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Nannies - advice on mum insisting small 4 year old doesn't need a CARSEAT

(87 Posts)
DillyDallyDayDream Mon 21-Jan-13 10:34:10

Mum and dad boss are both insisting that there ds does not need a CARSEAT when I take him out in the car. He is tiny for his age (more 3 year old size) so I'm sure he needs a car seat preferably a high back booster.

In result of them not supplying one I've stopped doing any extra activities with him after school that involve a car journey - which they are not happy about

What can I do to ensure they provide a CARSEAT?

here car seat law.

Child need to 135cm or 12years before they do not need a car seat.

I would refuse to take the child in a car unless they have a car seat.

Flisspaps Mon 21-Jan-13 10:40:02

I would show them this and this

It's quite clear that the only time a child can travel without a car seat is in exceptional circumstances. Other than that, keep refusing to take him on any journeys requiring a car. As the driver, it is you who will be fined, not them!

DillyDallyDayDream Mon 21-Jan-13 10:41:35

I am refusing to as I know he needs one, they say he screams and has a tantrum when put in one.

Feel I should buy one so he doesn't miss out

NaturalBaby Mon 21-Jan-13 10:41:57

Government recommendations:"Children must use the correct car seat for their weight until they reach 135 centimetres tall or their 12th birthday, whichever is first."
The law on car seats: "It is the driver's legal responsibility to ensure that the child is correctly restrained."

Why on earth do they not want their child in a car seat?!

DillyDallyDayDream Mon 21-Jan-13 10:43:27

I think they think he's invincible to crashes etc, I've followed them before and he is not belted in and jumping around the car!

Flisspaps Mon 21-Jan-13 10:44:27

Oh well, avoiding a tantrum is clearly far more important than ensuring your child's safety hmm <aimed at the parents, not you OP!>

NaturalBaby Mon 21-Jan-13 10:45:08

Do they even put a seat belt on him?
They need to have words with a paramedic or police who have attended road traffic accidents where small children have been seriously injured to think about the consequences of their negligence.

DillyDallyDayDream Mon 21-Jan-13 10:46:29

Flisspaps It ridiculous! They recently took him on a 2 hour journey with out a CARSEAT - I know because it was one of the very very very rare occasions it was in my car!

noviceoftheday Mon 21-Jan-13 10:47:44

Words fail me. It's the law!!

DillyDallyDayDream Mon 21-Jan-13 10:48:06

Natural baby - I don't think they belt him in as when I've had him the car he refuses to wear one and if u put it on him he takes it off

BobbiFleckmann Mon 21-Jan-13 10:49:09

am not a nanny / cm, however that is so nuts that it would probably make me want to leave the job because it demonstrates that they're utterly certifiable.

Pourquoimoi Mon 21-Jan-13 10:50:11

If it stops you taking other children out I would tell them you can no longer take their dc unless they provide a car seat.

Tell them the law etc again and say you are unwilling to do anything illegal. They won't find another childminder willing to break the law as they may lose registration.

They can get a cheap car seat for less than the cost of a couple of days of childcare.

Some people really have NO sense! (Them, Not you!!)

DillyDallyDayDream Mon 21-Jan-13 10:50:15

I love my job and in every other way they are great employers. It's just the CARSEAT thing that annoys me

Xmaspuddingsaga Mon 21-Jan-13 10:50:34

Of course YANBU . Madness words fail me really.

Pourquoimoi Mon 21-Jan-13 10:51:44

So they have got a caraway?, they just don't use it or give it to you to use?

Pourquoimoi Mon 21-Jan-13 10:52:06

Autocorrect! I meant car seat!

yousankmybattleship Mon 21-Jan-13 10:52:44

They are mentalists. You have to refuse to take him in your car without a car seat. Hopefully if you make it inconvenient for them they might do the right thing and buy a car seat. Some parents just don't deserve to have children.

nannynick Mon 21-Jan-13 10:53:05

You as driver are responsible.
Is it your own car? Could you not buy a seat?

