Jill Duggar’s parenting is under fire once again, but the Counting On star has an army of fans ready to jump to her defense whenever she gets called out for potentially putting her son in danger.
Jill Duggar, her husband Derick Dillard, and their one-year-old son Israel recently returned home to Arkansas after spending almost a year living in El Salvador. On their family blog, Jill and Derick have shared constant reminders of the perils of living in the region, which include gang violence, scorpions, tarantulas, cougars, and close calls with lightning. However, some concerned fans believe that the parents’ car seat placement might put Israel in more danger than his attempts to eat creepy crawlies that might sting.
On Monday, the Duggars shared a Facebook photo of Jill, Derick, and Israel inside a vehicle. Jill Duggars’ parents wrote that they are “so thankful God kept them safe while they were on the mission field,” but some fans don’t think that Israel looks safe in the backseat of his mother and father’s car; they argued that it would be better for the little boy to be riding in a rear-facing car seat.
“A lot of people are oblivious to the dangers of forward-facing children too young. I am glad that the laws are starting to catch up to the safety and importance of children being in seats properly! I rear face my daughter as long as I can till her legs get too long for her to fit comfortably,” one commenter wrote.
Some fans of the Duggar family took issue with the criticism of Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard’s forward-facing car seat, and those who voiced their concerns were even called “car seat Nazis.”
“Beware the car seat nazi comments,” one fan wrote.
Some of the concerned commenters pointed out that they were just trying to be helpful by sharing information that others might not be aware of.
“If someone had information that could potentially save your child’s life would you want to know? People are sharing out of love and concern. No one wants to see that baby boy injured God forbid they wreck,” one fan wrote.
Other Duggar defenders complained that the car seat critics should only be concerned about the well-being of their own kids.
“I know what is best for my kids, and if it’s not your kid, ITS NOT YOUR PROBLEM!!” one fan commented.
“Would you say ‘not my kid, not my problem’ if you saw a baby this same age left alone in the car in a parking lot?” another commenter retorted.
Many fans argued that Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard didn’t break any laws by securing their son in a forward-facing car seat instead of a rear-facing one, and this is true; Arkansas law only requires children who are one year of age or younger to be secured in rear-facing car seats. People reports that Israel turned one year old in April, so his car seat isn’t illegal.
However, as many Facebook commenters pointed out, states have started tweaking their car seat laws. As Philly Voice reports, Pennsylvania recently became the fourth state to adopt a law requiring children aged two and younger to ride in rear-facing car seats. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), children should ride in rear-facing car seats until they reach the height or weight limits set by their seat’s manufacturer. In other words, parents should avoid using forward-facing seats for as long as possible. One study found that children under age two who ride in rear-facing seats are 75 percent less likely to die or be severely injured in car accidents.
“A rear-facing child safety seat does a better job of supporting the head, neck and spine of infants and toddlers in a crash, because it distributes the force of the collision over the entire body,” says Dennis Durbin, MD, FAAP.
This isn’t the first time Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard have been criticized for increasing Israel’s chances of being seriously hurt or killed if they crash their vehicle. According to the Stir, Instagram commenters slammed the couple for placing his chest clip too low in another car seat photo.
According to Benjamin Hoffman, MD, medical director of the Tom Sargent Children’s Safety Center at OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, placing the chest clip too low can be deadly.
“Having a chest clip too low can allow the baby to slump, and there have been cases of strangulation a a result,” Hoffman told Forbes.
Israel appears to be in a rear-facing car seat in the picture above, but some of Jill Duggar’s Instagram followers noted that the vent behind him seems to indicate that he’s riding in the front seat of the car. This is another no-no.
Do you think the latest criticism of Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard’s parenting is fair, or do you agree with the fans who are telling critics to lay off the couple?
[Image via Duggar Family Official Facebook]