or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Natural Living › Family Safety › What Would You Do If You Knew A Parent Was Not Using A Car Seat?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

What Would You Do If You Knew A Parent Was Not Using A Car Seat? - Page 3

post #41 of 65

They aren't you children and you can't really tell them how to parent. Just as if they smoking around their children.

In a situation like this I would ask a police officer to come by to host a little seminar on how to properly install carseats and the list the carseat laws and regulations in your state/province. If you can rally a few friends to join you then invite said parents to attend. Hopefully they will pick up on the point or learn something they didn't know

post #42 of 65

You cannot keep their children from them at the end of the day - that is illegal.  You can call the police and report it - but I would talk to them first,

 

Oh and I am a Canadian CPST and a home daycare provider.  I have tried talking to parents - it almost never works - but you have to try - and again - I am a tech.  If It's booster use - I just buy them a seat - my own money,  If I encounter another child seat issue in the future, I would buy a seat for them, and tell them I will be adding $10 to their bill each month until it is paid.  I tell them it's my issue - I cannot see a child improperly restrained.

post #43 of 65

Since you're friends with them, you could also send them an email with crash videos and some statistics stating that most accidents happen near home.  Say something like, "Oh my gosh!  Someone just sent me this, it's so scary!"  Something along those lines.  That way it's non-confrontational and you're just passing info along.  They won't feel judged or put on the spot. 

post #44 of 65

I don't know what the laws in Canada are regarding your liability on this. I'm a licensed daycare provider in the US. Because of that I'm a mandated reporter for neglect and/or abuse. So, if I knowingly let a child leave my home in an unsafe situation and do nothing I could be held liable. That being said, I'm not allowed to refuse to give someone their child at pick up. That's not legal either. However, if someone chooses to pick up their child and is behaving in a manner that would make their children unsafe, I would be required to contact police and/or child protection services. Let me be clear. This doesn't mean that I would say nothing and then just call the police or child protection services on them. I would talk with them about my concern for their child's safety. I also hate confrontation and there's nothing less fun than having to bring up issues like these with parents, but I personally believe that our job as childcare providers is to work with parents for what is best for the children. This doesn't mean telling them what to do as parents, but it does mean making strong suggestions when needed. I would explain that this is unsafe behavior, why it's unsafe, what could happen to a child not properly restrained in an accident, as well as my policy on such behavior. If you don't have a policy, this may be the time to develop one. Personally for me, if this behavior continued it would be grounds for termination from my care. This is not just about my liability as a mandated reporter. If a parent got into a car accident a block from my house and a child was seriously injured or killed due to lack of proper car seat, I could never live with myself if I had just kept quiet.

post #45 of 65

 

This is not a parenting issue; this isn't a decision about breastfeeding vs. bottle feeding, or co-sleeping vs. hardcore CIO.  This is a human rights issue, because anybody who puts a child in a car without an appropriate car seat is risking that child's life.  It is illegal, and parents do not have the legal or moral right to make that choice, just like they don't have the right to choose to beat their child or molest them.  Not using a car seat is potentially a bigger deal than either of those (yes, bigger than physical or sexual abuse), because the child could die.  Dead, forever, in the ground, gone.
 
I would tell them to either come up with a legal solution or I would call the police to report it as soon as they left the house.  And I would follow through.
post #46 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by andsensibility View Post

 

This is not a parenting issue; this isn't a decision about breastfeeding vs. bottle feeding, or co-sleeping vs. hardcore CIO.  This is a human rights issue, because anybody who puts a child in a car without an appropriate car seat is risking that child's life.  It is illegal, and parents do not have the legal or moral right to make that choice, just like they don't have the right to choose to beat their child or molest them.  Not using a car seat is potentially a bigger deal than either of those (yes, bigger than physical or sexual abuse), because the child could die.  Dead, forever, in the ground, gone.
 
I would tell them to either come up with a legal solution or I would call the police to report it as soon as they left the house.  And I would follow through.


 

Sorry but this just makes me laugh. Car seat use is a human rights issue?

 

Let's forget about people unjustly imprisoned and those who live without adequate food or clean water since there are monsters out there who are driving a couple blocks without car seats! Give me a break.

