's feet rest," says San Diego police officer Mark McCullough, a certified child-passenger-safety instructor. "Tightly rolled-up towels also work well."

  8. Be sure to readjust harness straps as your child grows. Heavy clothing (such as a puffy winter coat) should always be placed over your child after being harnessed in the seat. (A tip: After your child is harnessed in the seat, slip his or her coat on backward for warmth.)

Were you aware of how dangerous it is to have your child's carseat facing forwards? Let us know over on Facebook and Twitter.

READ MORE...

Baby car seats: The law in the UK is changing, here's everything you need to know...

Pregnant Danielle Lloyd divides opinion with snap of controversial children's car seat

Warning: This is why you should NEVER leave your child's winter coat on in the car

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us