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Thread: Car seat issues

  1. #1

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    Default Car seat issues

    Moral quandary here...

    Car seat issues. You see a friend putting their children into an obviously unsafe car seats. I'm not talking forward facing v rear facing, I'm talking serious safety issues. Loose twisted straps, car seats too big or small for the child, using blankets and pillows that would cause issues in a crash. Things that even the manufacturers recommended against, and things that would probably get them in a lot of trouble if they were pulled over by the police and the car seats scrutinised.



    Do you say something? What if you didn't see them in real time, but you saw pictures of the children in the car seats that were totally unsafe? In real time would be easier, as I'd probably jump in the back and subtley say "here lets fix those straps, don't you hate it when they twist/come loose etc" but pictures are harder because you have to be a lot more direct...
    I should mention it's a friend that I only 'talk to' and 'see' on Facebook ... Not a friend I see IRL as we live too far away from each other... An even stickier situation...

    I don't want to offend but I also think to myself, what if the person doesn't know that it is unsafe? And then they had an accident, and the children were injured, or worse, and I didn't say anything? I'd feel somewhat responsible for not making sure that they were at least informed about car safety, so they could make informed decisions about which car seats to use and how to use their car seats.

    My next question, if I do say something... HOW? How do I say this without offending? I think they are the type of person to be easily offending, and probably take it as an attack on their parenting, and since they have been a parent much longer than me I'm sure I'll get the "well I've been using it like since since x was born and my kids are fine..." or "I think I know how to use a car seat/be a parent" (when they clearly don't... know how to use a car seat that is).

    It's been on my mind for weeks, and I can't stop thinking about it. I don't think I can stand not saying anything, not because I want to be a nosey *****, but because I just keep thinking "if something happens, I haven't said anything, what if those children get hurt?". I feel responsible because I *know* it's an issue, and it's not just an issue in my mind under my own judgements and views, it's a serious safety and legal issue...
    Last edited by Indadhanu; December 27th, 2010 at 08:32 AM. Reason: ETA to add it's a FB friend

  2. #2

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    Hun I had a similar issue a while ago but it was a relative of a friend telling us about it. They had their then nearly 3 year old in a booster. No 5 point harness because she was "so advanced" and a big girl. My friends were saying that they knew it was wrong but didn't feel that they could say anything, I suggested that they got a brochure from VicRoads on the new laws and give it to them as a sort of "oh we didn't know XYZ check this out we thought you might like to know". Anyhoo babbling on now, but if I was you I would mention it somehow and if they then turn around and refuse to do anything to fix it your conscious is clear you know? They might say oh "we know what to do" but then might think about it next time they put the kids in and tighten and straighten the straps. How? to do it, mmm Im not sure because Im loud and vocal about this stuff but you also don't want to ruin a friendship over it. Maybe a "not sure if you guys have realised because you are so busy but the seat for xyz seems a little unsafe ???" Not sure I have been much help, tricky one but like I said I would feel like I would have to say something.

  3. #3

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    Default

    Yep I would say something. If they were in an accident and something happened to that child I would never forgive myself for not addressing it. I'm sure you would approach it as tactfully as possible and be informative, not accusative (is that a word?? lol!). Just let them know you noticed in a photo (or whatever) and you just wanted to let them know.
    TBH, if they got offended because you're worried about their child and at your suggesting they do something safer for their child than they are doing, then maybe they're not such great friends anyway??

  4. #4

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    I had this issue with my sister just a couple of days ago. My nephew is a large 5yr old and she is still putting him in a carseat designed for babies. He is way too big for it and the straps have to be so loose just to fit over his shoulders. It is just plain dangerous.

    In my case I said to her "wow Beau is getting so big that seat is way too small for him now, it's dangerous". I then said that he should be in a big car seat or a booster seat and got talking to her about the new laws. I offered her one of the booster seats I keep at mums (still not sure if she took it though) and when I saw her a couple of days later on christmas eve, I gave her and mum some brochures on the new laws (my parents had been asking about the new laws too). If I had of known about my nephews car seat situation sooner, I would have bought him a new booster for christmas. As it is I am going to be keeping an eye out for when the boosters are on sale again and pick one up for him as a present. (she will be more likely to use it if I can present a 'new' one as a present, rather then just giving her one of my old ones.) Truthfully I am surprised she reacted as well as she did: she has still too actually act on the infor I have given her, but I was expecting her to completely shoot me down, instead she actually seemed to listen and I know she read the brochure.

  5. #5

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    Hmm. Well, it seems she knows how to use a care seat, and she knows the new laws about car seats, she just doesn't have the money to upgrade the seats to comply with the new laws, which is really sad. Dunno what to say to that... I'd like to think of myself as an open-minded non-judging person, but all I can think is... Car seats can be expensive, but then how much is your child worth?

  6. #6

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    Leasha, that's why I think these new laws were a little bit bull**** in a way because people like your friend would find it a massive financial strain to get all their kids new seats, especially if they have all their kids still in car seats. I think there should have been a transition period or even funding for those on low incomes to make sure that they could all get new seats.

  7. #7

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    Yeah, I definitely agree and can understand where she's coming from. Maybe they should have had a transitional period. But then I guess I also think... even without the new laws, what she's doing is not safe... but then I guess that *is* my own standards and ideas coming through.

  8. #8

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    Where is she and what does she need? Maybe someone on here has a spare or an outgrown seat they can pass on? I know I have a safe n sound convertible in my garage my sil has given me a few and I've passed the others on ( she has twins who are now in boosters and two cars)

  9. #9

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    I had this issue with my bestie when our boys were babies. I ended up saying to her that i needed to tell her about car seat safety for my own piece of mind, cause I couldnt live with myself if i said nothing and then her son died in an accident. She appreciated my concern, but didnt change the car seat at all.

  10. #10

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    Maybe you could suggest to her to layby one from kmart or BigW etc... You can get them quite inexpensive or you can spend a fortune on a top brand from a baby shop with all the bells and whistles. Our new seat cost a small fortune, but I'm sure the arm rests, cup holders and fancy schmancy fabric don't make it any safer than a kmart one, LOL.
    Even if it takes your friend a few weeks to pay it off that's a lot better than not getting a new one at all.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trillian View Post
    Leasha, that's why I think these new laws were a little bit bull**** in a way because people like your friend would find it a massive financial strain to get all their kids new seats, especially if they have all their kids still in car seats. I think there should have been a transition period or even funding for those on low incomes to make sure that they could all get new seats.
    Agree.
    I think sometimes instead of the baby bonus the gov should supply car seats etc... Even the car seat and take it out of the baby bonus.

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