Monday, March 15, 2010

Monday's Mistake - can you spot the mistake/s in the picture?

As you may have guessed, it isn't enough to be able to spot the misuse (I have picked some obvious examples, I realize) - but rather it is critical to be able to explain why it is a problem AND solutions to correct it. 

As a pediatrician working in a NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit), the picture of this newborn is near and dear to my heart.  Sadly, the misuse shown in this picture is probably one of the most common in the newborn age group - and represents a significant risk to this baby's health and safety.

What mistakes can you identify (besides the obvious of the straps not being snug)?
For bonus points, what type of injury pattern might you see as a result of this misuse? 

Post your answers below - and I will post the correct answer on Tuesday.

Please note: This photo was not staged.  This photo was taken by a real parent just like you who didn't know that they were using the seat improperly.  9 out of 10 car seats are used incorrectly - don't let your child ride at risk.   If you are in the NYC or Baltimore areas, email us at to schedule a private car seat installation lesson - otherwise, visit to find someone in your area to teach you how to install your seats properly.


  1. Omg, please straighten out that child's neck! He needs his airway to be clear so that he does not suffocate!

  2. Aside from the loose straps? Aftermarket headrest that's pushing the child's head forward. Seat could also be too upright. But in any case, taking out the headrest AND making sure the seat is at the correct angle would fix the problem.

  3. Does the chest clip need to be closer to his armpits (after the straps are tightened)? I would think he'd be ejected from the seat with the chest clip so close to his hips.

  4. Of course the straps need to be tightened, then the clip needs to be level with his armpits. The seat seems to be sitting at a high angle so that needs to be tilted back so his airway isn't obstructed, removing the headrest would also help. If there was an accident, his little tummy would get squished from the clip being there, if he was able to stay in the seat.