 

Parents DO have the right to choose. Parents have the right to choose to feed their child formula even though it's been proven to not be nearly as healthy as breastmilk. Parents can choose to leave their children in the care of drug addicts or molesters if they so choose. Parents can choose to cosleep even if others feel it is very unsafe. Parents have the right to choose not to vaccinate their children. 

 

I think it's very similar to the vaccine issue. If a parents does vaccinate their child that child could be killed or seriously injured by it. If a parent chooses not to vaccinate their child that child could be killed or seriously injured. If a child is in a car seat they might be more likely to survive an accident. If a child is not in a car seat they might be more likely to survive a different type of accident. I was friends with a guy in high school who never wore a seatbelt then someone hit his car and it rolled several times. He slid right out the window and was unharmed but if he had been wearing a seatbelt he would not have survived. This is an extreme example but it proves that what is 'safe' might not always be. 

 

I'm very concerned with the government making decisions like these for parents. The parent has the right to make choices for their child. What's next? Maybe it should be illegal to smoke in the presence of children? Illegal to breastfeed past a certain age? Illegal to feed your children non-organic food? Illegal to homeschool? Where does it end? Why not leave parents to care for their own children and you take care of your own?

post #47 of 65

I would first ask them to please use a proper car seat for each child, and if they didn't, I would call the police.

 

I don't think it's harsh. A 1 year old baby in our community was just killed last week when his family was in a car accident. No one in the car was wearing a seat belt, and they were all injured (a mom, her mother, and a 7 year old girl.) The baby was properly strapped into a car seat, but it wasn't buckled into the car, and he was ejected from the vehicle. He spent two days in intensive care with severe head injuries before his parents finally had to make the choice to take him off of life support.

 

I would never be able to live with myself if my inaction caused the death of a child.

post #48 of 65
Quote:

 

I think it's very similar to the vaccine issue. If a parents does vaccinate their child that child could be killed or seriously injured by it. If a parent chooses not to vaccinate their child that child could be killed or seriously injured. If a child is in a car seat they might be more likely to survive an accident. If a child is not in a car seat they might be more likely to survive a different type of accident.  

 

I'm very concerned with the government making decisions like these for parents. The parent has the right to make choices for their child. What's next? Maybe it should be illegal to smoke in the presence of children? Illegal to breastfeed past a certain age? Illegal to feed your children non-organic food? Illegal to homeschool? Where does it end? Why not leave parents to care for their own children and you take care of your own?

 

IMO, it's nothing like the vaccine "issue."  I choose not to vaccinate, because I believe that vaccines pose risks to my child's health and safety.  I'd rather take the risk of him being exposed to a disease he's not artificially immune to.  There is a risk to vaccinating and a risk to not vaccinating.  It's a parent's absolute right to decide which risks to take on, since no side is risk-free.  In comparison, there is NO risk to using a car seat properly, and the risk of death or severe, life-long injury if a child is not appropriately restrained.  No one chooses not to use a car seat because they have legitimate concerns about the risks of proper car seat use.  It is absolutely not true that a child might be safer unrestrained in a certain type of accident.  Sorry.

 

In your opinion, when IS it ok for the government to step in to advocate for a child?  Or, is it all or nothing in your opinion?  The laws should not prohibit putting a child's life at risk by letting him ride in a car unrestrained, apparently.  Should they also not step in if a child's life is at risk because of other parental choices?  Neglect, for instance?  Leaving a young child alone for the day while the parent works?  Withholding food?  It's a bit of a stretch to say that, because laws regulate car seat usage, a law prohibiting potato chips and extended nursing is just around the corner.

post #49 of 65



I was thinking something along these lines...

 

I might even go so far as to ask the local police/fire dpt to come to the daycare at pickup time one day to do a special demonstration on car seat safety. I'd just casually mention to the dpt that as a daycare provider I see all sorts of different ways of carseats being installed/used and wanted to further education on the issue b/c I know it's a big safety concern.  Then I'd advertise to the parents that at such and such time/day this carseat safety event would be taking place. Of course that would only work if all parents pick up at the same time.

 

Another idea is to teach about car safety to the children. But then that would really only work with the older ones, say 3-4 yrs or so....

