Car seats and gp

(44 Posts)

Aibu to expect gp who do regular childcare to use the car seats I provided? Today my dad left car seats in his car which was going into garage as he couldn't be bothered to transfer them over to courtesy car. Dc were with him and he just drove them home with seat belts on. Car will be in garage till Wednesday and he has dc on Monday.

WoTmania Fri 06-Sep-13 18:18:00

YANBU , car seats aren't a matter of opinion, you aren't being precious, they are there for safety.

LIZS Fri 06-Sep-13 18:21:02

If the dc are young/small enough to need seats and he chooses not to use them he is breaking the Law and as driver liable for prosecution. yanbu

AgentZigzag Fri 06-Sep-13 18:23:48

I've had similar, and straight after I'd said something, twice. I thought they understood after the first time.

I had to be really firm bordering on rude to get my point across because they just wouldn't listen.

They didn't talk to me for a while afterwards, but the thought of something happening to DD2 is worth the hassle.

I try and avoid them taking her out, but if that's not possible for you then you'll have to give them an ultimatum, even if that makes it awkward childcare wise.

Tried to point out legality of issue which was met with deaf ears and then I was told to be quiet so I ended up having a huge row with my dad over his failure to listen to me hmm rows are uncommon in my family so all very upsetting .

Sirzy Fri 06-Sep-13 18:32:07

How old are the children?

YANBU though, it is just worse the younger they are.

I assume you are not going to leave them with him on monday? (easier said than done I know, but I don't see you have a choice unless you put your seats into his car)

AgentZigzag Fri 06-Sep-13 18:32:12

He told you to be quiet?? hmm

Fuck the legal side of it, if you've said he has to use the proper car seats then he'll have to do what you say.

Could it be that he doesn't like the reverse role thing of having to do as he's told?

There is no other option but for him to back down, does he think he can browbeat you into being OK with it?

Dc are 3 ( twins) I'll go to garage and pick up the car seats tomorrow and put them in df car. I hate being reliant on gp for childcare, but we simply couldn't afford the extra 2 days a week in crèche ( extra £550 a month) also dc do adore them!

Chusband Fri 06-Sep-13 18:39:18

Can your mum talk some sense into him? Got any mates in the police who can have a quiet word?

AgentZigzag Fri 06-Sep-13 18:39:40

Does he have other boundary problems with your DC?

GP (IMO) have to make a clear distinction between looking after the GC on their own and when the parents are there (without parenting the parent as well).

It is possible, but they can sometimes overstep the mark thinking they have more authority than they actually have.

sameoldIggi Fri 06-Sep-13 19:13:34

I'm sure there are videos on the internet that would explain what could happen to such small children in an accident wearing only adult seatbelts.
Too many gps still remember when you didn't have to wear belts at all, held babies on your lap etc. They need to move on from this.

Nanny0gg Fri 06-Sep-13 19:21:31

As a GP I would never take my DGC in the car without seats (I have my own so we don't swap very often), but the legislation unfortunately says:

Unexpected journeys
If the correct child seat isn’t available, a child over 3 years of age can use an adult seat belt if the journey is all of the following:

unexpected
necessary
over a short distance
You can’t take children under 3 in a vehicle without a seat belt or the correct child car seat (except a taxi or minicab).

So your dad might say it was one of the above.

You can still insist, but it may make your argument harder to win with him.

gordyslovesheep Fri 06-Sep-13 19:23:19

it's THE LAW - he is being very very unreasonable

But Nannyogg your link says "all", not one. The journey isn't unexpected and he isn't a taxi, so the rest is irrelevant.

OP, yanbu.

facedontfit Fri 06-Sep-13 19:46:23

I'm shock - 3 years old!!

kangarooshoes Fri 06-Sep-13 20:15:35

Both my parents think I'm crackers about car seats, and I have had rows with my mum about it. (And sacked an au pair over it). I would go ballistic over this, and he wouldn't be looking after them until he agreed to keep to my rules on safety.

