Car Seat Safety- Do you say something?


We joke about it all the time on Facebook. Those darn car seat nazi’s. We as mom’s get defensive of our children and so when someone says something to insult our ability we take it personally and we go into fight or flight. Some delete the picture and then never post car seat pics again. Others get defensive and swear they’d never do that having never been there.

Then it happens.

And you feel like an ass.


We were on our way out and I was about to back out and Gavin had a smile ear to ear in his Britax Parkway SGL Booster Seat so I grabbed my phone and snapped his pic. Then I looked at the pic and saw his seat belt. Why I didn’t notice til then but I did and I immediately put the van in park.

I fixed it. I noticed his seat belt wasn’t in the belt slot on the side of the seat.
but wait. why am I still getting bashed?

I was so concerned with Sawyer’s seat that I completely even forgot Gavin’s needed changes. Yes, we are rear facing longer in his Britax Advocate 70-G3.

Britax Advocate 70-G3 #momspotted 5

See, just because our child goes from an infant seat or to forward facing doesn’t mean you’re done adjusting. There are other parts of the seat that need to grow with the kids.

Gavin & Johnny in van. Britax booster headrest

See the difference? Was it embarrassing. Sure. Did I change his seat and he’s now safe? YUP.
Was it worth the embarrassment?

Do you say something or do you not? It seems like such a touchy subject.


About Jennifer MomSpotted

Jennifer, the mom behind the Mom Spotted blog, is located in Western Ma. She has three boys, Johnny (13), Gavin (7), & Sawyer (2). She is married to her high school sweetheart. On Mom Spotted you'll find a fun selection of recipes, family fun, product reviews, and more! You can also find her on twitter @MomSpotted and Facebook.


  1. I don’t tend to say anything, even though I’m cringing inside. Usually I notice when it is super loose straps or the buckle is way too low. It is a VERY touchy subject to be sure. And sometimes the parent has the vehicle in park but just hasn’t made the adjustments yet.

    But I’ll say this, if know that your child isn’t buckled into their seats properly, don’t pick that time to snap a picture.

    Wait until they are so people don’t have that that uncomfortable feeling, wondering if you know that and if they should say something. I guarantee you, many of the people that say something don’t actually want to say anything at all.

    People who mention it aren’t trying to be mean people. They just worry about the safety of your kids. And sometimes we as parents don’t know when we are doing something wrong. We aren’t all experts in car seat safety and I’d rather have someone blast me on facebook so I realize my mistake and make the adjustment than get into a car accident and realize my kid was not safely buckled in.

    • I do the same thing as Emilie… tend to not say anything, cringe, and mull if I really should say something anyway. It’s so hard, especially online, to know how your words will be taken. I of course have the best of intentions and really, really want to say something, but I worry it will come off as being a know-it-all and them just being mad and my suggestion ignored.

      This is a great post though. It takes a big person to admit when they were wrong. But, it shows that safety and our kids really should come first! Great job!

  2. It’s an incredibly touchy subject! I have banned myself from looking at the carseat hashtag on instagram, nit only because there are so many improperly buckled babies and kids, but because of the attacks from the women who don’t like what they see. I don’t have a problem with the ones who leave a short comment, pointing out a mistake. It might be that single comment that makes a parent realize that they are doing it incorrectly, and therefore change the way they do it! But some of those commenters are relentless and downright cruel.

    I’m glad you quickly made the changes!

  3. I can see myself doing the same thing; posting a pic and then realizing oopsies! It happens to all of us. If I were to say it to someone, I certainly wouldn’t blast them. I would just say it nicely. I don’t know why people need to be mean about it; I’ve seen nasty comments on some folks’ pages at times about all kinds of things. A little kindness goes a long way. And if I make a mistake, sure I want to know but you don’t have to rake me over the coals to tell me. Sorry you got blasted that way.

  4. You know what I wish? I wish that more people would realize the importance of car seat safety and really take it into consideration instead of getting defensive. I love the way you responded to this entire situation. It’s a fine line, because as a “car seat nazi”, I always have the child’s best interest in mind and I don’t want to insult the parent. I always try to be SUPER nice about it, because most of the time, people just don’t know. Still, I’ve been cursed at and blocked by people even when I go out of my way to be nice. I’m so glad you posted this!

  5. Christine M says:

    I don’t say anything and you are right it is such a touchy subject. And I know I will get hateful comments for this but I am gonna say it. Some women get all pissy and self-righteous when they see an improperly restrained child in a car seat. They start writing in caps and using a gazillion exclamation points. And Heaven forbid a parent turn their child around after 1 in their own car. All heck breaks loose. My hubby and I joke about how safe we were being held by our parents in the car back in the day. Not that we would ever do that now. Too many cars and inexperienced drivers out there ;). I think if they didn’t yell and demand a company or person immediately remove the “offending” picture but calmly stated “hey just thought I would let you know your child is not correctly buckled in and you can fix it by yadda yadda yadda”, more parents wouldn’t get offended and would fix the problem right away.

  6. i think a person’s passion gets the better of them and we all know that text can quickly be taken the wrong way. someone’s CAPS can be a way to emphasize not YELL.