NaturalBaby Mon 21-Jan-13 10:54:53

If you drive past a car in public and a child is not restrained with a seatbelt - i.e breaking the law, can you phone the police? I've wondered when driving past obviously unrestrained kids before. I'd be very tempted if I knew a family that was doing this on a regular basis.

DillyDallyDayDream Mon 21-Jan-13 10:55:25

They have a carseat which is currently sat in the garage gathering dust!

Yes I use my car, I could buy one but feel I shouldn't have to as they should supply one

munchkinmaster Mon 21-Jan-13 10:55:45

You explain to your employers that as part of your job you will teach wee boy to sit in a car seat. Pitch it as a favour. I bet you can even hire one to convince them. I bet you will get him sitting in it (might not do it for mum and dad though but that's hardly your problem).

yousankmybattleship Mon 21-Jan-13 10:56:27

Can't you just take the carseat from the garage whenever you need it?

munchkinmaster Mon 21-Jan-13 10:56:38

Ah cross post - get it out the garage!

GrassIsntGreener Mon 21-Jan-13 10:57:00

Could you buy a car seat and file the receipt with them?

DillyDallyDayDream Mon 21-Jan-13 10:58:08

Ive done that but don't feel it's safe, on inspection it's cracked. I haven't checked recently if its there but no doubt it's not.

DillyDallyDayDream Mon 21-Jan-13 10:59:07

Grass - have considered that but don't think they would pay for it

senua Mon 21-Jan-13 10:59:32

Who is in charge here? The four year old? hmm

yousankmybattleship Mon 21-Jan-13 11:00:22

Well if there is no usable car seat then you have a duty of care to refuse to taek him in your car. I agree with you that there is no reason why you should pay for a seat yourself.

DillyDallyDayDream Mon 21-Jan-13 11:00:59

Very much the four year old when mum and dad are about.
This is the child who decides he won't have breakfast until 5mins before we need to be out for school as mum lets him do that

senua Mon 21-Jan-13 11:07:35

I was going to say that this will probably end up as a SuperNanny scenario but didn't post it as I thought that I was being a bit melodramatic. On second thoughts ...

This is not going to end well. Start looking for a better family position!

catkind Mon 21-Jan-13 11:08:38

Never mind the high back booster, if he's 3 yr old size he prob needs a Stage 1 5 point harness job. Would be safer anyway if he's going to try to escape. Stick to your guns OP, no driving even to school without legal safe seat.

DillyDallyDayDream Mon 21-Jan-13 11:11:07

Luckily school is 2 min walk so would never drive.

Thinking about it even the baby is in the wrong CARSEAT

SanityClause Mon 21-Jan-13 11:15:38

While I always provided car seats when I had nannies, often they would have their own, as it was more convenient for them.

I know they are expensive, but you would be able to take it from job to job, so you may decide it's worth it.

Just think, what if you do have to make some kind of emergency journey, and he doesn't have one? Or what if the parents inform you that from Tuesday, he has horseriding lessons booked every week, or whatever.

Or find a new job.

DillyDallyDayDream Mon 21-Jan-13 11:20:00

Sanity - that's what I was thinking it just an expense I can't afford as have brought the baby a carseat recently as he was in the wrong one

Theas18 Mon 21-Jan-13 11:30:27

Do you want to continue to mind this child and deal with these difficult parents? Do they always pay promptly/any other disagreements??

You are acting entirely appropriately and in the childs best interests.

Have you asked NCMA or similar re parents wanting you to break the law and act unsafely?

I think if I were a CM I'd be giving them notice TBH. As a parent i know a good CM is worth their weight in gold and I'm sure you could easily fill the place with a less challenging family.

Theas18 Mon 21-Jan-13 11:32:27

for those saying " just provide a car seat and use it" it isn't as simple as that - this child is " boss" at home and isn't going to be a lamb and be strapped in at the CM nicely - there are likely to be huge battles of wills - it's bad enough teaching a child they need to be strapped in when they are your child, and hat is a consistent rule- when " my daddy doesn't say I have to" is part of the picture too....

DillyDallyDayDream Mon 21-Jan-13 11:32:54

I'm a nanny not a childminder - it's up to the parents to provide.

