Hilary Duff and her husband, Matthew Koma, are under fire after her close pal and Younger co-star Molly Bernard shared a video of the couple’s three-year-old in the backseat, reportedly sans car seat
On January 3rd, Hilary Duff‘s close pal and Younger co-star Molly Bernard shared an Instagram post featuring photos and videos of Duff’s three-year-old daughter, Banks, generally being silly and adorable. But fans immediately took to the comments section of the post to express concern over the fact that in two photos and one video, Banks appears to be sitting in the backseat of a car both without a car seat and with the seat belt positioned behind her back — despite the fact that California law requires all children under the age of eight to be secured safely in a car or booster seat.
It’s admittedly tough to determine whether or not Banks is in a booster seat, but fans and followers were swift to take to the comments section. Among some of the many comments expressing concern: “Child endangerment. California law requires children in a car seat or a booster depending on age/height and weight,” wrote one user. “Worked a fatality accident involving a 4 year old, no car seat, no booster. Only lap belt. Broke her neck and lap belt severed organs in belly. There is a reason for these recommendations,” added another.
Bernard, who is also Banks’ godmother, nor Duff have responded to the controversy, but Duff’s husband, Matthew Koma, began replying to a few comments. In response to one user criticizing Duff for “keeping the post up,” Koma sarcastically replied, “You are truly a hero for speaking up.” To a user who pointed out California safety laws, he responded, “You’re the kind of person who cuts up a kid’s Apple sauce, hey?” In response to someone writing that Banks should drop the “‘gorgeous’ from her narcissistic claim” (a reference to the RuPaul’s Drag Race joke Banks is imitating in the clip), Koma replied, “You’re [a] 50+ woman calling a 3-year-old a narcissist.”
Some commenters did note that they saw a pink/purple booster seat in the clip, though Koma did not directly address that in his responses. According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, any child under two must be in a rear-facing car seat until they’re either 40 lbs. or more, or 40 inches or taller.
Best practices as noted by certified car seat technician organization Car Seats for the Littles (CSFTL) are even stricter, recommending rear-facing for as long as possible — ideally until the child is around the age of four — then switching to a forward-facing harnessed car seat until the child is at least five and mature enough to ride in a booster seat. They recommend keeping a child in a booster seat as long as they fit in one, even if they’re seven, eight, or nine years old.
Duff is rarely one to shy away from addressing mommy-shamers, but as of now, she has yet to comment on the controversy.