Car seats are for kids, even those of the Rich and Famous

via CNN:

NEW YORK (AP) — Britney Spears defended photographs showing the pop star driving with her infant son on her lap, saying she was dodging the paparazzi.

Several photos published Tuesday showed Spears driving her SUV with her son, Sean Preston, perched on her lap rather than strapped into a car seat in the back seat. Spears said she did it because of a “horrifying, frightful encounter with the paparazzi.”

The photos show Spears holding the wheel of the car with one hand, and her 4-month-old baby in the other. A person is shown sitting in the passenger seat next to Spears.

“I was terrified that this time the physically aggressive paparazzi would put both me and my baby in danger,” Spears said in a statement released late Monday.

“I instinctively took measures to get my baby and me out of harm’s way, but the paparazzi continued to stalk us,” she said. “I love my child and would do anything to protect him.”

Uuh, no. I really wish there were car seat equivalents for adults, because a properly installed rear seat car seat is unparalelled in protecting kiddo occupants. On the other hand, trying to salvage near-dead kids who were held in the laps of their loved ones milliseconds before a crash is an uphill battle, one which always includes “?why?”.

What’s with celebs and their kids, anyway? Michael Jackson dangles his over a railing, now Britney drives with hers in a lap. Spare me the “I love my kids and was protecting them” crap: you’re more likely to have a collision than be killed by a paparazzi.

Car seats aren’t optional. Put your kid in one before you put the car in gear. No excuses.


  1. Goat Whacker says:

    “I was terrified that this time the physically aggressive paparazzi would put both me and my baby in danger,” Spears said in a statement released late Monday.


  2. Good thing for the kid that she didn’t pull a Princess Diana in running from those nasty photographers.

  3. If she pulled that stunt in my State we would be required to file a child endangerment form against her with the state. But it’s out West, seems like you can pay cash for a murder (OJ) or rape (Kobe) and avoid trouble out there.

  4. I didn’t know Ms. Spears was old enough to drive. Perhaps in California she is? In my state she (Britney) would have to be restrained in the back seat, perhaps facing to the rear.



  5. TheNewGuy says:

    Hmmm… pretty weak.

    I think Ms. Spears needs to candy-stripe in my ER for a few holiday weekends. I think helping to resuscitate the unfortunate young kids paralyzed after being thrown from the bed of various wrecked pickup trucks would do wonders for her perspective on safety restraints.

  6. I see non-celebrities letting their kids jump around the car. I am horrified. One of my co-workers let her 4 year old sit in the front without a booster seat. When I mentioned they recommend kids sit in the back seat until they are twelve, she said there is not a law about it. If I let my kids sit in the front or without a booster seat and they were injured because of it, I could not live with the guilt.

    Do you think celebrities are not held as accountable for their actions?

  7. I am appalled. My pede says 6 yrs *and* 60 lbs. And since neither of my kiddles suffers from childhood obesity, I have my 8 y/o skinny-butted son in a booster. One of the moms in my daughter’s first grade class says it’s 6 yrs *or* 60 lbs. But, I’m going with the *and*. Both kids have learned to “bunkle” themselves in – from the time they were in car seats. (I adhered to the 4 and 40 rule for car seats. My son was half way thru first grade before he was in a booster.) They know mom’s not moving the car until we’re all “bunkled”, late bell be damned.

    And, while it is difficult to nurse a car-seated child, it is certainly possible. I’m a pro. I, too, am horrified when I see kids bouncing around in the car in front of me. My kids are way to precious to me to let them bounce about. And since they know nothing except travelling while secured, they don’t argue.

    No excuse.

  8. Anonymous says:

    V, are you saying you can drive the car and breast feed a child, buckled in a car seat, at the same time? I’m trying to imagine and can’t even see how that is possible? I thought even talking on a cell phone while driving was dangerous and distracting.Dolly Parton has nothing on you!

  9. while my husband drives, i can sit in the backseat and lean over a little to the left and nurse my munchkin while he’s in his carseat. we’re both buckled. it works without too much trouble.


