To be concerned about this? WWYD?

(44 Posts)
DontputyourfingerinthejellyNel Sat 10-May-14 09:13:22

My DS is 7. He has a best friend at school who has a birthday coming up. He has been very kindly asked if he would like to go for a birthday trip out with his friend to a very large theme park.

My concerns are that his friend has a large family, and they have in the past taken my DS home for tea and taken him out in the car during that time - none of the kids in carseats. I doubt DS's high backed booster will figure in their plans tbh. They also left their DS and my DS and other kids locked in the car in an indoor carpark while they popped into a shop to collect some dinner (when they were 5).

WWYD?

EstoyAqui Sun 11-May-14 15:03:09

My DD is 6 and 135cm. It boils my piss that people comment about child car safety without knowing the facts. <I'm looking at you mum from the school gate.> angry

DontputyourfingerinthejellyNel Sun 11-May-14 14:59:39

Haha, I remember as a child my mum having a car with NO seatbelts! And my dad having a Volvo estate and the best treat of all being to sit in the 'boot'. Amazing how times change!

Never knew about all the car seat stuff. When I was seven I would have died if I had to sit in one.

DontputyourfingerinthejellyNel Sun 11-May-14 11:39:04

https://www.gov.uk/child-car-seats-the-rules/using-a-child-car-seat-or-booster-seat

For people who have older children who aren't in carseats and therefore missed the new lawssmile.

DontputyourfingerinthejellyNel Sun 11-May-14 11:28:42

And Ilovexmastime no unfortunately our seat doesn't do that (or not recommended anyway). And DS is one of the taller kids in the class but still not near 135cm last time we checked. I could check again I guess. The back of his booster is extendable and it is at the tallest setting though I believe.

DontputyourfingerinthejellyNel Sun 11-May-14 11:25:03

Thanks for all the good advice. I have texted the mum to ask for more info re: carseats and whether they have a spare one for ds (pleading ignorance) but have framed it in the sense of assuming they have them for the other kids (I know they don't). No reply yet but there are still another 2 weeks before the day. I suppose I could drive him there if needs be.

RainbowSpiral Sun 11-May-14 11:08:01

I'd let him go. With a booster seat (not the high back) which you ask HIM to use.

Theme parks are ace. He'll have a ball.

Theme parks have good lost child systems if the worst were to happen. Maybe give him the name and mobile number of the parents on a piece of paper in his back pocket. Not that you will need any of this.

Ilovexmastime Sun 11-May-14 10:15:12

It's no good, I have to ask Emsyj, would you really not take more than two kids to a theme park with you until they're 14 because you'd want to be holding their hands? Or have I read your post wrong?
Genuine question, not trying to be snarky.

Ilovexmastime Sun 11-May-14 10:04:42

I'd let him go. Can you unclip the back off your booster seat (you could with ours) and just give them the seat part?

Dramatic Sun 11-May-14 09:51:49

I would let him go but just drop his booster seat off with him. Is he definitely not over 135cm then op?

Chumhum Sun 11-May-14 09:40:01

I'd except the invitation but say that you'll drop his car seat off.

phantomnamechanger Sun 11-May-14 09:34:35

It's also been known for parents to have more than one child in a seatbelt, or kids sitting on each others laps, or kids in the boot, on the assumption that it'll be "ok JUST THIS ONCE". I have seen a 6mo baby travelling on an 8 yos knee in the front of a van.

Children (in the party/day out scenario with other parents in charge) may know this is wrong but feel unable to challenge the adult who is responsible for them, and assume their parents have consented to this when they don't even know.

Never assume other people care about safety in the same way you do. I have to know people very well for my DC to travel in their car. I have been called precious and all sorts on here for saying we would not send DD to a school choir event in the winter which involved an hour each way in the rush hour on the motorway in the dark in wet weather, driven by a volunteer parent. DH took time off work and drove her himself. I have seen the way some people drive with their own DC in the car on the school run, frankly inconsiderate and dangerous! If they are like that with their own kids, why assume they will be more careful with yours? And that's without the issue of car maintenance either. I know people who openly admit to knowing their tyres are illegal but carry on driving because they cannot afford to get new ones for another few months!

redskyatnight Sat 10-May-14 21:12:47

I'd bring a booster round when they go - that way it's in their car anyway. TBH I'd always check about car seats anyway - you can't assume people will have spares.

