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#1 of 123 Old 07-26-2004, 06:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I just have to share...

I was just driving home and the car in front of me had a small child (under 1) STANDING on the center console of their car while they drove down the street. There were two people in the back supporting her, and one driver.

Ordinarily I wouldn't do much but fume, but this time I pulled alongside at a red light, honked my horn, and when they rolled their window down I proceeded to tell them that what they were doing is illegal, that her baby needs to be in a carseat, and that she was being a bad parent. All she said was "thanks" and rolled the window up and sped away.

AGH! At least I said something, and maybe they'll rethink letting their sweet little girl stand up in the car while driving through traffic.

What are some people smoking out there? I mean really???

Jen
Samantha *My mommy needs a blue light so she can drive around making sure all babies are safe in their carseats*
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#2 of 123 Old 07-26-2004, 08:22 PM
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I probably would have taken down the tag # and called the police. I've done it before. Jerky I know. But it is the law. When I called I gave them the location and direction the people were going in, and a police car was dispatched to get 'em!

Trying to do the right thing with three kids and a hubby. 
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#3 of 123 Old 07-26-2004, 08:23 PM
 
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Some people are just ridiculous.

Good for you for trying to make the driver change the situation. Bad on her for not doing it.
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#4 of 123 Old 07-26-2004, 08:33 PM
 
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i agree that is not a great idea at all but call the police??? that, i wouldn't do... don't know what their story is.. not my place, that's just my opinion, though.
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#5 of 123 Old 07-26-2004, 08:40 PM
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Sorry, I don't agree with you at all. North Americans have gotten absolutely hysterical over safety issues, to the point of being utterly ridiculous. My babies hated carseats, and when I had to choose between changing their brain chemistry by forcing them to cry while strapped down, or running the very very very small risk that we would be in an accident on the way to the grocery store in the middle of the day, I picked the smallest likely harm.

Having lived in a country where no one wears seatbelts, never mind carseats, I can tell you that accidents tend to happen under certain circumstances - avoid those circumstances, and avoid most accidents. Is there a slight risk? Sure there is. There is a slight risk to everything. North Americans act like any risk is bad, which is obviously a very paranoic way to live. There is always a risk. Evaluating that risk is part of life.

How many mothers who would never consider using CIO nevertheless strap their infants into car seats and let them scream? From the babies point of view, what is the difference? Crib or backseat of a car? With no human comfort? Letting babies cry hurts them. There's a risk in that, too.
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#6 of 123 Old 07-26-2004, 08:41 PM
 
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Would you call the police if it were obviously a drunk driver? There is no excuse for driving while intoxicated and there is also no excuse for allowing a 1 year old to stand up in the car. They are equally dangerous and calling the police is not an unacceptable course of action. I don't care what their situation is, that poor baby deserves better. Would you feel ok if you neglected to call the police and an hour later you drove by that same location and saw that car had gotten into a car accident and the baby had flown out of the car and into traffic where he/she was struck and killed? Most children who are killed in car accidents are killed because they were not properly restrained.

Good for you for saying something to her. Too bad she didn't listen.
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#7 of 123 Old 07-26-2004, 08:49 PM
 
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http://www.stlouischildrens.org/arti...ts.asp?id=3009

I don't think that reducing the risk of injury and death by 71% is minor at all.

Considering most accidents happen close to home, I don't think that "a quick trip to the store" is acceptable.

You can NOT avoid all accidents. You can't control who else is on the road with you. You can't control how much alcohol they've had in the middle of the day, or who's too busy changing CD's to see you.

A child's life is worth too much IMO to just be so blase about it.
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#8 of 123 Old 07-26-2004, 08:57 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JuniperJoy
My babies hated carseats, and when I had to choose between changing their brain chemistry by forcing them to cry while strapped down, or running the very very very small risk that we would be in an accident on the way to the grocery store in the middle of the day, I picked the smallest likely harm.


The smallest likely harm?? Avoid those circumstances?? Do you know what other people are going to do before they do it? Unless you do, you can't avoid the circumstances that lead to an accident, and if your kid's not strapped in, he's a projectile and will most likely be seriously injured or killed in a 7-10 mph accident.

Have you ever witnessed an unrestrained child be ejected from a car during a collision? Have you ever seen that child lying dead in the street? I have, and I'm telling you, the smallest likely risk of a child being injured lies in STRAPPING THEM IN!!!

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#9 of 123 Old 07-26-2004, 09:09 PM
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Nope. Never witnessed a child ejected from a car. Not after living more than five years in countries where not one single child was ever restrained.

