Virginia mom warns parents after seatbelt slices daughter’s stomach open

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HENRICO COUNTY, Va. — A Virginia mother is warning other parents about the importance of booster seats after a seatbelt sliced into her 6-year-old daughter’s stomach.

Samantha Swartwout was riding in the backseat of her dad’s car when the vehicle swerved off the road and hit a tree, according to CBS News. The collision sliced open the girl’s stomach.


“Her intestines were out on scene on the left side,” said Samantha’s mom Shelly Martin. She also sustained a concussion and needed forehead stitches.

Martin said the injuries could have been prevented had her daughter been in a booster seat.

“She would not have been this hurt in a booster,” Martin said. “Don’t think that just because your child is 7 or 8 years that they are too big… they aren’t!”

The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles says a child should be in a booster seat until he or she is at least 8 years old and 4 feet 9 inches tall.

Samantha was hospitalized for three weeks but has since been released and is expected to heal.

To help with the medicine expenses, a GoFundMe page was created.