They always pay on time and are ok the majority of the time. It's just the safety in the car they don't care about

Karoleann Mon 21-Jan-13 11:34:09

You will have to insist. Explain that you can't take him out without a seat and that it would be you that is prosecuted if he didn't have a seat not then, it would also look really bad on your driving licience (for a future position) if you did have the conviction.
The little boy is 4, not 2! just have a week of fun after school activities if he will put the seatbelt on you can go, if he takes it off then you can't. My four year old only takes a couple of weeks to modify his behaviour usually!

stargirl1701 Mon 21-Jan-13 11:36:00

Phone the road safety officer and get her advice. She may be willing to talk to the parents.

piprabbit Mon 21-Jan-13 11:40:44

You cannot take him in a car without a carseat. You would be criminally responsible. You would be uninsurable. You would never be able to forgive yourself in the event of an accident. The parents would probably sue you to kingdom come in the event of an accident. You would then have to pay them compensation - which wouldn't be covered by your insurance. It could destroy you in every way, emotionally, financially, career-wise (who is going to employ the nanny who drove the kids around without a seat belt?).

Show them this.

Iggly Mon 21-Jan-13 12:36:54

Sorry but I wouldnt do this job.

The safety of their children is being put at risk here.

RosieGirl Mon 21-Jan-13 13:27:11

Can you contact your local police and ask them to come for a "friendly chat" including the little one, to show how serious it is.

The little one may like the police visit and listen to him, and you could try and ask them to dress it up as a general "awareness visit".

homeaway Mon 21-Jan-13 13:40:58

They can't possibly be thinking of the consequences if you or they were in an accident while their little boy was not strapped in an appropriate seat otherwise they would be insisting that he is strapped in . I would ask to use the seat that is in garage if he is still within the weight limit and tell them if they want you to take the child without the appropriate restraint then they are asking you to break the law.
Explain to little boy that when he is your car he has to be in his seat. I understand that it is hard with the temper trantrums ,but that is one area where I never ever gave way to my kids. My dd would scream in the carseat as she hated being restrained, but if she ever undid her five point harness I stopped and put her straight back in. I used to pick up from school some kids whose parents did not strap them in but I told them when they were in my car they had to be on boosters or in carseats or they could not come with me. I hope you find a solution op.

DillyDallyDayDream Mon 21-Jan-13 13:41:26

I've told him that the police will take mummy and daddy away if he doesn't use car seat and belt, they've had talks at school about it but no change.

NaturalBaby Mon 21-Jan-13 13:58:33

Do your local police station have open days or attend events you could take him to?

NaturalBaby Mon 21-Jan-13 14:02:29

Oh crikey, they have a baby as well?!?
Seriously, you need to put your foot down.
I've always worked with kids and hopefully always will. I had an incident with a 6month old in my car and had a 'chat' from a policeman. I was very, very lucky (and the baby was absolutely fine) but I made a mistake and I knew it. I was petrified I would loose my job and never be able to work with kids again.

nannynick Mon 21-Jan-13 14:22:44

A Group 123 seat can be purchased for 35 from Argos. It's not the best seat in the world but it will make it legal for you to transport him in your car.

Sure he may not like sitting in it but it's your car and you are responsible for passenger safety. Children do adapt to having different rules when different people care for them, so whilst he may kick off at first about using the seat, he may accept it, especially if it's sold to him as being his special seat for use only in your car.

You have brought the baby the correct car seat already, so I'm not sure why you are so against buying one for the older child. Sure you can view it as being the parents responsibility to provide carseats if you like, but end of the day it is your car, so you are legally responsible for your young passengers. It's you who gets in trouble, not the parents.

nannynick Mon 21-Jan-13 14:27:17

I have had similar situation occur - though it was not that the parents did not provide seats, it was that I didn't want the hassle of taking them in and out of the car all the time. Instead I wanted seats that could remain in my car, so I brought them. Sometimes you just need to have a cost of doing the job... you have the cost of running the car, the parents providing that. They may pay mileage but the bulk of the cost of the car is still coming from your pocket to enable you to do the job. Are carseats essential to your job? Sounds like the parents are not happy that you are not taking the children out, so I would say that the carseats are quite important for keeping your job.

