Season 2, Episode 3

Hope and Will: A Parenting Podcast from Children's Healthcare of Atlanta

Keeping Kids Safe in Cars: Why “Just this Once” Isn’t Worth the Risk

Few things are more intimidating to a new parent than buckling a baby into their car seat for the first time. Then you blink and that same child is pressuring you to retire the booster seat—or even sit in the front seat—to be more like their friends. Whether moving from rear-facing to front-facing, graduating from a booster seat to no seat, or moving from the backseat to the front seat, it’s often tempting to progress to the next phase of car passenger riding just a little early or just this once.

On this episode, we’re joined by two guests whose stories will give you confidence to stand your ground. Deanna Lundin was wrapping up a work day when four of her kids were passengers in a serious accident just around the corner from their home. April Dorsett is a pediatric nurse who leads the Safe Kids coalition in Athens and enjoys being a go-to child passenger safety resource for organizations throughout Georgia. By the end of the episode, you’ll have a newfound appreciation for child passenger safety laws and better understanding of how to access free resources to help you feel more confident about the choices you make for your family.

Originally Aired: September 20, 2023

Deanna Lundin, Mom to Mia, Katherine, Abram and Beau

In May 2023, Deanna’s world came to a screeching halt when she answered a phone call from her nanny. An SUV carrying her kids, ranging in age from 3 to 10 years old, had been T-boned and flipped multiple times. Deanna shares how decisions her family made regarding the kids’ car seats, booster seats and seatbelts—even for a short, familiar, highway-free ride close to home—paved the way for their survival.

April Dorsett, RN, Safe Kids Athens Coordinator, Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician

On the way to high school in the 80s, April was one of five teenage passengers in a car that crashed on a foggy, two-lane country road. The driver died, and April spent weeks in the hospital recovering from serious injuries. April, now a proud mom of two teenage boys, went on to become a pediatric nurse and has since dedicated much of her career to helping parents make safe choices for their kids while on the road.

Lynn Smith

Lynn Smith is a veteran journalist, podcast host and mom of two boys. Her experience as the parent of a patient at Children’s inspired her to advocate for spreading awareness of childhood illnesses and injuries.