I would definitely say something, but would def NOT report it. Most people when reported will get revenge by in turn reporting you. I would however say something to the other parent if the first parent does not remedy the situation. I would want to know if someone was not putting my kid in a proper seat, and there are some otherwise wonderful parents out there who just don't think much of seatbelts. Is it statistically likely that anything will happen? No! But god forbid something did happen, I'd want to knwo that I had done all that I could to educate on the issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by asraidevin View Post

I would get a car seat brochure from your local public health and mention it casually that you've been reading up on how dangerous it is etc., that you didn't know before and offer the brochure or say you got one for all the kids and it's in their bag or something. If they know you've noticed, they might be inclined to change.



 

post #50 of 65

 

I consider life to be a fundamental human right, yes.

 

I'm not too clear on the car-seat-slippery-slope argument; the government already has intervened.  Seat belt laws have been in place since the 1980s, and I haven't seen any Big Brother posters floating around yet.  Regardless of whether or not you think the government should say something about this issue, the fact is that they have.  It is illegal to carry a child without a car seat.  It's perfectly appropriate to call in law enforcement to enforce this.  Governments exist to protect the rights of their citizens, especially the vulnerable.  When somebody is putting a child's life at risk, the government has an obligation to step in to protect that tiny citizen -- even from its own parents.

 

I appreciate that when people do this, they don't think the risk is too great, they think they're safe drivers, that they're in a safe area, that they're only going a few blocks.  I realise that parents do run a quick mental risk assessment before putting a child unrestrained into the car, and that it doesn't seem that risky.  That's normal, and it's something they have in common with the parents of the ~1,300 children who died in motor accidents last year and the ~184,000 who were injured (statistics extrapolated from 2005 stats).  If it seemed risky, nobody would do it.  But it seems safe, so they forge ahead, and sometimes children die because of it.

 

I think part of the problem is the fact that we're so used to cars.  We spend so much time in them and around them that we have to build up pretty sturdy layers of delusion regarding the phenomenal physical forces involved.  If a car crashes while going 40 mph, an unrestrained person inside the car would hit the (windscreen, seat, whatever) with the same force as if they'd fallen from a five-story building. And that's if the car collides with a stationary object – if they hit another car head-on, which is perfectly possible in any area with two-way traffic, the forces are much, much greater.

 

40 mph isn't that fast.  In residential areas, speed limits are generally around 25-35 mph.  Even if we knock a few stories off to account for a lower speed, you're still going to hit hard.  Would you dangle your child out of a second-story window?  Third-story?

 

Of course you wouldn't.  You love your child and don't want them to be grievously injured or killed.  But letting them go without a child restraint is exactly the same thing.

post #51 of 65

 

Quote:
Why not leave parents to care for their own children and you take care of your own? 

 

Because many many parents don't take care of their children, harm their children, and sometimes kill their children. Absolute freedom is impossible-there are too many competing individual rights for society to flow smoothly without some laws protecting the weak and disadvantaged among us.

 

Vaccines aren't even close to the same thing as car seat requirements. As a PP said, there is a valid risk to benefit ratio when it comes to vaccines. Not so with car seats.

 

 

post #52 of 65

I would mind my own business. 

post #53 of 65

I would say this:

 

"I'm feeling pretty uncomfortable about something, and I need to get it off my chest.  I noticed that not all the kids are in carseats when they leave here, and I just wanted to say that I would feel better if they were in proper carseats.  I'm not sure if you know the nitty gritty details, but a child is required to be properly restrained in a carseat until ______."

 

Them:  "Oh, yes, of course.  But we're just going a couple of blocks."

 

Me:  "I realize that, but as a daycare provider, I have to be sure that my kids are going to get home safe.  Are you able to get another carseat, or do you want one of mine?"

 

Them:  "Oh, that's not necessary.  I'm a good driver.  LIke I said, it's just a couple of blocks."

 

Me:  "It's not a choice, really. It's the law.  If anyone saw you driving them while not restrained, they could call the police."

 

Them:  "Oh.  Yeah.  Well, it'd be better if you'd mind your own business."

 

Me:  "I'm doing exactly that.  I'm going to revise the childcare contract to require anyone picking up any of the kids to have a properly installed carseats for each child.  Are you going to be able to do that?  If not, we'll need to talk about you finding another childcare provider."

 

Or something along those lines.

