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?

car seat safety, safety, baby gear


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Lynette Lynette

infant carseats facing forward drive me nuts!  you see it all time on shows

Guggie Daly


Ha! I just saw that babywearing photo in the magazine this month. DH spotted it first and came running to show me. :D Yay for crunchy hubbies.

Sadly, every baby I see is strapped in like the infant in that photo. I try to reassure myself that maybe the straps are loose and wrongly positioned b/c they are in the store. Maybe the mama will adjust it before driving away... (naive, eh?)

Jmum Jmum

I've started noticing a lot of things wrong in baby ads and things like that. I saw an ad for a car seat that was improperly used recently. Those two pictures look like they came from the same magazine. That Moby picture makes me see cracked skulls.

Something else that drives me nuts (since becoming friends with Christie the Car Seat Guru) is all of the after market car seat crap I see at the store. You'd think there'd be a big sign that says ''this will void your warrenty!'' but there's not. Of course not, that doesn't sell things.

RanaA... RanaAurora

I wanted to add this video for a litterbox but it seems they got complaints and revised it, so I wasn't able to... anyway, it's a litterbox you hook up to water lines in your bathroom or laundry room and it just washes the litter. While showing a mom in the laundry room hooking it up, about 5 feet behind her, she had her back turned to an infant in a bouncy seat on the dryer. I had a picture of it on my cellphone but deleted it. It was shocking. I had paused the commercial, taken a picture, and sent it to a friend even.

Amand... Amanda_Jeanne

I hate noticing things like that too... it's almost like I hate having the knowledge of what's safe with baby products because there are so many mistakes that are BLARINGLY obvious on TV that I want to throw crap at my TV and wake up the idiots who use these things wrong.

I know a lot of people are not Teen Mom fans, but I DO watch the show, and EVERY SINGLE ONE of those kids is ALWAYS in their car seat wrong. Straps too loose or twisted, big bulky jackets on in the carseat (with obviously loose straps), not rear-facing... I wish they would be more educated and fix themselves, since I know there are plenty of teens/young adults watching it and they're getting mislead by the wrong-ness.

Smile... SmileyMoo

not really "misuse" but it kind of bothered me on a disney show that the Dad fell down the steps with the BABY and it went flying through the air before he caught it :-/


Also, I can't STAND "Teen Mom" because of the carseat use. Twisted straps, crotch clip instead of chest clips, forward facing before a year old etc.

Dispelling Breastfeeding Myths

100% agree Christie!  This is so important.  We're trying to get things tightened up in the UK because despite the code you mention here, our press are still SELF REGULATING.  In other words, if there isn't enough BAD press about something, nothing gets done, despite the wording of the code.  Breastfeeding 'myths' are our main concern at DBM and we have produced an online petition asking for TIGHTER controls over what can be said and printed, and balanced reportage.  Certain groups already benefit from special protection, we want them to be more careful what they say about breastfeeding issues too.  If you live in the UK and haven't signed it, please do! http://www.petitiononline.com/DBM/petition.html  Thank you for raising this important issue!

Megara Megara

The bag-style and duffel-style slings have been proven to be unsafe, and every single one of their ads shows exactly why it is a death trap.

ethan... ethans_momma06

I've been watching the (fox?) show 'Raising Hope', and while I understand it's supposed to be 'funny', things like not knowing to latch the (expired) carseat down with the (under 1 yr old baby) seat forwardfacing drives me up the wall. 

nonmember avatar Allboys

I think people have become to dependant on companies giving them accurate information. We live under the buyers beware mindset. We research products, doctors, medications, food ect before we make up our minds about them. People need to know what they are using and how to use them. It's crazy to me that any parent would spend more time looking into what type of clothing is in and not give a fig about car seat safety. There is a difference between people who make parenting decisions based on facts and acceptable risks and willful ignorance.

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