Though maybe there is a lot more to this and you need to consider if you want to continue in the job or not.

Greensleeves Mon 21-Jan-13 14:32:01

I do not think OP should pay for a car seat. It is the parents' responsibility to provide one or to fund the purchase of one.

OP whatever their "rationale" they can't ask you to break the law. I would give notice if this can't be resolved. Madness.

So the issue isn't the lack of a seat but the fact that little Tarquin throws a strop if he's put in it, so mum and dad don't put him in? He's going to be fun to teach come Reception isn't he? Poor kid!

If this is an issue with lack of parental boundaries and "tough, I say you need to be belted in so get over it", I don't think you're going to win this one. You'll just keep coming up against issues where his parents aren't willing to put their foot down, as you're finding with last minute breakfasts.

What sort of notice do you have to give with this family, because i'm sorry but I think the car seat is the thin end of the wedge.....

LadyHarrietdeSpook Mon 21-Jan-13 14:33:23

Email them the links that you have been sent here and explain you will not be driving him anywhere without a functioning car seat.

Do not buy one yourself - they are obliged to provide one.

Completing friggin insane.

LIZS Mon 21-Jan-13 14:39:27

Tell them that, as driver, you are legally responsible for his safety in your car including the use of an age appropriate car seat and as a professional will not /cannot afford to take that risk. Do they take other unnecessary risks and expect you to follow?

Blondeshavemorefun Mon 21-Jan-13 15:54:48

how totally stupid - who is in charge here the adult or the child?? hmm

i know some boss's give in for an easy life but this is insane

op, you say they are great employers, well i dont think they are, they are bloody stupid and irresponsible to even consider taking their child out without car seats

you have 3 choices

1) never go out in car
2) buy a car seat
3) leave job and find responsible parents

either way i would report them next time they go out without using a car seat

munchkinmaster Mon 21-Jan-13 22:57:32

You see I thought if you put in clear boundaries you could get him in the seat. But you say you have told him mum and dad will go to jail if he doesn't use it. What a bad move. How scary for a 4 year old and you've no chance of changing behaviour with empty threats like that.

pippop1 Mon 21-Jan-13 23:37:43

Find another child to mind with sensible parents.

Skyebluesapphire Mon 21-Jan-13 23:49:07

print out the legal requirements and give it to them. and refuse to take the child in your car or allow them to, without a seat, as you will not be party to law breaking.

When DD, on a couple of occasions, unclipped her seatbelt, I stopped the car, pulled over, and refused to drive on until she left it alone.

Another friend refused to take her neice on a day out because she kept unclipping her seatbelt. It was harsh, but the child never did it again.

Are they going to let him have his own way through his entire life?

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Mon 21-Jan-13 23:57:21

I would buy/or make them buy a highback booster (under £30) and he would keep the seatbelt on. I do not negotiate with children about things like this (nor eating breakfast on time). If he takes it off, you just pull over and don't move until it's back on again. Breakfast, if he doesn't eat it when you tell him, he goes without - it wont kill him and he will learn. It does not matter what the parents do when they are there - you are in charge.

(Obviously it matters about them not using the car seat, I mean that in general when you are there it's YOUR rules)

DillyDallyDayDream Tue 22-Jan-13 19:08:35

Chipping - totally understand what your saying but 25% of the time dad is around in the morning so he gets his own way with him which then in turn mucks up going to school etc
I've gone and brought a booster seat now as felt at least that is safer than none. Next step is seatbelt.

nextphase Tue 22-Jan-13 19:16:56

If he is a small 4 year old, is he heavy enough to be in a booster? they generally have a min weight of 15kg. My 3.8 is 13kg.

Agree with those saying he needs a car seat tho. What was the baby in? A stage 2? Put 4 yr old in that - assuming he is under 18kg, which is usually the max weight for them.

anewyear Tue 22-Jan-13 19:31:44

Ive read some of the thread, but REALLY??

UNBELIEVABLE that anyone would let a 4yr dictate ANYTHING..

jay55 Tue 22-Jan-13 19:37:12

Could you try freecycle and/or ask around if anyone has one that has been grown out of.

