If You Trust the Media, Your Baby Will Be in Danger

This baby would not be safe
in the car.

If you see a car commercial with a child in it or watch a TV show about a large family where they're piling in their vehicle, chances are you're not thinking about whether or not the child is in their car seat correctly. Or are you?

Same goes for advertisements in magazines, or even giant cardboard standees in the car seat aisles of large chain stores -- are you thinking about correct usage of the product?

What about seeing a mom wearing a baby wrong on a TV show? Do you think twice?

Does it matter? Absolutely.


Many of us assume that an advertisement for a product would have the product being used correctly, but as the picture above shows, that's not always going to be true (car seat safety gurus, want to name everything wrong with that picture?). The reason this becomes such an issue is because the more people see incorrect use of a car seat, the more people might use it the wrong way.

That is not how you safely
use a Moby Wrap.
This is a BAD thing. There are letter writing campaigns, begging some of the parents of multiples on TV urging the producers to educate the families on the car seat laws for their state. Since when is showing illegal activity okay on TV without repercussions?

I've learned that often with magazines and online media, it's a matter of finding a picture that fits the article, and with that can come some restrictions. But I personally feel that it's irresponsible for anyone to show products being used unsafely. We NEED people to see products used correctly so that new moms or caregivers get accustomed to seeing a product used properly, in hopes that they can at least partially identify when something is wrong.

The Society of Professional Journalists has a Code of Ethics, and a few of the points from that includes: "Journalists should test the accuracy of information from all sources and exercise care to avoid inadvertent error. Deliberate distortion is never permissible."

The UK's Editors' Code of Practice states: "The Press must take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading, or distorted information, including pictures."

I feel that publishing misuse of products in a manner that could cause harm to an infant breaks those guidelines. I encourage anyone who sees misuse of anything to write to the magazine, TV station, or author and tell them that showing improper use of whatever product is irresponsible, even if it is some stock photo they used.

We all must never assume that what we see on TV or in a magazine is correct. Research things yourself.

And if you are a writer, admit mistakes and correct them promptly. I promise to do the same.

What's the worst case of misuse you've seen in print or on television?

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