I'm not an expert on car seats, but there are a few things that I know for sure. The chest clip should be on their chest. The straps should be snug with no room to pinch. Bulky coats and clothing can cause issues with compression.
Lately I have seen a lot of photos of LO's that are not properly restrained. Particularly on facebook. If I had a photo up and someone saw a problem then I hope they would tell me. It's sort of awkward because the people I've seen with some issues are not close, personal friends. Some are hardly acquaintances. I am going to post a video that has some car seat tips and I hope some of these people are paying attention. It's my lame attempt to put the information out there without calling anyone out. I really just want everyone's child to be as safe as they can possibly be.
Have any of you ever said anything to someone about this? Or something similar?
I wish there was a way you could do it anonymously. The lady that I used to babysit for always used to bring her baby inside in his bucket seat and the straps were always super loose. I never knew if she loosened them before she brought him in or if she just never tightened them. I never said anything, although I probably should have.
I generally say something, unless it's a picture from someone from high school that I haven't spoken to in years. I usually do it over a message though. Most people buckle incorrect just because they don't know better. I always think if something did happen and I never said anything, I would feel horrible. So I say something and try to keep it light and friendly and generally pass on a link with carseat safety.
I was wondering Kayla when I saw that video posted! The last time I posted something car sear related was after seeing FB pictures of two different kids forward facing in their car seats. One was 11 months the other 3 days before her 1st birthday. One I sent a private message too reminding that it's not till after a year and she said that the car seat she has only forward faces (had already gotten rid of the infant seat), and that if they sell forward facing car seats for 20 lb kids then it must be safe for her 11 month old. Besides, what do I know since DS isn't as old as her child. I should be going to her for advice. *sigh* (Can you tell I'm bitter still?! ) We're actually not FB friends anymore because it just made me want to cry.
~Jackie, mommy to Aiden (11/2/10) and Zoe (VBAC 11/27/12)
I've actually never said anything before on this. That being said I've not been in a situation where I've noticed a child not properly restrained for their car ride. I do have to say though that I've taken pictures of Michael where he was being silly or had a cute smile while he was sitting in his carseat and he was not yet buckled and ready to go. (He was sitting with a book while I was still packing/organizing a couple things in the backseat.) If someone had said something to me I probably would've thanked them and let them know that he was secured appropriately before we left.
If I was talking to someone in a driveway and noticed they were about to leave or something I would try to figure out a gentle way to bring it up, especially since people take offense easily sometimes when it comes to their children. I might even put it on me like "I've been chatting with you and now you still have to do their seatbelts, etc" I don't know; it's a tough call.
I think the video idea was good because you don't know that the child wasn't properly in place when the car was actually in motion.
I actually have several friends who do not properly restrain their children. I have never overtly pointed it out because people get really defensive. However, I tend to have Isaiah model appropriate restraint in front of them. I have him clip himself in, check his chest clip, and pull it tight. I also make sure to say something to the girls while I clip them in, like "There, your chest clip is at your armpits." or "Let me check and make sure your strap is tight." It doesn't seem to matter. They pay attention, but I assume they just think I am overprotective. After all, I am the mom who still has her almost 8yo in a 5-point harness in one of our cars. Oh, and my 21-month olds are still RF. Sarafina has not even met the weight limit to move her to FF. Legally, she must be RFing. Not many people that I know practice extended RFing, so I am the odd duck there too.