My dad can at least understand the theory behind my son's seat. He just thinks he's such a good driver, he won't crash, so what's the point in the faff?

TallulahBetty Fri 06-Sep-13 20:17:39

YANBU. Car seats are not optional, legally or morally.

ShadowSummer Fri 06-Sep-13 20:21:36

YANBU.

It's a safety issue, and he's breaking the law by not using the car seats.

The legislation wording Nanny0gg has posted is interesting, but I think irrelevant in this particular situation, as it's unlikely that the OP's father using a courtesy car while his own car is in the garage is so unexpected that he wouldn't have been able to switch the seats over.

Nanny0gg Sat 07-Sep-13 00:14:23

He might argue necessary.

I'm not for one second saying he's right. It's just that if he's done it, he's going to look for every possible (or not) justification.

I wouldn't let him drive them anywhere, ever.

gallicgirl Sat 07-Sep-13 00:21:53

I had a courtesy car recently and the company were brilliant at facilitating the swap over of car seat. I even stored my seat in their office for the day and they dropped me off at work.
Your DF action was totally unnecessary imo especially as he had the seats right there!

DoJo Sat 07-Sep-13 00:23:19

Could you approach it a dilemma with him - that you love how close he is with his grandchildren and you really appreciate the childcare, but you absolutely cannot compromise on their safety and so you're having to seriously consider giving up work in order to resolve the issue. If he realised how seriously you took it, do you think he would take you more seriously? Otherwise you are never going to feel comfortable leaving your kids with him so do you have any other options?

Shelby2010 Sat 07-Sep-13 00:32:34

Does he actually know how to fit the seats correctly? Could it be he wasn't sure & couldn't face attempting it in the garage while trying to keep control of the DC? Not that it's an excuse, but may explain why he was so defensive about it?

There should be a leaflet of some kind in your GPs surgery you could give him.

It is a legal issue, not just a safety one.

yanbu BUT some people on here are talking as if they were your paid employees. they're not. they're doing you a favour and as you yourself said saving you a fortune so i would want to handle it more diplomatically than most on here are proposing.

i would say please, i would say why, i would say you may think i'm being precious but, etc. these are not your servants but people who are spending two days a week, every week, looking after your children and saving you over a hundred pound a week in doing so.

yes assert yourself, yes put your children's safety first but i'd temper the advice you've been given on here with some good manners and diplomacy.

MumofWombat Sat 07-Sep-13 01:22:42

Before adult seat belts became law, my Dad had a go in a contraption at a family fun day at Police HQ that simulated an emergency stop. Previously he had never worn a seat belt. He wore one home that day and has ever since. Because of this I know I have no worries with my parents about child car seats, in fact they are already looking into options for when we visit them (we are in Australia, they are in the UK) for next year for my two DCs. My inlaws 'get' car seats for babies but I know they have taken my (older than my DCs) nephews in their car without booster seats. They dismissed my concern when I gently said something but when it concerns my kids I would be more forceful. But then I will never have to rely on them for childcare as they are 3 hours away!
So for your situation, your Dad probably knows he was wrong, could you talk to your Mum, perhaps show her some literature or you tube video and leave it with her to talk your Dad round so that he doesn't have to 'lose face' with you his daughter? If this isn't an option, you may have to reconsider childcare options.

AgentZigzag Sat 07-Sep-13 01:32:13

The OP doesn't need any other authority backing her up, her word is THE LAW (Dredd style).

Quoting laws, finding leaflets and videos just looks like she feels in a weak position, that she needs more than her own view and opinion as a parent to make him put them in.

By telling her to STFU, he's saying he has more right to a say than she does! That he can decide for her DC and he's overruling her.

The GPs choosing to spend time with their GC Swallowed, doesn't mean they can say what they like. So long as the OP's not coerced them into doing it, same boundaries as though they weren't looking after them (ie OP's the parent, GP not the GC's parents).

