to have insisted that DH took the kids on the bus rather than accepted a lift without proper carseats?

(176 Posts)
BreastmilkNewYearLatte Sun 20-Jan-13 18:17:14

It's an icy evening, and only the main roads around us are gritted. There has already been one car accident in our street today. DH took the kids (DS 18mo and DD 3.4) out on the bus for the afternoon and has just rung to tell me that one of his friends has offered the three of them a lift home. His friend has a car seat for DS but not DD. I said that I really wasn't comfortable with DD not having a car seat and have asked DH to take the bus. DH says the kids are cold and hungry and that the bus will take over an hour - but has grudgingly agreed to take the bus. I don't know whether he's genuinely intending to (TBH I wouldn't put it past him to get his friend to drive him to the bus stop) but either way he will return him very angry.. he's insisting IABU because he has been looking after the kids alone for a fortnight whilst I've been off work with anxiety.

I'm not starting to doubt myself - am I overreacting to this? AIBU to have insisted they take the bus?

GinandJag Sun 20-Jan-13 18:19:32

I don't think a bus without car seats is any better than a car without car seats. A shorter time on the road will reduce the risk.

I'm quite cautious generally but I'd have taken the lift, I think YABU, sorry.

MrsKeithRichards Sun 20-Jan-13 18:20:26

Personally seeing as your dd is the age she is I would have accepted the lift.

ddubsgirl Sun 20-Jan-13 18:20:46

Bus with no seat belts vs car with no car seat but has belts hmm

I agree - there are no car seats on a bus anyway. Ring him back and tell him to take a lift. Getting cold is a risk to your dc too. I assume that the friend will drive appropriately and it's a short distance?

Are you getting some help with your anxiety?

tittytittyhanghang Sun 20-Jan-13 18:21:13

Idk, in the event of an accident are they any safer on a bus without carseats than in a car? Tbh id have probably accepted the lift seeing as she had a carseat for the toddler.

LadyBeagleEyes Sun 20-Jan-13 18:22:09

I'd have taken the lift.
One kid in car seat, one on his knee with seatbelt on.

LadyMargolotta Sun 20-Jan-13 18:22:25

I'm surprised your dh rang and asked your permission? My dh would have made the decision himself.

I don't think a bus journey with two cold hungry children at this time of the evening would have been much fun. And I don't see how it would be safer then the car, although I think legally you need a car seat.

frasersmummy Sun 20-Jan-13 18:22:31

I would say yes you are over-reacting .. the law allows you to travel on a one off journey eg taxi/lift without a car seat

Why is the bus which has no restraints safer than friends car which presumably has seat belts??

so yes yabu

SizzleSazz Sun 20-Jan-13 18:22:46

Waiting an hour in the cold to take a bus with no belts/carseat, versus a car with a seat for your DS and a seatbelt for your DD, i think YABU.

And a bit batty confused

If you can't get him on the phone can you at least go along to the bus stop and help them home when they get off the bus. That might defuse the situation a bit.

BreastmilkNewYearLatte Sun 20-Jan-13 18:23:35


I didn't really think through the implications of the bus having no car seats either.

I've really fucked this one up, haven't I...

LadyMargolotta Sun 20-Jan-13 18:24:29

I bet he has taken the lift anyway.

BreastmilkNewYearLatte Sun 20-Jan-13 18:26:31

He didn't ask my permission - he rang to tell me. I raised the issue only because I knew the friend in question only has one child.

And I know I'm batty. I said that at the outset.

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Sun 20-Jan-13 18:26:50

Well I think technically it is against the law for DD to be in the car without a car seat unless this amounts to an emergency so YANBU. BUT I still think I'd have taken the lift in the circumstances...

Loonytoonie Sun 20-Jan-13 18:27:27

If your DH comes back having taken the bus, then you need to tell him exactly what you told us in your last post. Humble pie is in order I think...

Look don't panic. Can you ring him or meet him? Either WILL defuse his annoyance I think. Especially if you can say him that you're sorry, you over-reacted.

If you can't do wither then make a hot drink so you can press it in to his hand when he gets in, and if you possibly can take the kids off to get them in their pjs.

Don't beat yourself up over it, they'll be fine and will soon warm up. Tell him if you think you made the wrong decision, say you're sorry you were being a bit OTT, and then move on.

BreastmilkNewYearLatte Sun 20-Jan-13 18:29:45

He's not answering his mobile. TBH I don't blame him.

MrsKeithRichards Sun 20-Jan-13 18:29:45

Oh op maybe your anxiety etc has clouded your judgement. He's probably taken the lift, talk to him when gets home. thanks

puds11isNAUGHTYnotNAICE Sun 20-Jan-13 18:30:22

I wouldn't worry about it op you did what you thought was best. Personally i would have gone in the car.

13Iggis Sun 20-Jan-13 18:31:23

I wouldn't have been happy either, OP. Depending on the route, buses generally go a lot more slowly than cars. And as they are - er- built like a bus they come off well in accidents.
I don't like the idea of strapping two of you in with one belt - wouldn't the adult just crush the child in the event of an accident?

McNewPants2013 Sun 20-Jan-13 18:31:27

Yanbu. The law is there for a reason.

Thinkingof4 Sun 20-Jan-13 18:33:11

Actually I disagree, bus is safer as a crash has less impact on occupants of bus than car. Assuming relatively low speed bump etc. Dh wearing seatbelt ad holding onto dd is not safe even at low speed. I'm surprised by responses on this thread tbh

BreastmilkNewYearLatte Sun 20-Jan-13 18:33:20

Have texted offering to come to the point where he changes buses and that if he in car anyway I do understand sad

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Sun 20-Jan-13 18:34:21

LadyBeagleEyes Sun 20-Jan-13 18:22:09
I'd have taken the lift.
One kid in car seat, one on his knee with seatbelt on.

