I am in a WAHM group where shops can post their products and people can post “ISO.” A mother posted that she was in search of a car seat cover in a certain pattern. I and several others responded to the poster, asking her to reconsider, since car seat covers are not safe. (Unless the manufacturer makes them.)
The original poster didn’t realize that these were not safe and left it at that. That is until another poster got her panties in a bunch, claiming that we were attacking and judging her.
I am becoming more and more aware of our lack of car seat safety knowledge. In fact, more often then not, car seats are not installed or being used correctly. When people point out that the seat is being misused, we are accused of “judging” them. We are asked to mind our own business and told to let the parents make the choice for their child. The thing is though, car seat safety is not a parenting style. Unlike other issues in parenting, it is not a grey issue. Actually, it is pretty black and white. Either your child is safe, or she is not.
Car seat safety is not about who is better then who. You child can be safe in an expensive seat, or a cheap seat from walmart. It is all about how you use it. If you are unknowingly, or knowingly ignoring safety instructions and recommendations, then you are putting your child in severe danger. I am tired of seeing facebook pictures of kids in unsafe car seat situations. Whether it is an after market product, winter coat, twisted straps, or a child who should be rear facing, parents need to be diligent in making sure that their child is the absolute safest.
And before you say it, just because our parents didn’t have the seats we have now, or your older children were fine, does not make it ok. Remember, we used to think smoking during pregnancy was harmless. Think of all the children who could still be living today if they had been properly secured in a seat.
In short, their are plenty of parenting issues that are “to each their own,” car seat safety is not one of them.
In the next few weeks I am going to doing a series on car seat safety. Next week we will be talking about rear facing.