BEDFORD — An 8-year-old boy who lost consciousness after his seat belt became wrapped around his neck during a car ride on Saturday was revived and is not expected to have any lasting medical complications, authorities say.
The mother told emergency crews she was driving in Bedford shortly after 4 p.m. Saturday when her 8-year-old son called out to her from the back seat that he could not breathe, according to a joint press release from the Bedford Police and Fire departments.
The release states the mother pulled over to find the boy had pulled the seat belt loose and wrapped it around his neck, activating the belts locking mechanism. The mother was unable to loosen the seat belt to free the child. According to the release, the child turned blue and lost consciousness.
She ran into a nearby salon and called for help. The mother obtained a pair of scissors and successfully cut the child free, and then performed CPR on the boy until firefighters and police arrived to render medical aid.
The youth regained consciousness and was evaluated at an area hospital, the release states.
Bedford Police Chief Robert Bongiorno and Fire Chief David Grunes used the near tragedy to remind the community about the importance of seat belt safety.
“This was a very dangerous situation, one that I have not encountered previously in more than 25 years of public safety experience,” Bongiorno said in the release. “Thankfully, the mother kept her composure and was able to use the resources in the immediate area to free the trapped child.
“I urge all parents to review the manufacturer’s safety guidelines on their vehicles and to teach safety to their children,” he added. “Thankfully, a tragedy was averted in this situation, and we hope all parents can learn from this ordeal and a future tragedy can also be prevented through awareness.”
Bedford public safety officials used the release to share the seat belt safety guidelines from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:
- Use a booster seat with the vehicle lap and shoulder seat belts until your child passes the “Seat Belt Fit Test.” This means your children’s knees should bend at the edge of the vehicle seat when their backs and bottoms are against the vehicle seat back; the vehicle lap belt should fit across the upper thighs; and the shoulder belt should fit across the shoulder and chest.
- Once your child passes the Seat Belt Fit Test, teach them the importance of using seat belts on every ride.
- Make sure your child sits upright when using a seat belt, and doesn’t slouch or lean against the window during the drive.
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