Jesus christ. That would be an utterly fucking stupid thing to do. You never 'double' in a seat belt, it's almost certain death for a small child in even a minor bump.

Well done OP. Hope you and dh can sort things out.

And folks - good point about the dangers of beliting an adult and child together (DON'T ever do that) but lets remember that the OP has anxiety atm and we maybe don't need to get in to many specifics about what could happen in each form of transport and at each speed of impact etc....

cory Sun 20-Jan-13 18:36:49

I'd insist on the bus. Far, far less likely that an accident will have fatal results on a bus passenger. I was in a bus that was driven into by a car some time ago: I was close to the end that got hit and barely noticed the bump; the car got its front end totally demolished. There is a reason why seat belts are mandatory in cars and not on public transport.

JustFabulous Sun 20-Jan-13 18:37:08

No, you haven't fucked up. You are worrying about your children and thought you had picked the genuine option. I don't buy this one off journey without a seat being okay. Is there some special powers that mean an accident won't happen because it is the first one off journey you have taken.

Child on your knee with both strapped in is ridiculous. I would argue the child on her own with a seatbelt is preferable and safer.

BreastmilkNewYearLatte Sun 20-Jan-13 18:37:30

Chipping I love you dearly but I wish you'd waited until the DCs got home safely before posting that.

MrsKeithRichards Sun 20-Jan-13 18:37:55

Agree, no knee sitting, own seatbelt.

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Sun 20-Jan-13 18:38:26

You aren't batty, you have anxiety - it's not the same thing. Text him to say you are sorry, you didn't think the 'seatbelt' thing through and to let you know if he's in the car, which you are OK about or if he would like you to meet him at the bus stop. There's no point in you going out to the bus stop if he's in the car.

Looking after them because of your anxiety does not make him a saint nor give him the right to be angry He is their father and is just doing what needs doing.

And if you are the Breastmilk I think you are, he's a fucking lucky man and should think himself so! Kick him in the dangly bits from me if he makes any kind of fuss.

BreastmilkNewYearLatte Sun 20-Jan-13 18:40:23

DH has just rung to say he's on the second bus - which is the one purely along main gritted roads. I'll go out to the bus stop and meet them with a flask of hot chocolate.

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Sun 20-Jan-13 18:40:36

Sorry love sad I just wanted to stop anyone else thinking that was a good idea xx I'm sure your DH is not that fucking stupid.

Icelollycraving Sun 20-Jan-13 18:41:04

Don't think having an angry dh will do your anxiety much good. Hope you don't have a row thanks

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Sun 20-Jan-13 18:42:00

That sounds like a good idea smile Wrap up warm incase you have to wait a while!

phantomnamechanger Sun 20-Jan-13 18:43:38


just another voice saying please everyone, NEVER carry a child on your lap with the adult belt round you both, this is so dangerous!! Am horrified more people do not know this. Child can be crushed to death by parent even in a low impact collision.

and yes, buses are safer - bigger than most things they are likely to be in collison with, more stable, and slower

BreastmilkDoesAFabLatte Sun 20-Jan-13 18:44:56

Chipping honestly don't worry about it. I will tell DH that for when if the question ever arises again - I certainly didn't know it.

(And yes it's me. I just didn't get round to NCing back)

"One kid in car seat, one on his knee with seatbelt on"

That's really dangerous. In a bump/crash the child will be crushed between the seatbelt and the adult.

Also a bus is bigger, heavier, and higher than most other vehicle, travel at lower speeds and suffer far less impact in a crash. That's why buses don't have to have seatbelts in the first place. Coaches that travel at higher speeds on bigger roads/motorways do.

LadyIsabellaWrotham Sun 20-Jan-13 18:45:32

To be fair to you, a bus that crashes will normally come to a stop much slower than a car because it's so much heavier (especially if it is crashing into a car), so the passengers are intrinsically safer, and arguably still a bit safer than an improperly restrained child in a car. So you had a point. But in that situation I'd have taken the lift.

kerala Sun 20-Jan-13 18:45:38

Poor guy schlepping on buses for hours with tired kids when he could have had a lift. I would be pretty irked if I were him (actually think I would have ignored you and taken lift). Put elder child on bulky coats then seatbelt as normal.

McNewPants2013 Sun 20-Jan-13 18:46:19

So those that had said you would have taking the lift, is there any other laws you would break

3littlerabbits Sun 20-Jan-13 18:47:04

Bus way safer, id have saidexactly the same as you. In fact dh wouldnt have considered the lift. Theyre going to love to see you with the hot choc - lovely mummy x

Hot chocolate sounds like a good plan smile Shove the kids pjs on the radiator before you go out too. Glad he rang back.

LadyIsabellaWrotham Sun 20-Jan-13 18:48:06

X-post with lots of other people reassuring you that you weren't an idiot.

ArthurPewty Sun 20-Jan-13 18:48:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BreastmilkDoesAFabLatte Sun 20-Jan-13 18:48:59

Just making hot chocolate and getting wellies on.

LadyMargolotta Sun 20-Jan-13 18:49:34

I wouldn't feel too sorry for him if he has taken the bus. It was his decision to stay out so late, and let the children get hungry and cold. He could have prevented that with better organisation. It's not like he had to get out to school/work etc.

ArthurPewty Sun 20-Jan-13 18:49:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LadyIsabellaWrotham Sun 20-Jan-13 18:50:22

But it's not illegal mcpants - as a one off, which this is, you can drive without car seats, it doesn't have to be an emergency.

