Every parent’s goal is to keep their kids safe at all times. Yes, you’ve child-proofed your home, but what about your car? Did you know that even objects intended to keep them safe while on the go could actually pose risks? Take for instance, this mum who watched in horror as her baby car seat burned because of a safety mirror.
Baby car seat burned because of sunlight reflected by a safety mirror
Amanda DeAngelis, a mum from Texas, shared a warning to fellow parents about the possible dangers of products – car seats, and safety mirrors in particular – that are designed to keep our little ones safe.
“This is my baby’s car seat, smoking because there is a mirror on the back of the seat so I can see her. I just took her out of the seat and smelled smoke and saw the smoke coming up,” she says in the video, adding how it was burned “by the sun’s reflection into the car seat.”
She went on to express her relief that she made a two-second stop at that precise moment. In a series of photos and a video clip which she shared, you can clearly see that the seat’s fabric is burning.
‘”I was rushing home and didn’t sit in my seat checking emails and responding to texts like I typically do it Mila is sleeping,” she writes in the post’s caption. “I’ve [used] car seats with mirrors with all my kids—never have I experienced this! Scary!”
Some were grateful to learn how the baby car seat burned accidentally, while others criticised the mum
Image source: Amanda Kenny DeAngelis Facebook post
“I’m not placing blame or trying to start arguments… just trying to make other[s] informed this is a possibility,” she clarifies in the post, which has been shared over 82,000 times on Facebook. “Never did it occur to me it would reflect and happen so quickly. Do with this information what you will – just don’t judge!”
Though Amanda had good intentions in sharing her experience, not all were pleased with the post.
Some expressed their gratitude for the warning, like one mum who wrote: “You know I too had a mirror facing my child so I can see them in my rear view mirror. So many women with babies did the same. I never ever even thought it would act like a magnifying glass. Thank you for info, glad your little one is ok.”
But others were quick to shame DeAngelis. Some netizens said it was her fault for placing the mirror the wrong way.
“It’s not really the manufacturers’ fault. This is a user error,” wrote one commenter.
Baby car seat burned: Manufacturer or user error?
“Britax corporate responded to me immediately (within 20 minutes),” Amanda clarified in a follow-up post, after receiving criticism from fellow parents. “I’ve called Eddie Bauer (the mirror manufacturer) daily and left messages with the situation. They have not responded. I will keep trying them.”
“This post is stupid,” another wrote, “the only problem is the woman using the equipment improperly. You have to have enough common sense not to park where the sun can burn your baby.”
Others advised the mum to simply be careful where she parks, since this is a natural occurrence.
How can you make sure your safety mirror is truly safe?
However you feel about this mum’s warning, it never hurts to be extra careful, especially when it comes to your child’s safety in the car.
As one commenter wrote: “The mirror is supposed to be attached to the seat and pointing downward.”
So how should you secure and fasten a car safety mirror? Watch the instructional video below.
Car seat safety in Singapore
Another extremely important child safety feature in vehicles is your little one’s car seat.
A report by the Straits Times in September 2017 claims that a mere 6% of children in Singapore are restrained properly while inside motor vehicles. This is an alarming statistic, especially considering the number of accidents that happen each year.
Though the number of fatal road accidents decreased by 7.6% in the first half of 2017 as compared to the same period in 2016, there is still room for improvement. It should be noted, however, that these accidents aren’t all the result of poor car seat safety.
According to Singapore’s Road Traffic Act, children under 1.35m in height are required by law to be secured in a proper car safety restraint.
Private-hire cars – Uber and Grab – are also required to carry car seats and booster seats for infants and children. However, this law has yet to be expanded to include taxis and buses. What’s more, parents might find it a hassle to lug around a car seat when they are taking public transport.
Do you use a car seat? What do you think about this mum’s well-meaning but misunderstood warning?
Sources: Singapore Police Force, The Straits Times
READ THIS ALSO: Car seat rules in Singapore – What parents should know