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Fatal Car Crash Imparts Lifesaving Lesson

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Guest blogger Jessica Katz: On August 26, 2010, my sister was driving my little brother and dad home from dinner. She swerved to avoid another accident and their car rolled countless times off the freeway and into a cement embankment.


My father and sister were unconscious at the scene, but my 11-year-old brother was able to escape out the back window and scream for help. Luckily, a doctor and his wife stopped, and my brother was able to give them my mom's phone number. My mom came to the scene and rode with my brother in the ambulance to the hospital. My sister, who is diabetic and allergic to penicillin, was lucky enough to have on a medical alert bracelet to inform the EMTs.

My father died a few days after the accident.My sister was seriously injured and was in the hospital for weeks. My little brother had minor injuries -- and terrible memories. It was a lesson I took very seriously.

I wonderedwhat would have happened had it been my 9-month-old in the backseat of the car and me who was unconscious. Who would speak for my daughter? All she says is "Dada." Now, of course my first thought was, My daughter will live in a bubble and never get in a car again, or perhaps she will wear a helmet everywhere. "If we can't walk, we are not going," I told everyone. But we live in Los Angeles, and my daughter's pediatrician is at least a three-hour walk from our house, so that was not a very practical solution. And as for the helmet ... well, I didn't want people to think I was crazy.

But there is a way you can protect your child: You can put an In Case of Emergency (ICE) sticker on your baby's car seat -- a sticker containing all the pertinent information medical professionals would need in the event of an accident. I made my own and printed them on Avery labels. I gave them to my friends and family as well. You should do the same.



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