<IIRC, unless the law has changed recently>

Bunbaker Sun 20-Jan-13 18:50:23

As an aside - I only have one child but Dd often had a friend in the car so I bought another booster seat. Your OH's friend might find the need to do that as well.

DontmindifIdo Sun 20-Jan-13 18:50:48

BTW - you could point out if they got stopped, the friend could have been in a lot of trouble.

Maybe my kids are odd, but they love being on the bus, even if it does take longer. Buses are generally very warm too!

Hissy Sun 20-Jan-13 18:52:16

The law permits this kind of one of journey' so let's pack in the ill-informed judgypants, shall we?

phantomnamechanger Sun 20-Jan-13 18:52:41

I was wondering that too LadyM - what on earth was he thinking staying out till this time in the cold and dark - of course the are tired and hungry they are babies!

LadyMargolotta Sun 20-Jan-13 18:53:50

I know phantomnamechanger, now that I would be a bit annoyed about.

JustFabulous Sun 20-Jan-13 18:53:53

For me it isn't about breaking the law or not. Even if there wasn't a law about car seats my children would be in one. My eldest has only just stopped using his and DD is technically tall enough to not use one but I am keeping her in it as she is safer in it imo.

McNewPants2013 Sun 20-Jan-13 18:54:38
ArthurPewty Sun 20-Jan-13 18:54:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

What hissy says, it's not illegal as a one off journey.

I'm amazed by the responses on this thread, knowing how MN usually is about car seats!!

TBH, if I were your DH, I'd have seen if I could make your DD a booster seat out of bags etc. Because I would NEVER let a child travel in a car without a seatbelt, and at your DDs age, a seatbelt would strangle her/cause serious neck damage in an accident, so she would need to be lifted higher up. If a booster couldn't be fashioned in some way, I would have taken the bus.

Because despite lack of child seats/seatbelts, buses are far safer for passengers.

And others have already said how horrifically dangerous it is to put a child on your lap and double the seatbelt. The child would be crushed to death in an accident.

Would so many of you really get a lift home with no safe was to restrain the 3.4 yo on dangerous icy roads? Really? I'm horrified. Cold and extra time outside are inconvenient but no direct danger to your child's life. Whereas an unrestrained or unsafely restrained child in a car would be very likely to suffer serious injury. And the odds of an accident are vastly increased in this weather.

I'm with you, OP.

countrykitten Sun 20-Jan-13 18:55:46

I feel sorry for them all if they are stuck on a bus in this freezing cold weather - your DH must be a saint if he has done as he was told. I would have taken the lift. Sorry.

foreverondiet Sun 20-Jan-13 18:56:50

I think you are being U, assuming your DD had an adult seatbelt on.

However I would not be happy with a 3 year old on lap.

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Sun 20-Jan-13 18:57:51

Put elder child on bulky coats then seatbelt as normal

Fucking hell. This is incredibly dangerous. Do NOT put kids on cushions, coats or anything else other than an approved car seat or booster - all you are doing is creating 'slack' inside the seatbelt and putting them at more risk.

Hissy Sun 20-Jan-13 18:58:01

Erm, read on down on your link....

It clearly does....

Not sure why anyone is particularly bothered what the law says either. So what?!??! This is about the safety of children on dangerous icy roads. "Oh, sorry your DC was horribly injured, but what we did wasn't illegal so it's all okay".

MrsKeithRichards Sun 20-Jan-13 18:59:33

Mcnew did you even read the link you posted?

* Unexpected but necessary journeys over a short distance

If the correct child seat isn’t available, a child over 3 years old can use the adult belt for an unexpected but necessary journey over a short distance. This doesn’t apply to a regular school run or planned journey.*

Oh fucking boo hoo having to catch a bus! I bus everywhere with my 4. He should have started home before they were hungry. And despite it being cold outside, it will be warm on the bus! They won't be sat on the bus shivering like the little match girl.

Egusta Sun 20-Jan-13 19:00:33

I had ABSOLUTELY no idea about the child on lap, one seatbelt thing and how dangerous that was. Neither did DH. We have done that twice.... for short taxi trips. Never again.

Thank you for teaching me something so critically important, munsmet.

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Sun 20-Jan-13 19:00:46

TBH, if I were your DH, I'd have seen if I could make your DD a booster seat out of bags etc. Because I would NEVER let a child travel in a car without a seatbelt, and at your DDs age, a seatbelt would strangle her/cause serious neck damage in an accident, so she would need to be lifted higher up. If a booster couldn't be fashioned in some way, I would have taken the bus

I despair. 'Fashioning a booster' is FAR more dangerous than simply putting a child in a seat belt.

MrsKeithRichards Sun 20-Jan-13 19:00:56

Bolding fail.

countrykitten Sun 20-Jan-13 19:01:05

Good call on the hot chocolate OP - sure they will be delighted to see you! Take care out there.

Sorry that was in response to all those saying oh poor them having to catch the bus of all things.

McNewPants2013 Sun 20-Jan-13 19:01:20

Wasn't this a planned journey ( confused)

LadyIsabellaWrotham Sun 20-Jan-13 19:01:21

"Unexpected but necessary" Now obviously you could argue about "necessary" or "unexpected" in this case but no cop would take your name and no court would convict.

Hissy Sun 20-Jan-13 19:01:31

There is no slack created by elevating the child, the tensioning device takes care of that.

McNewPants2013 Sun 20-Jan-13 19:02:29

And 1 of the children isn't over the age of 3

LadyIsabellaWrotham Sun 20-Jan-13 19:03:18

The younger one has a car seat.

Hissy Sun 20-Jan-13 19:04:10

Aibu hysteria at its best....

