Most of us probably have a lot of experience with car seats, but probably none of us have actually flipped one upside down with a baby in it. But Maine mom Rachel McNamara did just that recently for an important message about care seat safety that’s since gone totally viral across the parent-internet.
We all know how important car seats are, but it can be tough for a layperson to feel secure knowing that theirs is installed perfectly correctly and that their kid is strapped in the right way. Statistics indicate that most people are not using their car seats optimally, and all those people probably assume they’re doing it right. So whenever one buckles a kid into a car seat, the first thought is usually, “Is this right? I think it’s right, but what if I’m wrong? How can I ever know?”
We do know the straps need to be tight, but how tight is the right sort of tight? We don’t want to squish them. But it’s harder to squish a kid with a car seat than one might think, and it sure looks like McNamara’s kid is pretty secure in there.
“I had him sit in his car seat and get all buckled up to make sure it looked good, and I thought, ‘Lets do a fun little test,’” she told The Huffington Post. “I flipped him up and had my husband take a quick picture.”
One also can’t help but notice that Rachel McNamara is really, really strong! Look at her lift that baby in a car seat over her head like that. Babies and car seats are not light! I’m impressed.
McNamara posted her photo to Facebook, and it wound up being shared nearly 50,000 times. (McNamara says she wasn’t expecting that, and that she’d probably have changed clothes if she knew she was going to go viral.) She says that of course she’s not advocating that people flip their car seats over to make sure their kids are secure, it’s just a visual to indicate how secure a kid should be in a car seat. Since it started gaining traction, she amended the post to include a lot of actually useful car seat advice about how to make sure the straps are positioned correctly, and how tight they should be. It’s useful information for anybody, even someone who has been using a car seat for years. McNamara’s kids are 8, 7, and 2, and she says she knows she made a lot of installation mistakes with the first two.