Emotional appeals are fun, but don't represent the facts.
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#10 of 123 Old 07-26-2004, 09:10 PM
 
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I don't think that reducing the risk of injury and death by 71% is minor at all.Considering most accidents happen close to home, I don't think that "a quick trip to the store" is acceptable. You can NOT avoid all accidents. You can't control who else is on the road with you. You can't control how much alcohol they've had in the middle of the day, or who's too busy changing CD's to see you. A child's life is worth too much IMO to just be so blase about it.

ITA
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#11 of 123 Old 07-26-2004, 09:21 PM
 
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So what you're saying is that most accidents occur on long trips, at night, so your quick daytime trip to the nearby store reduces your risk of an accident? *That* does not represent the facts. I didn't resort to an "emotional appeal" to underscore facts. I said what I did because I wholeheartedly believe that if you saw what I saw, or worse yet, if you were the mother of the child I saw, you would rethink whether it's worth it to you that your kids don't cry on that short trip to the store.

Wilma
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#12 of 123 Old 07-26-2004, 09:25 PM
 
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Never witnessed a child ejected from a car.
Have you ever cared for one that has? I assure you, you would have wished you'd pick up the phone and called.


The child almost always loses in this situation, they can get a fracture from and unrestrained accident in a parking lot.

Any risk, however minute, is too large when it comes to the life a child.
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#13 of 123 Old 07-26-2004, 09:40 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JuniperJoy
How many mothers who would never consider using CIO nevertheless strap their infants into car seats and let them scream? From the babies point of view, what is the difference? Crib or backseat of a car? With no human comfort? Letting babies cry hurts them. There's a risk in that, too.
If my girls ever start crying really hard, I pull over to consol them. With dd#1, I used to sit in the back seat while dh drove and did some contortionistic bf'ing. There's unfortunately no room for me back there with dd#2.

I think if the only choices you are giving yourself are to let them cry or let them be unrestrained, then maybe you shouldn't take them anywhere.

Back to the original post . . . (Hi Jen . . . I know you from BBC. ) Good for you for having the nerve to say something!
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#14 of 123 Old 07-26-2004, 09:45 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JuniperJoy
How many mothers who would never consider using CIO nevertheless strap their infants into car seats and let them scream? From the babies point of view, what is the difference? Crib or backseat of a car? With no human comfort? Letting babies cry hurts them. There's a risk in that, too.
I think most of us try to avoid that situation, but not at the expense of driving with the child unrestrained. You can do other things...put off running errands until the other parent is home...or bring along a special CD of music your babe enjoys...or have a special toy the baby only plays with in the car seat...etc. I don't think car seats are like magic shields but it's a fact that other countries with less strict laws on traffic safety have much higher fatalities and serious injuries when accidents occur. It doesn't matter how cautious a driver you are, it only takes one other person being inattentive and reckless. You have no control over that. FWIW I have traveled all over the world and I am familiar with what cars/seat belts/roads are like in other countries. I am very grateful to have the safety features in the US that we do.
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#15 of 123 Old 07-26-2004, 10:13 PM
 
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NO ONE who was in a car accident knew even 10 seconds before the accident that it was coming. You simply can't calculate the actual factual risk, only a statistical one. I just heard on the radio last week that Germany is imposing a speed limit on the Autobahn for the first time because there have been a number of horrific accidents and the one that caused the watershed involved a mother and young child who were killed when a teenager tailgated them. I don't think this is a case of emotions being inappropriate. The woman interviewed in Germany said she was not happy to see speed limits --perceived as "American" -- but that she realized they were needed.
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#16 of 123 Old 07-26-2004, 11:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hmmmm...well I certainly didn't expect this thread to head in this direction!

for the record, my cell was dead. BUT I have a great picture (nerd that I am) of the car where you can clearly see the little girl standing in the center of the car AS WELL AS their license plate. too bad I can't do anything with it!!!
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#17 of 123 Old 07-27-2004, 12:02 AM
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Hi,

You did the right thing by saying something.

If you had NOT said something and that car had been in an accident a minute later, IMHO, you then would have had some culpability in the fate of that child.

For example, if a child was being beaten in teh apartment next door and I heard it and did NOT call the police, I believe that I am then partially responsible for it. We all have to look out for the most innocent members of our society who cannot look out for themselves.

With respect to the picture, you could always send it to the local police department. If you're nervous about the wacko-stalking factor, you could just send it anonymously.

Ciao!
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#18 of 123 Old 07-27-2004, 12:24 AM
 
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I have absolutely called the police on drunk drivers, drivers falling asleep while driving, and cars with unrestrained children, as well as people who leave their *infants* in the car while they go into Safeway and grocery shop.