SaraBellumHertz Sun 20-Jan-13 19:04:21

I'd like to see the evidence which say that an unrestrained child is safer in a bust than restrained in a car because frankly I don't believe it.

MrsKeithRichards Sun 20-Jan-13 19:05:07

That's what's debatable and unclear therefore your 'this says differently' isn't actually true. Planned may well refer to regular, known trips. In my eyes this wasn't planned ahead, more a 'I'll give you a run, save you getting the bus' type thing, meaning it was then unexpected so really I don't think it's fair to say they would be breaking the law.

Read half the thread and shocked by all the YABUs as my instant reaction is YANBU.

I have declined lifts due to lack of car seats. Our entire family have spent fortunes on correct car seats and consequently it would go against every fibre of my being to put either of the kids in a car without a correct car seat.

If there is an accident, it's safer to be on a bus than in a car generally, seeing as how the bus is bigger. And if the youngest is in a pushchair on the bus, even more so.

For all those horrified by the idea of hanging around for a bus, I take it you most likely all drive everywhere. It's really not that big a deal to get a bus you know. grin

There was a seat available for the younger child.
Why doesn't somebody start a new thread to give info on car seat safety? I really don't think the OP should have to wade through 101 bad things that can happen to dcs in a car. She asked a question, got her answer and has done an outstanding job of getting on with things afterwards.

McNewPants2013 Sun 20-Jan-13 19:05:41

Lady you are right I missed that on the OP

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Sun 20-Jan-13 19:05:55

Eugusta - you are (on behalf of everyone saying the same thing) welcome smile

I have no idea how to get that message 'out there' when children shouldn't be in the car without the proper childseat anyway confused It's a bit like telling people how to burgle a house safely...

MrsKeithRichards Sun 20-Jan-13 19:06:32

There was a car seat for the 18 month old, not the 3.4 year old.

You really need to read things before wading in with your righteousness.

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Sun 20-Jan-13 19:08:16

Hissy - not in an accident it doesn't!

So with a seatbelt in a taxi that cuts across a child's neck, I put that bit of the belt behind them, so they are just restrained across the lap. All you safety experts, is this smart or silly?

Apologies for going slightly off topic.

LittleChimneyDroppings Sun 20-Jan-13 19:09:23

I'd have taken the lift. Older one on my lap, seat belt round me. And using my arms as a seatbelt for the child.

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Sun 20-Jan-13 19:09:33

Northern she doesn't if she doesn't want to, her dilemma has been resolved - she doesn't even need to click on the thread again if she doesn't want to. She has already learnt something new on this thread, as have others.

Buses are the safest form of road transport.

LadyMargolotta Sun 20-Jan-13 19:11:06

Are they home yet?

McNewPants2013 Sun 20-Jan-13 19:11:24

But even without the law, it a pretty stupid thing for a 3 year old to go into a car without a car seat.

This was a planned trip and the plan was to bring the DC back on the bus. Unless you plan to tell a police officer a different story because that in itself would be teaching a 3 year that lying to the police is a good thing.

MrsKeithRichards Sun 20-Jan-13 19:12:09

I'm shocked at how many people would pop the dd on their knee as the first alternative.

Adult seatbelt.

kerala Sun 20-Jan-13 19:12:18

What is wrong with fashioning a booster out of coats (baffled). All about risk benefit analysis. Obviously not ideal not to have the 100% correctly perfect car seats that you would usually have but if its a relatively short journey and avoids an hour on the bus with a tired toddler I would take that risk. In 20 plus years of driving I have never had a dangerous accident (touch wood) the chances of having one the one time the child is not on a proper car seat is low. Also as it is icy there are very few cars on the road - its like a ghost town here. So yes, I would have taken the risk on balance.

MrsKeithRichards Sun 20-Jan-13 19:12:57

Ok mcnew, whatever you say.

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 20-Jan-13 19:13:16

Returning from a day out is not an unexpected necessity

It is against the law

LovesBeingWokenEveryNight Sun 20-Jan-13 19:13:28

I would have said the bus too. Seriously though it's not worth stress.

"Older one on my lap, seat belt round me. And using my arms as a seatbelt for the child. "

Yes because in a crash you will remember to keep your arms wrapped around them against your survival instinct and the force of the crash hmm

Read the rest of the thread now, and so glad to see that there are others who think that YANBU.

LadyIsabellaWrotham Sun 20-Jan-13 19:15:23

I've never heard of a case of a child dying in a bus (as opposed to coach) crash in the UK. Adults have been killed by low lying branches, and people have died getting on and off Routemasters, but deaths of passengers actually on buses due to crashes, are desperately rare - there were 6 in 2008, out of roughly 5 billion journeys.

Depends how urban the journey is of course, obviously an inner city bus going at 30 MPH tops (more likely 20 in this weather) will be safer than one that ventures onto 50mph stretches of dual carriageway.

JustFabulous Sun 20-Jan-13 19:16:55

"I'd have taken the lift. Older one on my lap, seat belt round me. And using my arms as a seatbelt for the child."

LittleChimneyDroppings, another stupid idea there. It is impossible to hold on to a child in a crash.

So, you that would take the lift so your child is not strapped in safely. What happens when the car crashes and the child dies? Not your life to mess with but a life that would be lost.

StillSmilingAfterAllTheseYears Sun 20-Jan-13 19:19:49

I think YANBU, bus is way safer to my mind.

Jux Sun 20-Jan-13 19:20:13

Anxiety. I suspect that's what brought that on.

Ah, well, flask of hot choc, apology, and that should be enough. I'm sure they'll all get home safe.