DillyDallyDayDream Tue 22-Jan-13 19:52:10

I agree its unbelievable, baby i weights 22lb and is just over a year and in a 1-2-3 seat, which he slouches in, leans forward etc etc

I'm looking for one but none seem to be around. I've decided that I'm guna get one with a 5point harness so he can't get it undone!

Blondeshavemorefun Tue 22-Jan-13 19:52:34

agree a booster seat is just as dangerous as no seat if little - needs to be a back booster

sleeplessinderbyshire Tue 22-Jan-13 21:14:39

If you aregoing to go out buying a seat why not put him in the 1-2-3 seat and get something more appropriate for the baby (eg britax first class which is not that expensive)

As a parent who has a nanny we have supplied a group 1 seat for exclusive use for our nanny to take 3 yr old out (I fitted it in her car and it is never removed so I know it is correctly fitted) and the baby is still in a babycarrier

DillyDallyDayDream Tue 22-Jan-13 21:49:30

The carseats are an expense I can't afford at the moment. Hence why I'm reluctant to buy them - when they should be supplied

DillyDallyDayDream Tue 22-Jan-13 21:52:00

The carseats are an expense I can't afford at the moment. Hence why I'm reluctant to buy them - when they should be supplied

Blondeshavemorefun Tue 22-Jan-13 22:55:09

I agree they should be supplied but your ignorant bosses think otherwise

Tbh I'm not sure I could work for a family that think so little of their child's safety sad

BertieBotts Tue 22-Jan-13 23:05:29

Yes you're absolutely right they should be supplied.

However I think you have two choices here. Buy your own car seat, or refuse to drive in the car. It's your responsibility as the driver, legally, to ensure that children are in the correct restraints.

If the baby is 22lbs then it is legal for them to travel in a group 1 seat (although it doesn't sound in any way ready for one!) but if the older one is the size of a 3 year old then they NEED to be in a high backed booster, possibly even a 5-point harness seat, depending on weight (15kg is the minimum weight for a high backed booster - they CANNOT legally be used when the child is below this weight)

It comes down to - are you willing to risk your job for the sake of a £25 car seat? This would do. Or even this although I'd go for the Graco personally, because I don't trust this brand. (But you could use this one rear facing for the baby and then the 123 for the 4yo so might be better)

DillyDallyDayDream Tue 22-Jan-13 23:08:44

Which one can be rear facing for baby

BertieBotts Tue 22-Jan-13 23:18:58

The second link - the Nania teamtex. I'm not convinced on the safety of those seats but it would presumably be better than a forward facing seat if the baby is tiny.

BertieBotts Tue 22-Jan-13 23:26:24

Sorry - to clarify. The two links in my post, a Graco high backed booster and a Nania Teamtex seat - the Graco could be used for the older DC (assuming she weighs over 15kg) and the baby could remain legally in the group 1 seat she is in now. I believe this Graco seat is a good car seat, although it is cheap, it is sturdy and the belt guides are good.

The Nania Teamtex is a group 0/1/2 seat - the concept of this alone makes me a bit hmm and also the knowledge that Nania are the ultimate budget seat producers and appear to cut corners wherever they can. However, it's a seat which will enable the baby to be rear facing until... ah, in fact, I've just looked it up and the rear facing limit on this is only 10 kilos, which is roughly 22lbs, so no good for the baby.

OK so if you were wanting to get a seat for the baby and put the 4yo in the baby's current seat, then you're looking at an infant carrier kind of seat, and it looks like the cheapest ones are pretty shallow - which means baby is likely to outgrow in height/length well before you're happy for the 4yo to go without a car seat. This mothercare one is probably the cheapest you'll find an adequately big one. (On offer ATM until 13 Feb)

deleted203 Tue 22-Jan-13 23:29:06

I don't see what the problem is. Simply state that it is against the law for him to travel in a car without a car seat and that you refuse to take him out without one. No one can insist you break the law because they don't agree with it!

nextphase Wed 23-Jan-13 08:46:01

OK, I think you move the 4 yr old into the 1-2-3 seat.
Then you need to sort out the baby's travel. He's 10kg. Does he have an old 0+ infant carrier about? He should be good in that for several months (0+ is 13kg max weight), while you work on the parents to get the seating issues resolved (or you find another job, and hand in your notice).