And the Dad was pretty lacking himself on good manners and diplomacy.

that's all grand agent so long as the OP has the extra £550 a month to pay for nursery if she follows your, 'my word is the law and i don't even have to explain' line of advice and they say well fuck you then sort out your own childcare.

i'm not saying they should or shouldn't do x, y or z but that the OP needs to handle the situation more carefully than people, outside and uninvested, are suggesting.

i'm coming at this from the context of having seen my sister be dependent upon my parents as an unexpectedly single mother of triplets who had to carry on working and earning. she could have had all manner of black and white this is how it 'should' be theories but in reality she was dependent upon their help and knew it and they were working very hard to support her and be there for three young children when they actually had a lot on their own plates too.

things aren't black and white and simple in these situations. it's not my way or the highway when the highway is unthinkable.

and in her situation, and later mine when i needed their help with my son, for all their failings, flashpoints etc etc it was NEVER doubted that my parents loved the children and that is a hugely different scenario to an employee or an outsider. the OP makes clear the children adore the GPs. this isn't strangers or employer/employees - this is family. it's different. it has to be more careful and personality considerate and explosion avoiding.

at heart these are people who love each other and 'want' things to work. not employees who can be sacked if they don't comply.

AgentZigzag Sat 07-Sep-13 01:59:49

I'm coming at this from the context of having a parent who thinks they can overrule me to parent my own DC, while I'm there in front of them, and argue the toss over it in front of the DC grin

Uhh, I don't think so.

I know what you're saying, but the saving money bit is incidental to me and it shouldn't be used as a lever to manipulate the mum. Of course you're right, there are ways of saying this shit firmly and calmly, but if the other person's acting as though they've got the last say on the matter when they very obviously haven't, I can understand things getting heated.

Unless the OP's playing her side of the discussion down, she kept pretty calm in the face of someone trying to silence her in such a way. I can just hear the tone my parents would have used saying that grin

Hopefully the Dad felt backed into a corner and will apologise to the OP tomorrow for overstepping the mark.

And that's what it comes down to, he's wrong, there is no grey area in it.

christ i wouldn't expect an apology in my family. don't think i've ever had one and have had far more cause for one.

just family realities isn't it? and much as we talk about what should be on here families rarely conform to that or at least some families never do. i dunno.

i drew solid boundaries with my parents, was able to, still do and would forgo their help if needs be but i have one child and work part time and he is now 6 and i am a stubborn bugger. what i watched with my sister was different - and explosive at times - and far more complicated from both sides.

and tbf looking after multiples is hard full stop let alone doing it as GPs who think they've done their full on parenting/all day on the go with toddlers/not just enjoying and handing back an hour later days. everyone will be under pressure, tired and feeling stretched.

AgentZigzag Sat 07-Sep-13 02:06:38

It's good in a way that the OP says they don't argue as a rule, but that makes me wonder if that's because she defers to them so's not to kick up a stink?

possible but also possible there's a bit of projection going on. for me and/or you smile

AgentZigzag Sat 07-Sep-13 02:21:15

Nowt wrong with a bit of projection, s'what makes MN go round grin

friday16 Sat 07-Sep-13 07:21:41

" My inlaws 'get' car seats for babies but I know they have taken my (older than my DCs) nephews in their car without booster seats."

It's a matter of degree, though, isn't it? Small children without seats: massively increased risks in pretty well any accident or even emergency braking situation.

Larger children (say 5/6) without booster seats: slightly increased risk of secondary injuries in high-energy accidents.

There's no such thing as complete safety in cars: given enough energy, and enough bad luck, you will die whatever precautions are in place (as Ayrton Senna's death shows). And sadly, the best things you could do to improve passive safety aren't acceptable for general road users.

The first is helmets, because head injuries in cars are the main killer. Paradoxically, more lives would be saved if people in cars wore open-face helmets, rally-style, than if all cyclists wore helmets. The increase in neck injuries (HANS devices and head tethers aren't acceptable in road cars) would have to be borne in mind, but the energy involved in a typical road accident is such that a normal open-face helmet probably isn't going to impose a huge extra loading. The second is four-, five- or six-point harnesses, because three-point seatbelts are shit. But crotch straps won't be acceptable because of people wearing skirts and dresses, and it's very difficult to rig the "inside" shoulder strap in a four seat car without massive changes to seats. Car seats for children typically have five point harnesses, which is good, but it's all a safety/usability trade-off.