LittleChimneyDroppings Sun 20-Jan-13 19:21:08

Yes, and no doubt a 3 year old would end up being strangled by the seat belt if they have no booster seat either. Adult seatbelts are designed for adults, not tiny children.

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Sun 20-Jan-13 19:21:22

LittleChimneyDroppings - you would not have the ability nor the strength to hold them in an accident.

phantomnamechanger Sun 20-Jan-13 19:22:30

sarabellumhertz - I'm sure if you cared to google or look at ROSPA or something the stats are there.

very many more incorrectly restrained children and babies are killed and injured in car acidents than are injured on buses - wrong car seat, placed by airbag, straps not tight, car seat not even strapped into car, sharing seatbelt, no seatbelt used etc etc. Lets also remember that many CORRECTLY restrained children do die in car accidents too.

DH works in public transport management - serious injury to passengers is virually unheard of - often relating to elderly or standing passengers falling , that sort of thing - I can only recall about 2 cases of children hurt on buses on his patch (a county) in the last 10 years. In one case the parents were allowing a toddler to stand on the seat bouncing up and down, the bus had to brake hard and the child slid off and under the seats in front sustaining cuts and bruises. That means some parents stupid, not buses more dangerous

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Sun 20-Jan-13 19:22:36

An adult seat belt gives them a chance to survive it, being held by an adult or sharing an adult seat belt does not.

McNewPants2013 Sun 20-Jan-13 19:26:05

Why take the risk in the first place, either use the correct car seat or use the bus.

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Sun 20-Jan-13 19:27:42

Breastmilk If you are still reading this thread... please, when things have calmed down, have a chat with DH. Explain to him how much safer buses are than cars in an accident and ask him how he'd feel if anything did happen to DD because he'd taken the lift without a car seat as it was quicker and warmer - ask him if he could live with himself?!

Your anxiety is not to blame for you thinking it was a bad idea and don't let him fob you off that it was.

pigletmania Sun 20-Jan-13 19:28:34

Yabu no different to a taxi, if it's a short journey fine

LadyIsabellaWrotham Sun 20-Jan-13 19:30:24

Fabulous we take risks with our children's lives all the time. Any time we walk rather than take the bus or drive (properly restrained) we're taking a risk (pedestrian deaths per mile are much higher than either). Children die in playgrounds, at funfairs, in swimming pools. We can do our best, but not to the point of never doing anything that might carry any risk - and we all draw the line in slightly different places.

The bus is safer (unless the change included crossing several roads in which case maybe not) but I might have chosen the car anyway, depending on road conditions, the car, the driver, the height of the child. Decent 4x4 with winter tyres, yes probably. Ropy old 2CV, polite refusal.

LittleChimneyDroppings Sun 20-Jan-13 19:30:30

Ok, I take it back having looked at the gov website. Apparently over 3's restrained by adult seatbelt, and under threes can travel unrestrained hmm

I'm staggered and worried by how many people think it's safe to put a child on their lap and the seat belt round them both.

Mrsblackcar Sun 20-Jan-13 19:45:55

I am probably far too late to post this, and having only read page 1 myself no-one else will read this - (my thinking anyway)

I think you were being a tad OTT, it is actually legal for dd to just use the adult seatbelt for "if the child is travelling on a short distance for reason of unexpected necessity"

Lets be honest this "In addition, a child 3 and over may travel unrestrained in the rear seat of a vehicle if seat belts are not available." is still included in the Law

Personally i would have rather made sure everyone was warm and as safe as possible.

Info from

pigletmania Sun 20-Jan-13 19:50:43

Exactly mrsblack, you would do it in a taxi fr a one off journey no different to accepting a one ff lift. It would not be god if you did not buy a car seat for your car ad regularly travelled without a car seat. I have to get a taxi every week with ds 1 year and dd 5, I strap dd in an adult seat and ds ges on my lap don't know how else to do it. I don't drive and te buses are awful to get to that location

pigletmania Sun 20-Jan-13 19:52:19

Up its dd rainbow group

pigletmania Sun 20-Jan-13 19:55:11

You put your kids in car seats when you can but in some situations like mine and for a one off lift its nt aways possible. Be damed if I am going to carry a big Britax Evolva around with me! Dh drives and as a car

Can anyone link to something that explains the danger of fashioning a booster seat out of a bag of coat? Because all back-less booster seats do is raise a child up so that the seatbelt goes across their chest instead of their necks. Obviously a seatbelt across the neck would be fatal in a crash. But why would coats or a bag cause any "slack" in the seatbelt that a booster wouldn't? Genuine question.....

I remain unsure as to whether putting the chest strap behind the child's back (leaving only a lap restraint) or a makeshift booster would be the better option.

piglet - is your 1yo restrained in any way? If I had to get a taxi without a car seat on a weekly basis, my child wouldn't be going to Rainbows, sorry. How is an after-school activity more important that your children's safety?

LadyIsabellaWrotham Sun 20-Jan-13 20:06:23

The thing about booster seats Annie is that the seatbelt sits under the hooks at the back. When it tightens in a crash then it holds the booster back against the seat. A child without a booster, or with a cushion or other improvised booster can slip down underneath the seatbelt, sometimes with horrific consequences - it's called submarining.

Hooks at the back? Do you mean the arms? Cos neither my high-back or backless boosters have any hooks. Just arms and a red clip at the top for the seatbelt to go through on the high-backed ones.

I can see the point about submarining.

Just brings the point home that it's pretty stupid to take a child in a car (and since when do taxis have magical no-crash powers) without appropriate seat belts. Aside from a genuine emergency (absolutely no other option, life or death), it's not something I would ever do.

pigletmania Sun 20-Jan-13 20:10:39

Well Annie the law does not require car seats in taxis, my dd has ASD and it's important she goes to the group, wat we have to stay in doors then!