 

 

And if it were a stranger, I'd call 911.  I have done, and I've seen the cops come and ticket them.  They take it seriously.  As would any sane person.  I'm a paramedic, and I've been to calls where the children were lying dead or dying in the middle of the highway because they'd been ejected from the vehicle because they weren't properly restrained.  I've also seen a small child nearly cut in two from being restrained by just a lap belt.  This isn't a 'parenting style' issue.  It's a life and death safety issue. 

post #54 of 65

i like the idea of doing a "safety" day for the kids and send home some info including stuff on carseats.

i would NOT call 911 or the police.

i would even guess the parents know that parent A has no car seats and is ok with it.

i do have to say i am always amazed at how quickly people will call the police and report someone for doing something they think is most important. to me there is something to the point of parents choosing what is best for their families. do i want someone to call 911 or CPS on me because i unschool or co-sleep or i don't vax? where do we draw the line? and when you say this is OK to report when does it stop? only when it is something you don't care about?

post #55 of 65


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by andsensibility View Post

 

This is not a parenting issue; this isn't a decision about breastfeeding vs. bottle feeding, or co-sleeping vs. hardcore CIO.  This is a human rights issue, because anybody who puts a child in a car without an appropriate car seat is risking that child's life.  It is illegal, and parents do not have the legal or moral right to make that choice, just like they don't have the right to choose to beat their child or molest them.  Not using a car seat is potentially a bigger deal than either of those (yes, bigger than physical or sexual abuse), because the child could die.  Dead, forever, in the ground, gone.
 
I would tell them to either come up with a legal solution or I would call the police to report it as soon as they left the house.  And I would follow through.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by elus0814 View Post

 

Sorry but this just makes me laugh. Car seat use is a human rights issue?

 

Let's forget about people unjustly imprisoned and those who live without adequate food or clean water since there are monsters out there who are driving a couple blocks without car seats! Give me a break.

 

Parents DO have the right to choose. Parents have the right to choose to feed their child formula even though it's been proven to not be nearly as healthy as breastmilk. Parents can choose to leave their children in the care of drug addicts or molesters if they so choose. Parents can choose to cosleep even if others feel it is very unsafe. Parents have the right to choose not to vaccinate their children. 

 

I think it's very similar to the vaccine issue. If a parents does vaccinate their child that child could be killed or seriously injured by it. If a parent chooses not to vaccinate their child that child could be killed or seriously injured. If a child is in a car seat they might be more likely to survive an accident. If a child is not in a car seat they might be more likely to survive a different type of accident. I was friends with a guy in high school who never wore a seatbelt then someone hit his car and it rolled several times. He slid right out the window and was unharmed but if he had been wearing a seatbelt he would not have survived. This is an extreme example but it proves that what is 'safe' might not always be. 

 

I'm very concerned with the government making decisions like these for parents. The parent has the right to make choices for their child. What's next? Maybe it should be illegal to smoke in the presence of children? Illegal to breastfeed past a certain age? Illegal to feed your children non-organic food? Illegal to homeschool? Where does it end? Why not leave parents to care for their own children and you take care of your own?

 

I have to agree with andsensibility. I'm actually shocked at how many responses are saying "just mind your own business" or that it doesn't matter. The BIG difference between carseats and something like the vaccine issue is when you're choosing to vaccinate or not there are PROS AND CONS TO EACH SIDE of the issue. I can't think of any major CONS of using a carseat! It's inconvenient and possible expensive at worst, but there are many options if pricing is an issue, but all those pale in the face of the big glaring fact that if you're in an accident with a child they are very likely to be seriously injured or die. Doesn't anyone remember watching the Red Asphalt movies from the seventies before carseats and seatbelts were the law? 

 

elus0814 points out that there are times when being properly restrained may actually hurt you more ... there will always be miraculous stories of survival, even when the person wasn't doing things "right" (ie: wearing a seatbelt), but the PREVENTABLE injury and death resulting from people not using carseats or wearing seat belts will always outnumber those miracles. 

 

My mom and grandma were involved in a car accident this past December. My DS and I should have been in the car with them, but we had taken a special trip that day. If we had been in that car and DS had not been in a carseat, if anyone in that car had not been wearing their seatbelt, they would have died. My grandmother is notorious for never buckling up, but she did that day and it saved her life. Carseats and seatbelts save many more lives than not, and it's totally irresponsible for parents to not take every precaution with their kids.

