Sam Faiers criticised over son's 'dangerous' seat straps, igniting car safety debate among parents

Sam Faiers sparked a debate about car seat safety [Photo: Getty/ITV Be]
Sam Faiers sparked a debate about car seat safety [Photo: Getty/ITV Be]

A clip from Sam Faiers reality TV show the ‘Mummy Diaries’ has ignited an online debate about children’s car seat safety.

Last night’s episode featured some footage of the former TOWIE star’s son, Paul, in a car seat in the front of the car, but some viewers voiced concerns that he wasn’t strapped in tightly enough.

Other’s suggested Paul should have been put into the back of the car and had his coat removed.

It isn’t the first time Sam has found herself being parent-shamed about her son’s car seat.

Last year, after uploading a short clip of her son, Paul, laughing in his swivel car seat, the mum-of-two drew comments from some followers who assumed the car was moving and therefore claimed the position of the car seat wasn’t safe.

And Kim Kardashian also recently sparked a debate about car seat safety after sharing a picture of her son Saint in his car seat.

Even the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William aren’t exempt from getting criticised by the car seat police. When they brought their just born son Prince George home from the hospital, some expressed concerns that he wasn’t properly secured in his car seat.

The problem is that while most parents wouldn’t dream of putting a baby, toddler or child in a car without some sort of car seat, there is confusion over the type of car seat that needs to be used for each specific age.

Recent research conducted by Co-op Insurance indicates that two fifths of parents feel ill-informed on the laws surrounding children‘s car seats.

The biggest confusion concerns the maximum age a child must be before they no longer require a seat with 15% of adults struggling to comprehend the rules.

The study also indicates that 12% of parents don’t know if a child needs to be of a certain age or weight before they no longer need a seat. While a further 10% do not know whether or not a child requires a car seat in a taxi or on public transport.

Parents are still confused about car seat safety [Photo: Getty]
Parents are still confused about car seat safety [Photo: Getty]

Further research from motoring retailer Halfords suggests that parents are still getting to grips with the current laws around cushion booster seats which have stopped manufacturers creating new models for children shorter than 125cm tall or weighing less than 22kg.

The poll of 1,600 reveals that 71 per cent of parents are still perplexed by the rules, which means manufacturers can no longer produce cushion booster seats for children below a certain weight and height.

The findings also show that a surprising 40 per cent of mums and dads are still unaware of what those changes were.

Under the regulations manufacturers are no longer allowed to introduce or market new models of cushion booster seats for children shorter than 125cm or weighing less than 22kg. Parents who already own and use cushion booster seats before this date, are still permitted to use them for younger children.

Emily Moulder, Halfords’ car seat expert says: “High back booster seats offer better protection and safety in the event of a side impact accident. We would always recommend a child uses a high back booster right up until they are 12 years old or 135cm, whichever comes first.

“The car seat regulations introduced in 2017 are still causing confusion amongst parents, so we’re encouraging them to go with high back booster seats which are safer and better for protection. If confused by the law parents should look at our car seat selector that offers advice on car seats best suited for weight and age.”

There’s also some parenting confusion over whether to use a rear or forward facing car seat.

According to the government, height-based car seats (known as i-Size seats) must be rear-facing until your child is over 15 months old. After that time, a child can use a forward-facing child car seat.

The same car seat safety page also explains that for weight-based car seats, babies from 0kg to 13kg should be in a rear-facing baby carrier or baby seat using a harness, while from 9kg to 18kg, children can use a rear or forward-facing baby seat using a harness or safety shield.

Considering the confusion surrounding car seat safety laws and the fact that no body can accurately predict the exact height and weight of Sam’s son, perhaps we should all stop with the judgy judgy comments and just let the reality TV star get on with the parenting job at hand.

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