It’s Hilary Duff vs. the mommy shamers again — but this safety issue has folks particularly upset.

The momma of three has fended off her fair share of criticism from parenting lookie-loos on social media. Of course, kids have a spectrum of strengths and vulnerabilities, so parenting is never one size fits all, and critics tend to be way too nosy for their own good. But is it possible this time they may have a point?

The controversial move in question regards a post from Molly Bernard, Hilary’s Younger co-star and godmother to her 3-year-old daughter, Banks. Molly posted a clip to Instagram of the toddler (adorably) quoting a contestant from Ru Paul’s Drag Race. But it’s not Banks’ TV viewing habits at issue here — it’s the fact that she appears to be riding in the backseat of a car without a proper car seat. Check it out below:

https://www.instagram.com/p/CYQgNTlr6c5/

A post shared by molly bernard (@bollymernard)

The comments quickly filled with concern, as followers wrote:

“No car seat? Belt strap behind her? Yikes

“Why isn’t she strapped in safely

“Child endangerment. California law requires children in a car seat or a booster depending on age/height and weight.”

“This would be the last time you were ever with my child

“Why isn’t she strapped into a 5 point harness car seat?”

Other commenters pointed out exactly what could happen to a small child not strapped in properly in a car accident — a bit too upsetting to repeat here, but you can imagine the results would be pretty gruesome.

And it’s true: California law does require a car seat appropriate to a child’s height and weight. According to the CDC, from ages two to four “Infants and toddlers should be buckled in a rear-facing car seat with a harness, in the back seat.” The CDC recommends a “forward-facing car seat until at least age 5,” and even after that in “a belt-positioning booster seat with a seat belt.” In this case, not only was Banks not in a rear-facing seat, even if she was in a booster, the belt wasn’t positioned properly over her chest (as can be seen in the video and subsequent pics).

Neither Molly nor the Lizzie McGuire star responded to the outrage, but Banks’ dad Matthew Koma was none too pleased by it. He told one critic:

“You’re the kind of person who cuts up a kid’s Apple sauce, hey?”

When another commenter suggested checking out @carseatsforthelittles “for carseat safety laws and safety recommendations,” the musician (presumably sarcastically) replied:

“you truly are a hero for speaking up.”

Yikes!

Most of us probably experienced times when we weren’t strapped into a car per the CDC’s exact recommendations (as kids or adults), and clearly, Banks emerged from this trip just fine. But those safety measures ARE in place for a reason, as many commenters pointed out, so we do hope everyone is buckling their kids in as safely as possible at every opportunity.

And if for whatever reason your kid is not buckled in correctly… you probably shouldn’t post it on Instagram. Especially if you’re a celeb. We’re not the CDC, but that’s our recommendation!

But what do U think, Perezcious readers? Are you coming down on the side of the “mommy shamers” here? Or do you agree with Matthew that people should lighten up? Let us know your thoughts in the comments (below).

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