No matter how famous you are, if you’re a celebrity mom or dad, people are going to pass opinions on your parenting choices. While some, like Chrissy Teigen, clap back at the online mommy-shamers, others remain silent, but in the latest case of people criticizing Kim Kardashian‘s parenting choices, she might want to take their advice.
After Kardashian shared a photo of her 18-month-old, Saint West, online commenters were quick to draw attention to a potentially serious car seat safety issue that many don’t realize. In the photo, Saint appears to be strapped into his car seat forward-facing. Although laws vary from state to state regarding how long a child should remain in a rear-facing car seat, California requires that children under the age of 2-years-old and under 40 pounds or 40 inches must be restrained in a rear-facing car seat.
Although some of the comments are harsh, the point of many of them isn’t to call out Kardashian for “breaking the law.” Instead, it’s to raise awareness for just how dangerous it can be for a toddler’s car seat to be turned around too early. It’s impossible to know from the photo how tall Saint is or how much he weighs, but it’s important for parents to realize that little ones should remain rear-facing for as long as possible.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, this type of car seat offers better protection for a toddler in the event of a car accident, and a child should still sit in a rear-facing seat even after they outgrow their infant seat and until they reach the maximum height or weight permitted by the car seat’s manufacturer. “Parents often look forward to transitioning from one stage to the next, but these transitions should generally be delayed until they’re necessary, when the child fully outgrows the limits for his or her current stage,” Dennis Durbin, lead author of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ policy, said when it was published. “A rear-facing child safety seat does a better job of supporting the head, neck, and spine of infants and toddlers in a crash, because it distributes the force of the collision over the entire body.”