Nine months ago, we blogged about the improper restraint methods used to transport a newborn Prince George of the UK home from the hospital. Unfortunately, the Royal Family is once again making international news for their concerning child passenger safety practices. As the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge embarked on a tour of New Zealand and Australia this week, New Zealand’s national childcare advisory agency, Plunket, released photos to the media of the car seat 8-month-old Prince George would be using during the family’s visit.
Image via ONENEWS
As you can see, the car seat is forward-facing, despite the best practice recommendation (and Plunket’s own guidelines) that children two years and under should ride rear-facing. The photo prompted swift backlash via social media, with angered New Zealand parents concerned about the Prince’s safety and criticizing Plunket for sending out mixed safety messages. Both Plunket and the Royal Family have confirmed that the seat was the choice of the Duke and Duchess, and that it does not violate New Zealand’s CPS laws.
Organizations like Plunket and Safe Kids provide families with education and advice based on best practice recommendations. However, they ultimately cannot force parents to comply beyond the letter of the law. This seems to be a difficult situation where the parents have been advised to best practice, but have chosen to go another route. It’s made even more difficult with the world watching. Although this is a missed opportunity for the Royal Family to set the bar high for CPS practices, safety organizations should continue to promote best practices to keep children optimally protected in motor vehicles.