Piglet, if I was taking a taxi EVERY week on a planned journey, I sure as hell would lug the car seats with me. Probably a backpack booster for the 5yo and whatever was suitable for the 1yo. It's not as if you're doing a on d in a blue moon trip that way, it's weekly!

bebanjo Sun 20-Jan-13 20:15:25

at 3 1/2 all the car seat is doing is lifting the child so the seat belt does not cut into the neck in a crash, put somthing under the child, lap top in case, pillow, folded blanket, coat and all will be fine.
it is legel to have child in a car with our car seat if unplanned, taxis can carry children in the back, seat belt on, not on someones knee.

We are allowed to do more than the law allows if is is insufficient, we can be better than the law in the case of when child seats are or aren't required.

LadyIsabellaWrotham Sun 20-Jan-13 20:21:15

Arms/hooks, not sure what the official name is, but the bits you wedge the seat belt under so that when it tightens the booster stays more firmly in place against the back. If that explanation doesn't make sense to any readers you may be doing it wrong.

And Piglet - if the taxi is taking you from door to door and then back again then yes, you can take a Britax Evolva with you. Ask other parents arriving at the same time to lend a hand. The other alternative would be a black cab if any if the firms in your area have them - they have a built in booster seat for your 5 year old and you can take the 1 year old strapped into their pushchair.

pigletmania Sun 20-Jan-13 20:21:48

Righ heh you try managing tat and a buggy and a screaming autistic child, dd us almost 6 so would be fine without a booster tbh. It's a few min car journey and dh collects us on the way back with car seats. It's really up,to me to weigh the rsks. It's a very shrt janey by car, but walking would take a long time with autstic dd

LadyIsabellaWrotham Sun 20-Jan-13 20:22:38

Oh and bebanjo, go back and read the bloody thread, you might learn something.

BertieBotts Sun 20-Jan-13 20:23:16

Loads of people don't know about the child on lap thing. There's no need to shout and swear at people, you can get the seriousness of it across without that.

Can I ask if anyone knows what would have been the safest thing to do in this situation? I was planning to travel home on New Year's Day by train. My mum had DS and there were no buses running to her house, she had stuff to do so couldn't have kept him an extra day. We have a car seat obviously, but DP wanted to stay an extra day and had (stupidly) left the car seat in his car. I can't drive so couldn't have driven back. She offered to drop him back sitting on my sister's lap - I vetoed this, obviously, (although she had been planning to do it without telling me just to pick up some toys - FFS!) but then was trying to think of the safest option and wondered whether he would be safer just on the seat itself, given he's 4 and probably too short for the seatbelt, or sat on a very stiff foam neck support pillow with the seatbelt? I guess there is that issue about the hooks (Annie I think Lady means the ones down by the child's hips) but I genuinely had no idea which would be the best of a bad bunch of options.

In the end DP decided to come back the same day so we had the car seat anyway, but sometimes a situation does arise where you don't have the appropriate car seat. I'm glad DS is almost tall enough to use the seatbelt in a pinch although I'll probably keep him in a booster well past this point.

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Sun 20-Jan-13 20:25:38

bebeanjo Do me and yourself a favour and read the thread.

BertieBotts Sun 20-Jan-13 20:29:34

Lady the other function of those is to hold the belt flat against the child's thighs rather than it riding up over their soft abdominal organs. DS's car seat doesn't have "arms" as such for this, though it is a Britax HBB - I guess the high back also stops the seat from slipping out forwards.

I think they should run TV adverts which explain that in a crash any items in the car (people, dogs, luggage) will "weigh" a lot more due to the forces involved. I didn't know this - I only found out due to something at my old work about cages/harnesses for dogs travelling in cars. But once explained it's immediately obvious why you need to be strapped in even in the back, why you should secure heavy items of luggage, why it's impossible to hold on to a child in your arms and why it's dangerous to put the seatbelt around two people.

It wouldn't even have to be a gory/shocking/emotional one, just a simple scientific explanation (maybe with a cartoon?) or someone with spaghetti arms trying to hold onto an elephant in the back seat and imagining that elephant crashing into the seat in front.

BertieBotts Sun 20-Jan-13 20:30:57

piglet didn't you have a carrier seat for the baby before they went into the evolva? Most babies can still fit into one at 1 even if they're not 100% happy about it and you say it's a short journey.

JustFabulous Sun 20-Jan-13 20:37:14

Unless it really is life or death why would you take any risk? There aren't any special powers than mean it is known that it is the first time you have done this so an accident is forbidden to happen.

A woman in the village let one of her twins sit in the foot well to go home from the garage, only a short journey so fine. But it wasn't and the child died.

I know I am probably more pessimistic than some people due to my upbringing but I just can't understand why anyone would take an unnecessary risk with their child's life. Would you take the same risk with your own?

I have had to deal with DS1 getting himself to school and worry every day until I hear from him but there is no other option and we have put everything in place that we can to keep him safe. To use the OP story there were 2 options. One was statistically safe and the other not but would make the journey quicker, warmer, nicer. Take the safest one surely.

pigletmania Sun 20-Jan-13 20:37:42

Bertie he has Outgrwn that so I can't do up the 5 point harnesses on it, even on the highest settings, he is th sze oif an 18 month old.

popserinis Sun 20-Jan-13 20:42:10

The law permits no car seats to be used for short unplanned journeys.

