LeBron James is best known for being a powerhouse on the basketball court, but he’s also a father of three. James occasionally shares pictures and videos of his kids on Instagram, but one in particular has riled up dad shamers.
In the video, James’s 3-year-old daughter, Zhuri, can be seen riding in the back seat of a car alongside her dad, belting out a song from the movie “Frozen.” “She controls the music when she rides with me. The Boss aka Baby Z! ‘Love is an Open Door’ from Frozen soundtrack,” James captioned the adorable video.
While plenty of people wrote in the comments about how cute Zhuri is, others weren’t impressed by the fact that she’s not in a car seat and that the car is clearly moving. “Isn’t she supposed to be in a car seat,” one wrote. “Safety first @kingjames she suppose to be in booster seat buddy,” another said. “Eh, booster seat, dude?” someone else chimed in.
People also took their comments to Twitter:
Why is she not in a proper car seat or at least have her shoulder strap on?!?
— Michael Goldsmith (@ghost2308) October 16, 2018
@KingJames Parent to parent, seeing your recent IG video of your daughter in the car, you need to be putting her in a car seat, or at the very least a booster. That seatbelt wasn’t even on properly. Take care of your most precious cargo! #carseatsafety
— Jodie Mettler (@DoubleCherryPi) October 16, 2018
@KingJames wreckless as all hell letting his kid ride around without a car seat or a proper belt ! Smh!!
— Ben Dover (@wisenheimer12) October 16, 2018
So … clearly, plenty of parents were up in arms over Zhuri’s apparent lack of a carseat or booster. The video comes just days after James told reporters that he lets his sons (who are 14 and 11) drink wine. (The verdict is still out on whether he was joking.)
As for the latest video, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has specific recommendations on car seats for kids, and it can vary by a child’s age, size, and developmental needs.
In general, toddlers and preschoolers like Zhuri should be in a convertible, forward-facing seat, with a harness that goes across their chest, the AAP says. The AAP recommends that kids wear this “for as long as possible, up to the highest weight or height allowed by their car safety seat manufacturer.”
Even when kids are well into elementary school, it’s still recommended that they use a belt-positioning booster seat until a regular seat belt fits over them properly. The AAP says this is typically when they’ve reached 4 feet 9 inches in height and are between the ages of 8 to 12 years old. It’s only when a child is old enough and large enough for a seat belt to fit them properly that the AAP says it’s acceptable for them to go without a car seat or booster.
Car seat laws vary from state to state, according to AAA, but in California (where this video was presumably shot), children under the age of 8 “must be restrained in a child passenger restraint system in the rear seat.”
James hasn’t publicly responded to the criticism.
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