Kate and William left St. Mary’s Hospital with new son in tow – and different from the normal Royal way, Prince William put the new heir in the car himself.
Aww, doting new dad!
But WHO buckled the child in the car seat?
I was shown this picture by a fellow mom. As first I thought “well, they probably put the baby in the car seat but not in the car”. Which in itself is a hazard. But then I saw this picture:
This is a closeup of the new prince in his car seat. In the car.
IN THE CAR. Do you see what’s wrong with this picture?
While I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that Kate and Will will be the best parents, I do find this picture disturbing. And I don’t necessarily blame the Royals, they are new parents after all. They, like everyone else, are bound to make mistakes.
When my twins were born it was standard procedure for a registered nurse to check the seat installation and to ensure the infant was secure. Apparently royals are exempt from this, because no nurse or caretaker should ever EVER allow a child to leave in a car haphazardly buckled in his seat like this. At least he was rear-facing.
Sure, the baby is merely a day old and small. Well, 8 pounds is average for a new baby. Mine were 5 and 6 pounds. I was definitely able to buckle them in properly despite their tiny sizes. So “small” is no excuse. The child should have been de-swaddled and buckled in properly.
UK child safety laws are pretty self explanatory – you must have a child either 135 cm in height or the age of 12 (which ever they reach first) properly restrained in a car seat or booster. Properly restrained.
The sad fact is at least 66% of car seats for babies and young children are wrongly fitted, causing undue injuries to the children they are supposed to protect in the UK. In the US this number is even higher – 7 out of every 10 are improperly restrained one way or another.
Children have been hurt and killed because they weren’t properly restrained.
I would urge every single parent out there to head to your local fire department or authorized car seat installation expert to make sure your child is safely buckled in. Have this checked often as children grow so fast, the installation, seat, and buckling in change. Here are some tips to make sure your child is buckled in safely as well:
- Child should be rear-facing as long as possible and never in the front seat with an airbag.
- No twists in the buckle. belts should lay completely flat.
- Chest buckle should be at armpit height.
- Shoulder straps should be just below the shoulders, not at or above if the child is rear facing. At or just above for forward facing.
- The belt itself should not be loose – you shouldn’t be able to pinch any fabric. If you can, tighten the seat by pulling the strap between the child’s feet/legs.
Remember, checking these things every time can make the difference between life and death for your child.
Royals, I hope you make the change and set an example.
*edited to add*
No, I am NOT attacking the Royal couple. I admire them and their fresh approach to the monarchy as well as the values they have. I think they are smart and wonderful examples of how a human being should act. This post is one I have wanted to write for a while and the photo sparked the completion of it.
While yes, Kate does appear to do something in the car, we cannot simply assume that the harness was properly fixed. It’s the perception – we will never see what happened in the car, only what is shown to us – and what was shown was an improperly restrained baby. It could have been any baby.
This post intends to serve as a reminder of child safety in the car. If you have specific questions see a local car seat installer or fire department. See http://www.safercar.gov/parents/carseats.htm for additional information.