 

As for OP's original point- I would first make sure all parents of all kids involved know what is going on (I would be FURIOUS if I found out my friend wasn't putting my kids in a carseat); and check your local laws. I think a gentle yet informative approach would be better than calling 911 (or Canadian equivalent), I like the idea of a "safety day" as other pp's have mentioned.

 

www.thecarseatlady.com has a whole page of info for care providers (http://www.thecarseatlady.com/for_pediatricians_and_cps_professionals/for_pediatricians_and_cps_professionals.html), so if you need fodder for handouts I'm sure you can find it there, and I believe they have info for Canadian laws as well as USA. She also has a page about taxis, I read it while researching a possible trip to NYC, where it is legal for kids to ride in taxi's without carseats; I think it has good info about what happens in accidents while kids are being held in arms or by baby carriers.

 

ETA: I also want to add, I commute about 100 miles a day (roundtrip) on Los Angeles freeways ... no driver thinks they will ever get in an accident, everyone wants to think that they are a good driver, and safe, but you absolutely can not control what all the other idiots on the road are doing. I have seen some very scary drivers on the road, and those are going to be the people who are crashing into you while you can do nothing about it. Ugh, I'm so disturbed by this. A few blocks? It doesn't matter. Protect your kids!!

 


Edited by HeckedyPeg - 3/8/11 at 1:04am
post #56 of 65

I think it is not exactly a human rights issue, but it IS a legal issue. OP's first step will have to be to find out what the recommended course of action is for childcare providers in her province, so as to minimize her liability.

post #57 of 65

If the kid is big enough to be belted into an adult seatbelt and the parents are using the adult seatbelt, I would mind my own business.

 

Car seats don't improve safety much, if at all, for kids older than two.

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/10/magazine/10FREAK.html?ex=1189915200&en=641c83d4b0668293&ei=5070

post #58 of 65


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RiverTam View Post

If the kid is big enough to be belted into an adult seatbelt and the parents are using the adult seatbelt, I would mind my own business.

 

Car seats don't improve safety much, if at all, for kids older than two.

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/10/magazine/10FREAK.html?ex=1189915200&en=641c83d4b0668293&ei=5070



That has been debunked by car seat experts many times over.  

 

 

post #59 of 65

What an_aurora said. 

 

Truly, I thought we were past that part of the debate. 

post #60 of 65

we had this discussion on another mom forum im on and i was really curious to see what you ladies would say. I am assuming the person has carseats appropriate for their own children but you said they pick up kids who are not their own. a lot of families dont have enough room in their vehicle for 3 or more carseats (we dont!) and it is tough to transfer seats anyway sometimes (my husband has to do it here) so im assuming they dont ride around like that all the time, just going from your house to the other houses in the nieghborhood. i dont think its a big deal if its neighborhood driving. if they have to cross a busy street or drive down a busy street a while ill be really concerned about getting hit by another fast moving car. in a neighborhood going 10-20 mph without traffic, i really wouldnt worry about it. besides, you have 3 parents who are ok with this. you are the only one who's not. in this case, (and imo) its really their business! If you want to bring it up, id do it lightheartedly, in a nice way, but show your surprise, like say "oh my! (smile smile) are they OK riding without carseats? i guess you dont have far to go... you sure its safe? (smile)" and then mention what you might be concerned about like- "people can drive really fast through here...." i would definitely not call the cops or imply that they should be in trouble for breaking the law. that will definitely rub them the wrong way and seems too extreme. 

 

OK! I just wrote this after reading the first few responses, looks like i missed a lot! still reading.... :)

 

after reading most of the responses.... good point to find out if you have any liability as the child care provider to make sure they leave your house in a proper carseat. if you are, id have no problem just saying "i by law have to make sure everyone leaves properly restrained, and i see yours are not, ill be happy to provide you with information on it if you arent sure what is required..." etc. but a human rights issue worse than abuse? hmmm. all i have to say is that if you abuse a child you are doing it intentionally and you are actually causing harm. if you put a child at risk you are doing just that, putting a child at risk. that to me is NOT the same or as bad as actually harming a child and doing it intentionally.  


Edited by 2doves - 3/9/11 at 3:35pm
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Family Safety
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Natural Living › Family Safety › What Would You Do If You Knew A Parent Was Not Using A Car Seat?