Still baffled by the number of people who think that the law is what matters rather than safety. With your own child? Really? You know something is unsafe, even highly dangerous in the current weather conditions, but you're happy to do it anyway because there's no law against it? <boggles>

MrsKeithRichards Sun 20-Jan-13 21:18:12

Boggle no more! People are discussing the law because it was stated it would be illegal and discussion followed to the contrary.

specialsubject Sun 20-Jan-13 21:21:44

perfectly legal with the three year old to be in the back, in their own adult seat belt:
'if the child is travelling on a short distance for reason of unexpected necessity;'. The baby must go in the car seat.

if the friend is a decent driver, and presumably won't have been going fast in these conditions, I'd have done it.

could all have been avoided with a little forward planning, the planet turns every day and it gets colder when it is dark.

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 20-Jan-13 21:38:48

I'm not entirely sure that you wouldn't get a fine or points or what ever it is that happens when you get stopped by the police by saying

" I didnt want to wait for the bus"

blondefriend Sun 20-Jan-13 22:03:11

Discussed this with my OH. He would have taken the lift and I would have killed him for that decision. Car accidents are the biggest killer of children between 6 months and 18 years in this country, my friend's 3 year old daughter died in a car crash, why risk it? Getting a bit chilly won't harm them. YANBU. However hot chocolate won't harm anything. smile Maybe in future he will plan a bit better. TBH if he phoned you and then decided to take the bus after all it sounds like he was feeling uncertain about it himself.

RainbowsFriend Sun 20-Jan-13 22:03:14

This thread made me ask my DP what he would do in the situation - as I am a worrier and suffer from generalised anxiety etc, while he is pretty sensible but pragmatic.

He said - it would depend on what the car was. who the driver was, how long the journey etc, but he would probably go with the lift as long as the 3 YO looked safe without a car seat.

I was horrified at his response as I am with you on this OP and think the bus is far safer despite lack of seat belts - due to a bus' large mass should it get involved in an accident (and it's less likely to get in an accident than a car as people don't mess with large buses and take chances so much) it would come to a stop so quickly as a car as it would have much greater momentum - so the impact would be spread over time more. I also insist that we sit rear facing on buses wherever possible....

BreastmilkDoesAFabLatte Sun 20-Jan-13 22:26:44

<creeps back>

Sorry I was so long. It took a while for things to calm down here.

But thank you to all those who have been kind and supportive and challenging. I'm learning a lot from this thread, and I'm glad that others are too...

BertieBotts Sun 20-Jan-13 22:35:12

Rainbows I'm not sure sitting rear facing on buses is particularly safe anyway as they tend to have short seats which would mean a big strain on the neck I'd have thought? Slow stopping speed of course would reduce this drastically anyway. You are better off sitting backwards on a train, though, because the seats have headrests.

BertieBotts Sun 20-Jan-13 22:35:40

It can drive you mad though can't it worrying about all the relative risks sad

RainbowsFriend Sun 20-Jan-13 22:38:49


LadyIsabellaWrotham Sun 20-Jan-13 22:40:51

Glad all is well OP.

Also asked DH what he'd have done - he gave me a five minute lecture on A level physics as it applies to car crashes ...... and would have taken the bus.

LadyWidmerpool Sun 20-Jan-13 22:45:26

I would have taken the bus. But actually I wouldn't have got so far out of range on a day like this in the first place. Hope you can relax now OP and that you feel better soon.

LadyMargolotta Mon 21-Jan-13 08:44:05

I hope you are ok Breastmilk.

I think there is a lot going on in your life. You are off work sick, and your dh is looking after the children - you should NOT feel guilty or bad about this. Your dh shouldn't blame you - after all he is only looking after his own children.

I don't think he should have phoned you. If he takes the children out for the day, the only reason for him to phone would be if there was a problem. He needs to take responsibility and just get on with it.

Anxiety can be a severe mental health illness, and I hope you are getting help with it. I hope that you and your dh can get this incident into proportion and move on.

pigletmania Mon 21-Jan-13 10:05:57

What about buses then! Te number if times I've had to fold buggy up and sit with dcs on my lap, bus has breaked and we almost go flying. Or dc in buggy, breaks applied me holding on it for dear life to prevent it from going rpthrough bus windscreen. No car seats there. Personally I feel safer in a taxi with our current arrangement. The journey is few min one along local roads. After all we take Risks every day crossing the road, going in a bus/car/taxi. No it's not regular, one a week for one way f the journey, dh collecting us. It's up to parents to calculate te risks

cory Mon 21-Jan-13 10:20:25

What about the buses? Simply that statistics show that children very very rarely get killed through almost going flying on buses- and that quite a few children get killed in car crashes. FOr some reason, though being on the bus may feel less safe, statistics seems to show that it is, in fact, safer.

Obviously, anyone can take a calculated risk- as you are doing- and as you
say, we all do it.

pigletmania Mon 21-Jan-13 10:20:46

Thre cab company we se have black wheelchaire taxis, I could ask them for it when I book and just lift the buggy onto it and apply the breaks

pigletmania Mon 21-Jan-13 10:21:47

Like iwould a bus, ds would be restrained

13Iggis Mon 21-Jan-13 10:37:58

Piglet that's the way our taxis are here, we can just lift the buggy in and out - much easier than folding it etc.

chris481 Mon 21-Jan-13 10:38:14

I would have taken the lift, because a car without child-seats is sufficiently safe. A child-seat makes a journey less dangerous. It doesn't follow that a journey without one is actually dangerous, in an absolute sense.

mamamibbo Mon 21-Jan-13 10:44:35

buses are safer than cars, i would have insisted he took the bus but my dh knows that and wouldnt have even thought of taking a lift without proper car seats, my children never have and never will go in a car without a seat, i dont care if its legal, i wont do it. i cant think of an emergency that would affect that decision

A few years back I took DD (then 3 or so) sledging by bus a few miles away. A fresh fall of snow happened which we weren't expecting, and the buses were cancelled. It was getting dark, she was sobbing, and we'd already walked a mile through the deep snow and blizzard not to mention spending half an hour at the bus stop for buses that never arrived.

