Prince George is facing the wrong way, according to Kiwi protesters. The future king, who is set to arrive in New Zealand with parents Prince William and Kate Middleton on Monday, is causing controversy when a picture of the car seat he will be using hit online.
The country’s national childcare advisory agency, Plunket, released a photo of a staff installing a baby seat into the official car of the British royals. But concerned parents pointed out that the type of baby seat being used, which costs around NZD500 from manufacturer Maxi-Cosi, isn’t suitable for Prince George.
The baby seat was specifically chosen by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, but according to Kiwi parents, it is the wrong choice for Prince George.
As per Plunket’s strict guidelines, parents should carry children in rear-facing car seats until the age of two. However, the photo indicates that the staff installed the car seat forward-facing.
Maxi-Cosi’s instruction said that the car seat should be used with children aged nine months and above. George is just eight months old.
The New Zealand Transport Agency also states that front-facing seats can be used by children from one year old and above.
Plunket has been inundated with criticisms on its social media pages for going against its guidelines.
One commenter wrote on Facebook: “Poor form Plunket. I hear stories all the time of Plunket Nurses making great Kiwi mums feel like crap for choices much smaller than the safety of a child in a car. Yet here they are promoting themselves engaging in poor practice. Makes me think twice in terms of well child provider for my next baby.”
Another one added: “I agree with what everyone seems to be saying. Should never have turned fitting his seat into a publicity stunt because it’s only going to undermine Plunket’s safety recommendations and tarnish their reputation. If Kate & Will wanted it forward facing then fine, but Plunket should have had nothing to do with supporting that decision publicly like this.”
Plunket then replied to the criticisms, claiming that while they recommend the babies stay in rear-facing seats until they reach two years of age, “it is not a legal requirement.”
George and William and Kate is expected to set foot in Wellington in the early hours of Monday for their three-week visit to New Zealand and Australia.