  10. David Ollier Weber says:

    You weenies! I fondly remember the time I made a hard left from Walnut onto Shattuck in Berkeley in my Fiat Spider, top down, and out of the corner of my eye saw the passenger door swing open and my 5-year-old son gracefully levitate from his seat beside me and descend toward the pavement. (He’d apparently uncoupled his lap belt and opened the door while I was buying my coffee at the original Peet’s.) I slammed on the brake, craned to my right, plucked him up by his shirtcollar from his astonished new sitting position in the roadway and redeposited him in the car–all without actually coming to a halt.

    Seat belts! Child seats! They’re for modern wimps.

    Oh, yeah. I forgot. People are so tone-deaf these days that if you don’t append a winking emoticon to your posts, you can count on getting flamed. Imagine my emoticon.

  11. They can come work with me for a day. I get the cases the hospitals dont – finding body parts of people who have been injured in car accidents is not as fun as you would think.

    Id be happy to share my photo-array of people killed in car accidents. People get dead in car accidents every day. Dead before help even arrives, dead on the way to the ER, dead in the ER, dead enough you cant indentify all the body parts. Every day.

    Not wearing your seatbelt is Darwin-in-action. Not buckling your children in is criminal.

  12. GruntDoc — there ARE car seat equivalents for adults — see and one of these days I’m putting one (along with a four-point harness) in my car. Probably after another bad head rolls in.

  13. Well, cue the banjos–she said she’s sorry after all.

  14. No, silly, I didn’t nurse whilst driving!! That’s why you drive with your husband. I’ve flashed entire (small) states while my (first-born) son was having a leisurely lunch. With the second kid, I broke down & would mix a bottle while on the road. I got sick of getting scrunched in the back seat while the dog rode shotgun up front.

  15. Aerospace Genius says:

    A potentially valuable addition to a car seat is a business card taped to it with the kid’s name and medical info, pediatrician contact, both parents’ contact info, and nearest relative contact. I’ve been told that EMS usually transports kids in their seats, so the info will go with them.

  16. Hey, i remember the good old days when you could still get injured in a car accident. Before all of the safety features, plastic, padded knobs, etc. But Brittney?? Give the chick a break. I think she makes a pretty good mom.
    Dr. D, arizona

  17. On what would you base this “pretty good mom” statement? Child endangerment doesn’t define a good mom. In fact, it shows the opposite.

  18. There are so many SUV accidents where a child is killed in a rollover crash…because s/he was not strapped in properly. Also, I know of a young lady from a wealthy family in the town I grew up in who crashed her SUV into a tree going 90 miles per hour down the 20 mph school road, showing off for her friend what she could do. Well, because her seat was not the proper size for her short stature (less than five feet tall), when they crashed, she broke her nose, other facial bones, collarbone on impact. Her friend was injured similarly but worse because she was shorter and the airbag broke her ribs. There were other injuries of course. The biggest one to the driver, since she lived and recovered, was that she lost her driver’s license till age 21. She never forgot having to ask for rides everywhere, I guarantee it. She never forgot not being allowed to associate with her friend anymore either.

    It’s important for all drivers to have first, common sense and better self control; second, seats manufactured to fit their size…. Or else don’t drive.

    Bet ya Children’s Services and the local police here *wouldn’t* press charges against me for holding onto my seven-month-old baby boy as I drove one-handed as fast as I could away from a chasing paparazzi. Bet ya I *wouldn’t* have to go through psychotherapy and parenting classes to reprove my parental fitness. Unbelievable.

  19. Here’s a story that makes you appreciate car seats and safety features. Last year my bosses Mother, brother, sister-in-law and 4 year old niece were in a terrible accident. The 4 year old had recently received a new bike for her birthday. While shopping, on this morning, grandma bought her a helmet to use while riding her bike. After returning to the car the little girl wanted to wear her new helmet home. The grandmother strapped it on her while she was secure in her car seat. On that drive home a semi pulled from a country road onto a state highway directly in front of them.

    My bosses mother and sister-in-law were killed instantly. His brother was hospilized for several weeks. The 4 year old was taken to the hosp in her car seat, when the ER Dr. removed her helmet it was cracked right down the middle. She had no injuries and was hospitalized overnight for observation only.

  20. Hmmm…Let’s see. The press is stalking so take the baby out of the nice, safe car seat where it would be difficult to get any picture that showed much of his appearance and hold him in your lap where he is in plain view of the camera….Makes perfect sence to me.