29/03/2017 10:13 BST | Updated 30/03/2017 07:51 BST

Mum Demonstrates Car Seat Safety Trick For Parents To Check If It's Secure For Kids

Would you be able to do this?

A mum has demonstrated a way parents can check if their child’s car seat is safe and suitable to use.

Rachel McNamara, from the US, strapped her son in his car seat and shared pictures of herself holding it up above her head.

“After strapping your child into their car seat, ask yourself if you’d be comfortable flipping it upside down,” she wrote on 17 March.

“Remember that the chest clip should be at armpit level and the straps should be tight enough to pass the pinch test.” 

Jan James, from UK-based safety organisation Good Egg Safety told The Huffington Post UK: “It’s a really interesting story and captured attention well with the visual imagery - although we would never advocate parents actually doing this because child seats can be heavy and accidentally dropping them with the child in situ isn’t worth thinking about.”

In both the images, her son is securely strapped in and doesn’t fall loose when he is upside down.

The mum’s post has been shared nearly 50,000 times so she updated her post to reply to some of the concerns she had from parents.

She clarified that she is not advocating all parents should be flipping their kids upside down in their car seats before a drive, but that they should feel confident if the car was flipped over in an accident.

“I think this is a great visual and shows just how important proper car seat use is,” she wrote.

She also advised parents to look at the manuals of their own car seats, as some have different instructions and guidelines about where the straps should be placed.

McNamara also shared information on the “pinch test”: “The test you do after your child is buckled in and the chest clip is in the proper place,” she wrote.

“You shouldn’t be able to pinch any of the strap between two fingers. If you can pinch the strap: move the chest clip back down, tighten the straps, move the chest clip back up and test again.”

She advised car seat installation into the car is just as important as having your child correctly fitted in the car seat. 

Commenting on the post, one mum wrote: “I’m so glad you have made this visual. I hope everyone can finally realise that this is why it’s so important to buckle their children correctly and use the appropriate seat for their height and weight.”

For more information on car seat safety in the UK, parents can head to Good Egg Safety or the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.

What shop staff should ask parents when buying a car seat, as advised by Good Egg Safety.

Child’s weight

Child’s height

What vehicle the seat will be used in

If the seat will be used in any other vehicles

If the vehicle has ISOfix

If the seat is fitted to the front of the vehicle - advise on airbag risk

They should also advise on the safety benefits of rear facing child seats and demonstrate the fitment of the car seat.

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