Do I feel bad about that? Not even a little bit. The "it's not my business" argument leaves me feeling so sad- if the children's own parents won't advocate for their safety, someone has to. I called CPS when the developmentally disabled boy was being abused by his mother. I called three times, I called his school after CPS did nothing and he was finally moved. I'd do it again today.

And I've been in an accident (but wasn't hurt, thanks to my exdh's excellent driving and foresight) with a drunk driver. I will call *every time*.

I called the police yesterday when some kids were racing around my neighborhood at 2x the speed limit (at LEAST) on a dirt bike and I almost wiped them out when they crossed my lane to turn.

I don't call the police on a daily basis (although now this post sounds like I'm on a first name basis!), but when it's an issue of safety, I do not hesitate.

Paranoid North American and no problem with that....

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#19 of 123 Old 07-27-2004, 12:26 AM
 
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I don't know why I'm even venturing in here, but here goes . . .

I am a nut about my kids being in carseats. I have never seen a kid out of their carseat, and would be very worried if I did. I would also have said something, but I probably wouldn't have called her a bad mom. In my experience, that just makes people turn a deaf ear to what you have to say.

I also would not have called the police, because like another poster mentioned, you just don't know what their situation is, and I would hate to see my personal paranoia turn someone's life upside down. Yes, I know, an accident with an unrestrained child also turns their life upside down, but I still would not feel comfortable calling the police. I personally see a difference between a child being beaten and a child not being in a carseat. I think both are horrific, but at some point there is a line where one becomes a parental choice that I don't agree with.

I do have to say that a part of me agrees with Juniper Joy. Again, I NEVER allow my kids to be out of their carseats, and I can't tell you how many hours I have spent sitting in parking lots or on the side of the road consoling a baby, as I also never let my kids CIO in the carseat. I don't care how late I am or where I have to be. But I can see her point, because it's kind of how I feel about rear facing carseats after a year or so. I know the statistics say it's safer, but I just feel like I have to take ds's sanity and emotional health into consideration too.

I'm not in this conversation for the long haul - I am 13 days post partum and this is my first non birth/newborn/diapering post, so have some mercy. I just wanted to say that I can see where Juniper Joy is coming from.
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#20 of 123 Old 07-27-2004, 01:55 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pln
Hi,


If you had NOT said something and that car had been in an accident a minute later, IMHO, you then would have had some culpability in the fate of that child.

For example, if a child was being beaten in teh apartment next door and I heard it and did NOT call the police, I believe that I am then partially responsible for it.
T I think what you're referencing here is called depraved indifference and can be treated as a criminal action. At least that's how it works on Law and Order.
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#21 of 123 Old 07-27-2004, 03:37 AM
 
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Take the picture to the police department. They may be able to mail them a ticket, just like a picture at a stop light.


-Heather

Heather married to my highschool sweetheart 6/7/02 :cop: Mother to Dani age 14 and Timmy age 10 Nadia 1/29 :
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#22 of 123 Old 07-27-2004, 08:55 AM
 
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I'd much rather spend 45 minutes in a Turkey Hill parking lot than consider letting either of my children in the car without a carseat. We take some long trips, and Rivkah often needs to nurse at some point even if I nurse her just before we leave. I don't let either of my kids cry in the carseat, but they both know that if they're in the car and it's moving that they're going to be strapped in. My son's life has already been saved by a carseat once this year. I can't imagine driving without him strapped in, and I don't think he could, either.

Rynna, Mama to Bean (8), Boobah (6), Bella (4) and Bear (2)
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#23 of 123 Old 07-27-2004, 09:32 AM
 
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I would have called the police in a heartbeat. There is no situation in these parents lives that justifies allowing their child to stand in the car, they didn't even try to use a regular seat belt. If money is an issue, free or discounted car seats are available from your local hospitals and other resources. There is no excuse for not protecting your child. Automobile accidents are the number one cause of death and disability in children over the age of one who are improperly restrained—that's a fact.
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#24 of 123 Old 07-27-2004, 10:15 AM
 
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Originally Posted by greymama
I would have called the police in a heartbeat. There is no situation in these parents lives that justifies allowing their child to stand in the car, they didn't even try to use a regular seat belt. If money is an issue, free or discounted car seats are available from your local hospitals and other resources. There is no excuse for not protecting your child. Automobile accidents are the number one cause of death and disability in children over the age of one who are improperly restrained—that's a fact.
So, why not mention the free/reduced car seats to the mama, in a nice way, instead of instantly assuming the worst? Being snarky/mean/judgemental/involving authorities often causes people to be resentful. It doesn't change their behavior.