Don't cave on this one, its not a difference of opinion, its a legal requirement.

anewyear Wed 23-Jan-13 09:33:43

The seat belt thing, Im sure I saw on a thread either here or on another forum that theres a company, sorry cant remember their name, who make a gadget that you fit over the clunk click bit, so child cant un do it, would that help?

DillyDallyDayDream Wed 23-Jan-13 18:40:33

Managed to borrow a rear facing maxi cosi pebble for baby so he's sorted

I put 4 year old in a britax prince which he climbed out of,took 10 mins to get him back in just for him to do it again

cathpip Wed 23-Jan-13 18:47:47

Your boss'es need to have a word with mine, ones a hospital consultant and the other is a coroner, they could pass on some horrific stories about children not wearing seatbelts and not in correct carseats. How irresponsible of them...

sleeplessinderbyshire Wed 23-Jan-13 22:06:46

There's something called a houdini stop which is meant to be brilliant and keeping determined small people in a 5 point harness, might be worth a try...

homeaway Thu 24-Jan-13 16:10:52

You are doing the right thing, you have to be consistent and you will win, it will be hard but you will. My dd managed to houdini herself out of five point belt, it took a huge amount of determination on her part to do it but it can be done smile. We were parked at the time and were not moving as we were about to set off... but that same child eventually learnt that she did not get her way by undoing her belt . The child has to learn that when he is in your car he follows your rules and that means being strapped in. He will accept it eventually.

homeaway Thu 24-Jan-13 16:12:08

ps maybe showing him how nicely his sister is sitting in her seat might help and making up a sticker/ reward chart for him might work ?

BertieBotts Thu 24-Jan-13 22:46:13

It is very easy for a child to get themselves out of a 5 point harness if they want to, (they just need to suck in their tummy) so persuading them to stay in it is the key. I always have the rule with DS that if he doesn't have his seatbelt on properly then the car can't go. Or bribery can work wonders grin

MNPin2013 Thu 24-Jan-13 23:55:16

DillyDally you need a Kiddy Pro seat it is fitted with the adult seat belt but has a impact cushion that goes between child and belt and thus prevents child reaching the seat buckle!!!

DillyDallyDayDream Fri 25-Jan-13 17:53:24

Tried sticker chart - no luck
Tried bribery - no luck
Tried 5 point harness - he got out

Have told mum/dad that unless this issue is addressed I will not be taking either child out. Both children are now in correct carseats (at my expense)

BertieBotts Fri 25-Jan-13 18:11:35

I don't think OP needs to be buying anything else!

I think you'll just have to persevere with it OP sorry to say. It's a PITA that they've managed to convince their child that he doesn't need a car seat as it's something you'll have to work on the other way, but it is now just that - a discipline issue. Children do quickly understand that rules are different in different places, you just have to be firm with it.

You could try some way of fixing the straps together so that he can't open them (I've heard of reins on the child and car seat straps fastened underneath the reins so he can't get arms through) but bear in mind that adding things to the car seat straps (like a houdini stop or home made version) can put extra pressure on them and won't have been tested - possibly as a temporary deterrent, e.g. when he stops trying to escape then he can go in with the normal straps AND he's allowed to undo the buckle when you stop but not until you say - any transgression and the extra safety device has to go back on.

fieldfare Fri 25-Jan-13 18:22:27

Did you remove his outer coat and tighten the straps as much as possible? There are clips you can buy cheaply that attach to the shoulder straps and goes across their chest so that they are meant to be unable to pull their arms through.

fieldfare Fri 25-Jan-13 18:22:51

But that beside the issue that the parents are clearly irresponsible and terribly ignorant!

HSMM Fri 25-Jan-13 18:50:00

Firm and consistent and exciting places to go in the car. The child is hopefully old enough to understand that not cooperating means no exciting outing.

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