photo: Project Hot Mess Facebook page

All parents want to do whatever it takes to keep their kids safe, but when it comes to car seat safety it can be a little overwhelming to navigate all the rules and opinions on what’s best. Two EMTs recently took to Facebook to share their expert opinion on the subject and what they had to say might surprise you.

Car seats can be pretty pricey, and many parents believe the more expensive they are the more protection they offer, but that’s simply not the case. According to Krystal Kleidon, who along with her husband have been paramedics for several years, the one thing that always makes a difference is the straps. “Between my husband and I, in our 20 years experience, we have NOT seen a single child harmed in a car accident where the child was restrained in their seat properly. Not a single one,” Kleidon wrote in a Facebook post for her blog Project Hot Mess.

In the post, which features a picture of Kleidon and her husband holding their 4-year-old son as he is strapped into his car seat and hanging in the air, she explains that no amount of research and money spent on a car seat makes a difference if the straps aren’t used properly. “We’ve seen car seats ejected from vehicles, we’ve seen cars that have rolled over so many times you can barely tell which way is up, we’ve seen accidents where you would be certain there would be no survivors. But in our experience, the biggest difference between a child’s safety hasn’t been if they were in the $600 car seat or the $200 one. It’s been about those straps.”

She explains that if you would feel comfortable hanging your child from his car seat like she is, then your straps are where they should be. Check out her full blog post on car seat safety here.

What do you think of this advice? Share your thoughts in the comments below.