When I approach a parent, I always assume that they love their kids and want the best for them, and try to frame the discussion that way. To do otherwise is disrespectful, and, more importantly, unproductive. It also becomes easier to evaluate the real situation when people aren't being completely defensive. I realize that this was a seconds-long interaction, but calling someone a bad mother is almost never going to help anyone--especially the child.

How would you feel if someone called CPS because they saw you nursing your toddler, and equated it with sexual abuse? (I am not equating riding unrestrained with nursing a toddler, just pointing out that many parenting practices endorsed by MDC are considered strange and damaging by others)

A little respect, kindness, and communication between parents would do more to help children than all the calls to CPS in the world.

--Deirdre
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#25 of 123 Old 07-27-2004, 11:18 AM
 
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Well, MilkFairy, I admire your passion. I would probably WANT to say what you did, but I don't have the guts. I think I would have been sorely tempted to call the police, and I could care less what their "story" is. That child's life is worth more than whatever excuse they have for putting it at risk.

As for JJ's point, all I can say is noboby is forcing you to drive a car. If your kids are that miserable in their seats, take the darned bus. I get tired of hearing about those who "need" their cars, when millions of people in this country manage to get by without one.

IMO, it is not worth putting your child at risk: and I'm not appealing to "emotion" here either, the facts speak for themselves - the risks are tremendous, and if you spent a few weeks in an ER (like sweetbaby has) you would see the real picture. God help your conscience if anything ever happened to your children when you thought the risks were low enough. I agree with your basic message that sometimes paranoia outweighs reason...but do not think this applies to car seat safety. Countries without seatbelt laws do not have the same sort of traffic dynamics we do here in North America, so I hardly think they are comparable.

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#26 of 123 Old 07-27-2004, 11:49 AM
 
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As we are all so fond of quoting in reference to "but all my neghbor's kids are formula fed and they started on three-course steak dinners at 4 weeks old and they're perfectly healthy"...

*the plural of anecdote is not data*.

Just because I or anyone else has never witnessed a child in a car accident unrestrained doesn't mean the risk is not great and that a very simple solution should not be taken advantage of.
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#27 of 123 Old 07-27-2004, 02:53 PM
 
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I can't believe someone would be so irresposible to not put their child in a car seat (That goes for Juniper Joy too). Most accidents occur within 10 minutes of home. Don't believe it? When my daughter was 5 months and my son was 2 yrs 4 months there was a freak snow storm in April and I was in an accident 3 minutes from home. We spun around 3 times and slid down an embankment and smashed into a fence. I had severe whiplash. My babies were okay ONLY BECAUSE THEY WERE IN CAR SEATS. Can you imagine what would have happened to them if they hadn't been? They would likely have been killed. Shame on you.

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#28 of 123 Old 07-27-2004, 03:19 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JuniperJoy
Nope. Never witnessed a child ejected from a car. Not after living more than five years in countries where not one single child was ever restrained.

Emotional appeals are fun, but don't represent the facts.
I have seen a baby ejected from a car (under 1) and 1 whose parent was holding it smashed into the dash board...it is a terrible terrible thing. Had those babies been in car seats they both would be alive (the one that was smashed into the dash board was only in an accident involving 2 cars going less then 10 miles/hour each in a praking lot.) The parents in both situations were beyond consolation b/c they knew their actions had caused their babies to die. Just b/c you never saw it happen doesn't mean it doesn't. Also the fact that car seats have reduced deaths by 71% is a fact, not an emotional appeal.

jen: caring auntie to a bunch of little (and some not so little anymore) wild things. Teacher to my whackadoodle 3s (and sometimes infants)
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#29 of 123 Old 07-27-2004, 03:25 PM
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Juniper Joy - I most sincerely and fervently hope that you never ever have to eat your blase and naive words. I hope that you never have a car accident with an unrestrained child in it. But i do hope that if you do practice this reprehensible behavior that you get caught for it.

In this case, the risks are hardly 'minor'.
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#30 of 123 Old 07-27-2004, 03:41 PM
 
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[QUOTE=Mrs Dimples]

*the plural of anecdote is not data*.

QUOTE]

T But this phrase is quickly becoming my pet peve. Try using it in the vaccine forum . . . (it is also commonly used against mamas trying to refuse vitimin K shots and antibiotic eye cream because of stories thier heard or becuase of prior experiences, stories and expereinces not backed up by "scientific data") We can't pick and choose when anecdotes are and aren't valuable based on which argument has stats and science behind it; if life expereince is a valuable POV in the vaccine forum than it is valuable in other discussions also. In fact, many posters are arguing based on what they have seen and experienced - dead babies etc.

OK back to your conversation
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