Overall risk exposure scales (roughly) with how far you drive and maximum speed, so fifty miles on mixed roads with your child properly secured in the correct seat is probably still a great deal more risky than three miles without correct seats never getting out of third gear. On the one hand, you can argue about reducing unnecessary risk, but then you would focus on not using the car in the first place. On the other hand, once you've taken the risk of using the car at all, it's likely that small differences in passive safety (booster seats) don't significantly alter your chances of death or serious injury, while other differences (using or not using a baby seat) are still very important.

PastaBeeandCheese Sat 07-Sep-13 07:31:12

YANBU. He sounds like my FIL who comments on anything I do for my DD's safety with a 'it's amazing we all survived into adulthood' to which I always reply mildly 'many more poor children didn't before X, Y, Z'.

That is apart from when she was in hospital at 11 months with measles and he told me children were left to get on with when he was a boy and I lost it a bit. All fair enough given she was on a ventilator at the time.

friday16 Sat 07-Sep-13 08:02:18

Older GPs who don't believe in car seats? Show them this and ask them why a Formula 1 driver would think that a child seat was a good idea in the mid-1960s before many other people were using them? Perhaps Graham Hill knew something about the implications of car accidents that others didn't? (Yes, that's the young Damon).

It's not helped by timing. It's my parents 50 th wedding anniversary this weekend with lots of family activities planned! The atmosphere is very frosty. My mum is now concerned I won't let dc travel on a mini bus we' e hired to take us all out for a meal! confused

marriedinwhiteisback Sat 07-Sep-13 08:58:57

Thing is it's a matter of degree. You dad robably remembers when cars didn't even have seat belts (I do) let alone that it was the law to have them. I remember baby seats coming in, in the 80s. I also remember friends putting the carry cot in the back with an adjusted seat belt around it. My DC's car seats were nothing like as sophisticated as today's and 17 years ago my ds moved onto a booster at 2 - most children did then shock.

My parents always complied though but I'm still shocked that many years ago MIL got upset because I said no we couldn't go to a family wedding in our car from our house because a car with 5 seat belts didn't carry 4 adults and 2 children. She genuinely thought it was fine for 4 year old dd to sit on her lap in the back because she would be holding her. We were travelling 80 miles and using the M25. And she showed off over it for the whole weekend and showed off again when we left the reception at 10pm and refused to do the same thing over country lanes we didn't know in the dark back to the hotel we forced them to stay in and to get a taxi.

Sure it will smooth over OP but I think it was a genuine mistake on your dad's part - it was wrong but don't rub it in too much. I bet he'l go back to the garage today himself on reflection. He and your mum have probably had a row too.

marriedinwhiteisback Sat 07-Sep-13 09:07:00

50th anni. Aww OP; they are quite elderly and probably stressed about all the arrangements. That's one heck of an achievement and something to be celebrated. I think you need to swallow your pride and crossness. Pick up the phone, tell them you love them, wish them happy annversary and tell them how much you're looking forward to celebrating. Don't make this weekend about one mistake. Make sure your mum and dad remember it as the golden wedding weekend not the car seat weekend.

I and my sister have phoned asking if we can go over to give gifts etc and not mentioned argument at all. They told my sis they wanted a quiet day and didn't answer the phone when I rang so I left a message wishing them happy anniversary

Nanny0gg Sat 07-Sep-13 11:05:24

Sorry OP, they've clearly got the hump.

Just carry on being pleasant and take the moral high ground. Why are they including your sister in this?

sameoldIggi Sat 07-Sep-13 18:51:03

It's a shame if this has made them sad on their anniversary weekend.
Are they the type to take the hump even if they know they are in the wrong?
It's a drop in the ocean compared to how they'd feel if they (or sorry, he) had had a car-seat-less accident with their gcs in the car.

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