Joel's Journey
Joel's story.......On August 30, 2008, Joel and his mother were involved in a front car crash. Joelat 18 mos & 33lbs, was in his front facing car seat, in the back seat. And still.........he broke his neck !  Why?  
This website discusses what happened during that accident. But more importantly, what was learned from this tragic event,and what other parents may want to know to prevent it!!  
This website incorporates recent studies that show the benefits of extended rear facing a child.
A few days following the crash,  "grandpa" vented his anger, and posted the story on a few car seat safety blogs, where he received hundreds of replies to his story. That response inspired this website & video  to be created.

The original blogs Grandpa wrote 
          can be found at:
                (click on either to view the story)   and

CST's / Flyers
FAQ & Video's
Joel's Progress

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This website discusses
rear facing vs front facing * car seat safety * extended rear facing beyond 12 mos / 20 lbs * children in car seats and crash tests 
new car seat laws  ** AAP News  April 2009 **  new car seat laws      Keep your toddler in a rear-facing car seat until age 2 (not 1)
new car seat laws  March 21, 2011   New rear facing car seat guidelines new car seat laws     AAP  recommendationsnew car seat laws  
Pediatrics        AAP News 
he American Academy of Pediatrics & National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
 issued separate but consistent new recommendations
new car seat laws   

AAP changes guidelines       NHTSA new car seat guidelines   rear facing until 2 yrs old  
 rear facing car seats  

Updated : 2/5/2016
 October 13, 2009 ** Joel's surgery..
13 months after the accident, Joel had shoulder surgery today to repair damaged nerves in his right shoulder (brachial plexus injury). After a 4 hour surgery the doctors "poked" his arm, while still sedated, and it flinched........which is a great sign!! More updates will follow . Be sure to check on  "Joels Progress" page. 

Thanks to 
for the emails 
of concern .....
and the prayers!! 
 Physical therapy - 8 weeks after the accident
14 months
 after accident
 UPDATE - March 3, 2010 

Joel's movement of his right arm is greatly improved!  Follow up nerve conduction tests scheduled for next week. Details to follow..  (more info on last page)
The "Journey" is over...March 21, 2011
The effort to change the car seat regulations has succeeded
The American Academy of Pediatrics & National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
 issued separate but consistent new recommendations
* NEW POLICY * Rear-facing car seats until age 2.....not 1 !!
In a new policy published in the April 2011 issue of Pediatrics (published online March 21), the AAP advises parents to keep their toddlers in rear-facing car seats until age 2, 
or until they reach the maximum height and weight for their seat. 
It also advises that most children will need to ride in a belt-positioning booster seat until they have reached 4 feet 9 inches tall and are between 8 and 12 years of age. 
The previous policy, from 2002, advised that it is safest for infants and toddlers to ride rear-facing up to the limits of the car seat, but it also cited age 12 months and 20 pounds as a minimum. 
A rear-facing child safety seat does a better job of supporting the head, neck and spine of infants and toddlers in a crash, because it distributes the force of the collision over the entire body,” Dr. Durbin said.  New research has found children are safer in rear-facing car seats. A 2007 study in the journal Injury Prevention showed that children under age 2 are 75 percent less likely to die or be severely injured in a crash if they are riding rear-facing. One-year-olds are five times less likely to be injured in a crash if they are in a rear-facing car seat than a forward-facing seat, according to a 2007 analysis of five years of U.S. crash data. Toddlers have relatively large heads and small necks. In a front-facing car seat, the force of a crash can jerk the child's head causing spinal cord injuries. Car seats have recommended weights printed on them. If a 1-year-old outweighs the recommendation of an infant seat, parents should switch to a different rear-facing car seat that accommodates the heavier weight until they turn 2, the pediatricians group says.     ( See our FAQ section for questions & answers  )  
We did it! ...  We ALL did it............
I am grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the extended rear facing effort. 
The support I received from friends, family, other ERF advocates, and hundreds of supporters from  over 30 countries around the world kept me motivated to press for changes in car seat regulations.

 I want to thank God for leaving Joel and his mom with us, and all the dedicated medical professionals involved in caring for both of them
A special thanks to Laura Bower from The Kyle David Miller Foundation, and
 Håkan Svensson , - Swedish Rear Facing Car Seats 
Hopefully we won't see any more videos such as Joel's. 
 9 weeks later...  
 Removed his halo....
 what a happy boy!!
Off the topic, but an issue close to my heart...
Permanent Brain Damage

Are you knowledgeable about
 Lead Paint Poisoning?

* Lead based paint was available until Dec 31, 1977

* Lead based paint and/or dust is a neurotoxin 
and destroys brain cells......forever!

Lead inhibits the development of a childs brain, and can cause low IQlearning disabilities, and behaviorial problems 
for life....

This is not new to "Grandpa", who has been an
 EPA Certified Lead Paint Risk Assessor for many years, and continues to work in that field.

Car accidents may not be preventable.......
but childhood lead poisoning is!! 
"Grandpa" supports the mission of the
Lead Safe America Foundation
The organization was founded by a family whose children were lead poisoned during a home remodeling project. I have met the founder,Tamara Rubin, and she is an amazing, passionate mom,
and she is going to make a difference!
But she needs support in her efforts. 
Currently, she is producing a documentary film to expose the "invisible monster" that robs children of their future..........

Please...take a minute and watch the video,
"America's Secret Epidemic" 
(click here)

Joel baseball debut!!!

        (see last page)
 October, 2013  - 

                   My grandson Jimmy.........

      Rear facing at 3 yrs 10 mos & 40 lbs!!  

                        And happy !!!!