Probably a sweeping stereotype, but i've noticed that parents whose DCs are too old/big for car seats tend to forget about them. Our neighbour regularly takes 8 year old DD to school and I've now reminded DD to remind her she should be in a car set (her own children are much taller). And tbh we took DS's friend out in the car today and I never even thought about car seats (fairly sure child didn't need one as he was the same height as my DS who doesn't, but it was more that I realised I hadn't even thought about if he did or not!)

Rowgtfc72 Sat 10-May-14 20:49:39

Dd is 7 and 135 cm. She fits the seatbelt nicely without a booster but only because she has a long back.If her legs and back were in proportion the seatbelt would be round her neck.

ThatsAStupidUsername Sat 10-May-14 14:29:47

We used to live in a country (South Africa) where drink driving was really common and seat belts were often not used even when. They were available. I used to be upfront with other parents and there never seemed to be a problem. I didn't tell them what to do with their kids or give them lectures but I simply told them my kids were not allowed in cars if people had been drinking.
I also told my kids they had to refuse to get in a car if it wasn't safe and that I would come and get them if need be. They had phones so could call me if need be.
I only had one issue I knew about when my DD phoned me and we decided she 'felt sick with a headache' and that I would pick her up earlier. The parents (both doctors) were really drunk confused
Even at 7 your DS might be able to ask to use a booster seat.

PoirotsMoustache Sat 10-May-14 14:03:20

Car seats/boosters are there to make the child tall enough for the seatbelt to work properly. If a child is under 135cm and the car stops suddenly, the seatbelt can cause major damage to their neck/throat or even slip over their head if they're not in a booster seat. So yes, it's unsafe - that's why it's illegal!

My 12yo DS is not quite 135cm tall, he's happy to use a booster seat as it makes the seatbelt more comfortable.
He does not get dropped off at secondary school with a booster seat though, he walks to school!

phantomnamechanger Sat 10-May-14 13:58:34

Just because it's illegal not to wear a car seat doesn't mean it's unsafe

^ hmm so what do you think we have them for then, it's not just for a better view out the windows you know! it's not unsafe as in bound to result in death, but it is statistically less safe

I agree with the posters saying that families who are lax with their own kids safety re: car seats are not the ones I would let me DC go on a day trip with.

DD was invited to a theme park 2 hours away. I know the mum, DD has been to their house, but they were taking 2 cars full of excited Y5s 2 hours on the motorway, and it was going to be a long long day. I was not happy with the idea so DD did not go, and understood why.

well grin and bear it and provide a booster, if they dont have one that there is their look out, and to their shame if you like.

FraidyCat Sat 10-May-14 13:07:42

Just because it's illegal not to wear a car seat doesn't mean it's unsafe.

DontputyourfingerinthejellyNel Sat 10-May-14 11:27:26

Thanks for all of the great responses. I think my main concern is more as NewName points out - that they have been lax in the past so I do worry. But DS knows about this offer and will be upset and want reasons if I say no. They wouldn't believe he is clingy because he really isn't. But he was deeply concerned about the carseat issue because he's been told he still needs one.

I think I will possibly worry about him all day if he does go. I can buy and lend a booster but it's a bit awkward if none of the other kids have one! confused

Will have a think.

ikeaismylocal Sat 10-May-14 11:03:35

I would think a theme park is a good place to get lost, it's enclosed and there are loudspeakers for announcements. The only place I could think would be better would be an airport.

At 7 I think a child is old enough to know to stay with the group, it's not like he's a toddler.

bumbleymummy Sat 10-May-14 10:41:05

I agree with Newname and easy. Can you go along too?

emsyj Sat 10-May-14 10:38:41

Agree totally with NewName. I am taking DD1 to a theme park as a birthday treat soon - but will leave DD2 with grandparents and am going with one other parent and one other child. I would not personally take more kids than I could hold hands with to a theme park unless they were about 14 and could cope with getting lost. I wouldn't allow DD1 to go to a theme park with another family unless I trusted them 101%.

NewNameForSpring Sat 10-May-14 10:21:00

I gathered from the OP that if the family is lax with things like car seats then they will be lax generally.

Personally I would never let my 7 year old go to a large theme park with anyone else as I just wouldn't trust them to keep an eye on my child the whole time. Which is what I would do. A large theme park would be a scary place for a lost 7 year old.

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