  7. This is SO important and YES I think everyone should say something when they see a child improperly put in a car seat. Because it could just be that the mom didn’t even know or didn’t notice at the time, like you. When Ryan was little I didn’t know you weren’t supposed to put them in with big winter coats on (until someone told me). And just YESTERDAY I noticed that Ryan’s forward-facing car seat had the shoulder straps way below shoulder level… I immediately moved them up, but how long had they been in the wrong spot?! Too long! And if you notice someone else is doing something that could cause harm and you didn’t say something… what if something happened?! Parents shouldn’t get offended, they should be thankful – exactly like you said, it was all worth the embarrassment. Good for you and thank you for sharing this post!

  8. I agree that it’s a touchy subject, but I think if someone posts a picture publicly, they’re putting it out there for commentary. I’d rather have someone point out my mistake then let my child keep riding unsafely just to avoid offending or embarrassing me. Having said that though, I just wish people would try to be more considerate when correcting someone… we are all trying to do our best and keep our kids safe. Sometimes the comments I see are so negative, instead of constructive and encouraging.

  9. I just posted one on Facebook yesterday and then realized the headrest was too low. Luckily no one said anything. We all make mistakes now and then, no need to flame other moms about how they are doing it wrong. I think it’s okay to point it out nicely.

  10. I always say something. If they get pissed off then they delete me, but I COULD save someone’s life, so I always say something.

  11. Melissa M says:

    I feel or I like to think that I buckle my children up properly in their car seats. No twisted straps, everything is pulled up to where it is suppose to, no coats on in the seats. But with this case I will be honest and say that if you had not pointed it out I would not have noticed it. So yes I would have loved someone to say something to me. But in a nice respectfully way. And now I will be going out and checking my childrens seats to make sure it is adjusted correctly! :)

  12. Betty Baez says:

    Ive seen some but refrained from saying something because i didnt want to come off being rude or as if im a better mother in any way

  13. Someone who cares, will say something…but do it politley. carseat nazi’s are rightly called this because they bash not educate. I don’t know how we got to a place that we don’t know how to politely correct someone or disagree. Its sad really because when done right, this is the perfect example of helping a momma out. I didn’t see the photo or comments so I don’t know if they were polite, but I hope they were. We can’t all be perfect and those bashers just make me want to charge into their house and find all the things THEY do wrong!

  14. I think your post is a great reminder to parents to check their little one’s seats, thank you!! I am sure it was embarrassing but the important thing is your guy is safer now! ;) The thing that bothers me is when I see someone post a picture with the safety belt (or what have you) incorrectly positioned and someone says something and then goes into various blogging groups and asks for others to back them up and say something too. In my opinion that becomes bullying. I mean education only takes one person saying something, IMO. Thanks for sharing this reminder though, I’ll be checking our toddler’s seat today! :)

  15. If I see something, I try to post nicely if I am going to say something- not come across all superior and condescending. But more like, ‘Hey, I don’t know if you know, but your kid would be safer/the seat would work better if….’
    I also don’t bother making a seat suggestion comment if someone before me already has. No need to bombard the person with a million people telling them they’re doing something wrong!

  16. This is a VERY TOUCHY subject – but for a VERY GOOD REASON! This is a matter of life or death – so YES – SAY SOMETHING! Who cares if you offend someone, who cares if I get offended or you get offended… it’s WORTH IT. I am glad to see you wrote this post, from one ‘car seat nazi’ to another :)

  17. It happens to the best of us. I am a car seat tech, and I still sometimes look back and think, “Dang, how did I miss that?”

    I see terrible pictures posted all over fb every single day. Sometimes I say something, but a lot of times I don’t, because “most” people don’t want to hear it and automatically think you are questioning their parenting. :(

    Good for you for taking it with a grain of salt and not being offended.

  18. Beth Scoggin says:

    I was one who said something about the headrest being too low but it certainly wasn’t meant to bash you at all, and I”m sorry if you took it that way. But I’m definitely glad I said something because I’d much rather say something and someone get mad but hopefully think about what I said and fix it. I’m glad you adjusted it and he’s riding safer now :) It’s hard to keep up with everything, with all the changes in recommendations and all that so sometimes we need help from other moms to remind us of things. So glad you chose to keep Sawyer rear facing longer too!!!

  19. No, I do not say anything. It’s not my job to parent other parents.

  20. Heidi Daily says:

    I don’t say anything, but it drives me crazy, the ones that drive me the most crazy are the pictures of family members. I did say something to my cousin when she had her son turned around facing forward at 9 months, the straps wrong and a winter coat on.I was able to say something to her because I am close enough that I felt comfortable saying something and knew she actually cared, unfortunately she just honestly didn’t know any better about any of it. I think that there should be information available at the doctors’ offices and the doctors should review that information at check ups. My doctors always asked if my daughter was still facing backwards until after she was two, so they did at least advocate for that. I have another cousin whose wife is a Physicians Assistant at a family practice and she is always posting pictures of her three children not strapped in right and they range in ages from almost 1 to almost 5. Those are the ones that drive me the most crazy because it seems to like she should really know better.

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