*Kim Kardashian posted to Instagram on Monday a pic of her daughter North West and a tot friend sleeping in their car seats, and of course fans, experts and psychologists were quick to analyze and criticize the image until it was concluded that the babies weren’t properly strapped in the seats.
According to Us Weekly, designer Tracy Nguyen Romulus is the mother of the other sleeping child, Ryan, and the Internet has decided that both Tracy and Kim have unknowingly “made some very common car seat errors that can jeopardize a child’s safety.”
Yahoo reports the biggest problem seems to be whether either of the seats is connected to the back of the car with the tether strap.
“[North’s seat] does not appear to be using the tether strap at all, while the child on the right in the photo — you can see a tether strap going up, but you can’t tell if it’s actually connected to what it should be,” Alisa Baer, MD, co-founder of The Car Seat Lady and an expert in car seat safety, tells Yahoo Parenting.
“Every forward-facing seat in the U.S. comes with a tether strap that attaches the head of the car seat to the back of the vehicle. Every vehicle since 2000 has at least three positions with tether anchors, except some of the largest pickup trucks and tiniest convertibles. Every forward-facing seat should be placed in a position that has a tether anchor, and the tether strap should be connected and tightened.”
Alisa notes that tether straps are important because they decrease how far a child’s head moves forward in a crash by at least 4 to 6 inches. “When the head moves forward in a crash, there is a risk of brain and spinal cord injury because the head can strike hard objects like the seat in front of the child, the door, or the window,” she said.
Commenting on North and Ryan, Baer points out that: “These two children are riding forward-facing, and the shoulder straps need to come at or slightly above the child’s shoulders. In both cases, they are coming below or significantly below.”
She also notes that the final obvious error in the picture is that Ryan’s straps are not tight enough. “There is a visible gap between the shoulder strap and her chest, and if you can see the gap, it is definitely too loose,” Baer says. “Sometimes the straps are too loose even if you can’t see the gap.”