I take care of several children in my home during the week. Three of the families all are friend/neighbors, and their kids are all 2 years old.
On occassion one of the parents will come and pick up all 3 children. I have witnessed them putting a 2 year old into a booster seat that is designed for a child who is over 40 lbs (they are all 2....and under 30lbs). I have seen them put a child just on the seat with seatbelt, and I have seen them put a child in the front seat with just a seatbelt. I have also seen them put their kids into the proper car seats but one of the car seats has expired. I know this because I borrowed it one day to take the kids on an outing.
They only have a few blocks to drive to go home, but I also know that accidents can happen anywhere and often happen just a few blocks from home. The parents also may be thinking they are safe because they are in a big truck (they all drive 1/2 - 3/4 tonne trucks).
I'm not sure how to approach this issue or if I even should. I don't believe they are putting their child "at risk" anymore than any other parent who drives with their child, but I do recognize that they are at an "increased risk" than a child who is fastened correctly in a car seat (and I also recognize that the majority of people don't have their car seats installed correctly, nor do they strap their kids in correctly). I'm also a pretty firm believer that parents need to be responsible for their children and having the government step in with all kinds of rules and regulations is just taking responsibility from people and making people generally more irresponsible because we are increasingly expecting organizations and governments and institutions to protect us and make our decisions. (rant rant rant). We all grew up crawling around our parents station wagons and doing sommersaults in the back seat while they were driving. My brother even had a "car seat" that they used to refer to as a "suicide bucket".
Anyways, I'm just wondering how others feel and what you would do in my situation. I really hate confrontation and don't want to be telling these parents how to be a parent. Their children are loved deeply, the parents are very affluent and I'm not worried about neglect or abuse.
Oh yeah...I'm in Canada if that makes a difference.