A police car stopped beside us and asked us if we would like a lift home smile First thing I asked was "But.. no car seat!" and they said it was fine in these circumstances. I was incredibly grateful!

In answer to OP, I'd have insisted on the bus as well actually. The only reason we took the police car was because there was no bus, and the state of poor DD.

RuleBritannia Mon 21-Jan-13 10:52:21

Why didn't the husband just take the lift? He was in charge of his children and couldn't make a decision so rang his wife? Perhaps they were just chatting generally and the husband mentioned the lift in passing so the bus tipic came up. Sits down with a brew. Changed mind - with a wine.

RuleBritannia Mon 21-Jan-13 10:52:47

topic. No I haven't had one already.

IloveJudgeJudy Mon 21-Jan-13 11:16:54

Someone earlier up the thread said that you wouldn't hold on to your DC in the event of a crash. DM held on to me when I was 4 (many, many years ago). She was wearing a seatbelt in the front and I was on her lap. It was a very bad accident, but I survived completely unscathed, as did she.

IloveJudgeJudy Mon 21-Jan-13 11:18:19

Oops, pressed too soon. I would have taken the lift. Unlike the OP's DH, I wouldn't even have rung and mentioned it; I am an adult and the DC's parent and I would have just taken the decision as would DH. We may have discussed it afterwards, but each parent is equally capable of making a decision with regard to the DC, it's just that the conclusion reached may not always be the same one. Good and bad on both sides.

LadyInDisguise Mon 21-Jan-13 11:25:05

I am shock at the number of people who would happy to break the law (you have to use a carseat in a car).
And even more shock at the number of people who then declare 'it's quite safe anyway] shock.

Please someone tell me I am dreaming....

LadyInDisguise Mon 21-Jan-13 11:25:56

Btw Op, you were NOT overreacting

ll31 Mon 21-Jan-13 13:27:31

Is he not their parent too and therefore able to make decisions when he's minding them?Don't turn inTo one of those mothers who feels other parent is useless and they always know best themselves... No one here can decide really who was being reasonable or not as we don't know all Circumstances...

13Iggis Mon 21-Jan-13 16:48:52

What circumstances do we not know?
While my dh and I have equal parenting rights, we both know full well that I chose the carseats in our cars, researched them, read the Which guides, installed them etc etc - so it would be odd if he didn't defer to my judgement on matters of car seats!

popserinis Tue 22-Jan-13 09:27:48

Lady in disguise, not breaking the law if it is a short unplanned journey

bebanjo Thu 24-Jan-13 23:11:27

dont know what ive said to upset ladyisabella and chippinginneeds.
i use the bus, take unplanned lifts and used taxis, i can always learn something, not sure what iam supposed to be learning from you?

nannyof3 Thu 24-Jan-13 23:24:22

I would of taken the lift!

KobayashiMaru Thu 24-Jan-13 23:58:35

One of mine ended up being bluelighted to hospital from a bus, thats never happened from our car.

Robinredboobs Fri 25-Jan-13 00:38:27

The bus I catch daily travels around 4 miles down a busy a-road. I say travels, more like hurtles we must be doing at least 50. It scares the hell out of me now my toddler is out of her pushchair. If that double decker crashed on that stretch of road I highly doubt anyone would live..anyway I can't drive so I have no choice. On the subject of statistics that are being bandied about, there are waaaay more cars on the road so obviously the chances of being in a car crash are higher' because there are more people traveling in them than busses. Meh I don't do maths but it sounds about right to me.


Dd1 was injured on a bus when it stopped her buggy overturned. She had a head injury, mild concussion, but was fine.

I would have taken the bus. It was dark, there was snow and ice around and you can never account for the behaviour of other drivers (recent drink driving dh thread on here a case in point). I would rather my children be tired, cold and hungry than dead. A split second is all it takes.

OP your DH needs to take responsibility for the fact that his children were cold and hungry. Why didn't he feed them before bringing them back? Why didn't he take extra warm clothes and a spare blanket for the youngest if they are in a buggy? Why didn't he leave earlier if he knew this would be a problem? I travel everywhere by public transport, not being a driver so always think about these things. If my 3.5 year old is tired she can snooze on the bus and DH will meet me at the other end or I put the baby in the carrier (which can carry a toddler too and folds up small) and the older one goes in the buggy. There are ways around these issues that don't involve risking your kids lives.

FrameyMcFrame Fri 25-Jan-13 00:44:18

For an almost 4 yr old a cushion as an emergency booster seat?

80sMum Fri 25-Jan-13 00:52:37

Thankfully, the overwhelming majority of journeys do not result in an accident. When my DCs were little, not all cars had seatbelts in the back, in fact most didn't. DS used to love being taken out by his granny, who had no booster seat or seat belt. I wasn't happy about it but I let him go, as I deemed the risk to be low.
Life is full of risk. We all take risks every day.

13Iggis Fri 25-Jan-13 10:17:42

I heard recently that the number of children killed in road accidents (all sorts) had decreased dramatically since the 70s. I assumed this must be due to car seats/airbags/safer cars, as it certainly isn't down to the numbers of cars on the road.
Framey a cushion is likely to just going flying out from under the child in an accident, presumably then choking them on the belt. I have loose foam cushions in my vehicle (camper van) and was advised to make sure they are securely fixed to the seat before the carseat goes on top, to avoid this submarining effect.

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