What happens when you combine sunshine, a highly reflective mirror and a baby in a black car seat? According to mom Amanda Kenny DeAngelis, you might just see some smoke alongside that mirror.
DeAngelis, a mom of an infant daughter named Mila, shared a Facebook post on January 23 that has quickly gone viral. In the post, DeAngelis explained that she'd smelled smoke coming from the back seat of her car when she went to retrieve her daughter from her rear-facing car seat. The mom was shocked when she realized that the smell was actually coming from her daughter's car seat.
Further investigation revealed that the smell—and smoke—had come from sunlight reflecting from the baby safety mirror that DeAngelis had installed on the back of the seat. (Many parents use similar mirrors in their cars to see their child's face, especially as more infants and toddlers remain rear-facing for longer periods than they used to.) According to DeAngelis's post, she has used car seats with mirrors with all of her kids, but had never had anything like this happen.
Now, DeAngelis is claiming that her mirror gave her a little more trouble than she bargained for. DeAngelis actually posted video footage of what she claims is her daughter's car seat literally smoking from the mirror burning a hole in the fabric.
On her post, DeAngelis wrote that she shared the video and photos because it had never occurred to her that such a thing could happen with a mirror and a car seat. She also claimed that she contacted both Britax, the car seat manufacturer, and Eddie Bauer, the mirror manufacturer, to inform them of the situation. According to DeAngelis, Britax responded to her situation within 20 minutes, while Eddie Bauer has yet to respond.
That said, DeAngelis has faced a lot of skepticism on Facebook, as evidenced by the comments on her post. Some people accused the mom of incorrectly washing the car seat cover, damaging it and leading to the "burn" marks. Others claimed that the mirror on the seat was actually positioned too low and not pointed downward, so it was the incorrect placement that led to the burning action. And still others noted that the car seat straps looked as though they were too low for even a newborn, and that the baby's arm should have been right where the "burn" mark was located.
DeAngelis has faced a lot of skepticism on Facebook, as evidenced by the comments on her post.
"This is confusing to me and quite suspicious," wrote one commenter. "Not sure why the baby is this small and in this seat. The straps look awfully low for a baby that should fit in this seat. Plus the mirror is very low and angled downward. If this is to be true and happened in this short amount of time, the baby should have a burn or mark on her. Not convinced this is true."
A few other parents, however, chimed in on the comment section that they actually own the exact mirror that DeAngelis showed in the video and picture, and noted that it frequently falls down, even when installed correctly, so there's no real way to tell exactly what happened or if something like this could happen again.
DeAngelis has not yet responded to an attempt to reach out to her, but her post has remained public. She asserts that she is not looking to stir up controversy with her post, but is instead hoping to warn of a potential danger to other parents who might be using a mirror and a car seat.
"I’m not placing blame or trying to start arguments," she wrote. "Just trying to make others informed this is a possibility. Never did it occur to me it would reflect and happen so quickly. Do with this information what you will—just don’t judge!"