Mom holds baby upside down, in car seat, as message to other parents

It's something so obvious, but something so easy to mess up: Car seats. While a car seat can help prevent the death of a child, at the same time, the improper use of one can be deadly.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, car crashes are the "leading cause of death" for children 4 and under. Many of these deaths could have been avoided had the proper "age-appropriate" restraint been implemented.

The findings from an observational study included in the journal details how easy it is to misuse a car seat. Of the study's 5000 subjects, nearly 73% of them "were observed to have some form of misuse" of child safety restraint. The most common mistakes included loose straps and loose securement to the car.

Consequently, such simple errors "may increase a child's risk of serious injury in a crash".

One mom's post serves as a reminder to parents to take all the precautions when traveling with a child in a car. In the photo, which went viral after it was posted Facebook, Rachel McNamara picks up her child, strapped in the car seat. McNamara lifts the car seat up over her head and upside down, while her child is safely secured.

"After strapping your child into their car seat, ask yourself if you'd be comfortable flipping it upside down. Remember that the chest clip should be at armpit level and the straps should be tight enough to pass the pinch test. #carseatsafety" she writes in the post.

The post has resonated with parents everywhere, with 50,000 shares and thousands of comments. After it went viral, McNamara re-commented with some helpful tips. She writes about the "pinch test", tricks to safely install a car seat and more.

"I'd like to clarify that I'm not advocating that parents should be flipping their kids upside down before every car ride. Just that they should feel confident that their child would be safe IF the car seat was flipped over in an accident. I think this is a great visual and shows just how important proper car seat use is," she advised.

You can read her full post here.

Related: Most unsafe toys

Safety group puts out ’10 Worst Toys’ list
See Gallery
Safety group puts out ’10 Worst Toys’ list
Baby Magic Feed and Play Baby: With an a 2+ age recommendation, the included spoon is small enough that it could block a child's airway.
Slimeball Slinger: Slimeball projectiles that can be fired over 30 feet can cause eye injuries.
Flying Heroes Superman Launcher: Spinning flying superman may fly into child's eye or face.
Baby Magic Feed and Play Baby: With an a 2+ age recommendation, the included spoon is small enough that it could block a child's airway.
Baby Magic Feed and Play Baby: With an a 2+ age recommendation, the included spoon is small enough that it could block a child's airway.
Kids Time Baby Children's Elephant Pillow: Advertising image shows infant snuggling with pillow, despite pillows for children under one being banned by a federal safety act. Package has no age warnings.
The Good Dinosaur Galloping Butch: Rigid tail may puncture children's faces.
Nerf Rival Apollo Xv-700 Blaster: Potential for eye injuries. Kids shown children wearing masks covering face and eyes, but are sold separately.
Peppa Pig's Muddy Puddles Family: Some packages say 3+ and others say 2+ for the same toy, without warning about choking hazards for two-year-olds.
Peppy Pups: Strangulation. Despite the industry's standard requiring strings on playpen and crib toys to be less than 12 inches in length, manufacturers are permitted to market pull toys like the "Peppy Pup," with a cord measuring approximately 31 inches.

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