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to think letting your child travel without a car seat is bad parenting?

(52 Posts)
Hoptastic53 Mon 27-Mar-17 11:08:02

My best friend has a daughter who is 8 years old. Her dad picks her up from school for contact and I noticed a few times that he didn't have a car seat for his DD so I mentioned it to my friend. He'd been using a booster since they separated when their DD was 2 anyway which my friend had been unhappy about. She'd noticed before he started collecting from school that he didn't have a car seat once and offered to lend him hers and always made it clear she'd rather he borrow hers than let DD travel without one. My friend only lives five minutes from school.

When I told her she said what can she do? The contact is court ordered. I said personally I'd insist on pick up from home so she could check he had a car seat for her. My friend said this wouldn't stop him not using one for the rest of the weekend, which I'd true but I feel so strongly about car safety (close family member lost their child)that I'd stop contact over it as I feel it's neglectful parenting.

Their DD is about the same height as mine at around 123cm so should still be in a high back booster, in my opinion. Aibu to advise my friend she shouldn't let this continue?

blue2014 Mon 27-Mar-17 11:25:31

I'm really sorry but this isn't your battle to have. She's not daft, she's noticed the problem herself.

OlennasWimple Mon 27-Mar-17 11:26:30

You keep your sticky beak out of their problems, that's what you do...

Hoptastic53 Mon 27-Mar-17 11:36:46

And she thinks she's powerless which is putting her daughter - and my god daughter - in danger. I'd like to help her.

Firesuit Mon 27-Mar-17 11:49:51

Using a car seat may be safer than not doing so, but it doesn't follow that not using one is dangerous. The opposite of "safer" isn't "dangerous", it's "less safe."

Not ever crossing a road reduces your risk of being run over while crossing a road, but it doesn't follow that you should wring your hands at reckless people who insist on crossing roads, and castigate them for risking the lives of their children.

Having said that, whatever his reasons for not have a car seat, I can't see why he wouldn't have a £10 booster seat, if these are still legal. (Not sure when the ban on these comes in, if it hasn't already.)

Hoptastic53 Mon 27-Mar-17 11:53:53

He does have one, he's choosing not to use it.

Pimmmms Mon 27-Mar-17 11:56:38

The fact is she is powerless. The court has ordered contact and he is one of the child's parents. So stop making her feel worse about the situation.

BrightOranges Mon 27-Mar-17 11:59:45

How tall is she? A child doesn't need a car/booster seat until they are 12 or 135cm, whichever comes first. My DD was over that height by 8 years of age.

reallyanotherone Mon 27-Mar-17 12:02:35

Can you report him? It's illegal so he's committing a crime.

I don't think its "stickybeaking" it's concern for a childs welfare. If they had an accident and the child was hurt you'd wish you'd done something.

KanyeWesticle Mon 27-Mar-17 13:15:37

She's 10cm below the limit so it IS against the law - it's not just your opinion or judging his parenting style. It's not a choice or an option.

Areyoufree Mon 27-Mar-17 13:18:34

I have noticed this with a girl at my daughter's school. She hasn't used a car seat or booster seat the entire time we have known her (she is 5). It's so hard to know when you are being interfering, and when a child is genuinely at risk!

Natsku Mon 27-Mar-17 13:20:24

Doesn't sound like she has any control over it though, no Court would look too kindly on her trying to force an adjustment or re-arranging visitation on the basis of a carseat for an 8 year old. We have the same law in Finland but I don't actually know anyone who uses a carseat for a child over 6. DD's social worker picks her up once a fortnight and doesn't use a booster seat or anything.

reallyanotherone Mon 27-Mar-17 13:21:12

The fact is she is powerless. The court has ordered contact and he is one of the child's parents. So stop making her feel worse about the situation.

I don't think she is powerless. He is breaking the law, and putting his child at risk in the process. So she can ask the police to pay a visit, or presumably re visit the court order as he is both doing something illegal and disobeying child safety law.

Using a car seat may be safer than not doing so, but it doesn't follow that not using one is dangerous. The opposite of "safer" isn't "dangerous", it's "less safe."

It's also illegal if she's under the height limit. So it can be enforced, regardless of safety opinions.

shaggedthruahedgebackwards Mon 27-Mar-17 13:22:38

I suspect your friend is 'choosing her battles'

There are plenty of worse things in life than an 8yo travelling without a booster seat

You have made your feelings known and offered her a solution which makes you a caring friend. I don't think it would be reasonable to keep on at her about it. If you really feel that strongly then perhaps you should discuss your concerns with the child's father directly?

Birdsgottaf1y Mon 27-Mar-17 13:27:02

You need to lay off her and if you feel strongly enough, report him, when you know she'll be in the car.

She's picking her battles and the child is old enough to decide if she wants to see her Dad. Your plan wouldn't change things.

itsmine Mon 27-Mar-17 13:33:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Hoptastic53 Mon 27-Mar-17 14:13:58

Are those of you who say it isn't important aware of the difference it could make if they were involved in a crash? Their journey to school is almost an hour and mostly A roads and motorways. No car seat at those speeds would mean she would likely be decapitated.

It is my friend who keeps asking me what to do, not me who is on at her. Do you think the police would actually have a word if she reported him?

Hoptastic53 Mon 27-Mar-17 14:16:40

Having just Googled it, he can get a £100 fixed penalty notice if caught in the act.

Universitychallenging Mon 27-Mar-17 14:19:03

She's right. The contact is court ordered. And he'd be likely to argue the unexpected exception.

PeaFaceMcgee Mon 27-Mar-17 14:19:48

Report him anonymously to the nspcc. Ideallywith his reg number. They'll do the rest.

PeaFaceMcgee Mon 27-Mar-17 14:20:55

It is my friend who keeps asking me what to do

She's probably dropping hints for you to report him.

PeaFaceMcgee Mon 27-Mar-17 14:22:45

And you're right OP. It's neglect, illegal and highly unsafe should there be an accident.

Universitychallenging Mon 27-Mar-17 14:23:06

But yoUr op says you mentioned it to her?

ZombieApocalips Mon 27-Mar-17 14:24:15

She'd be in more trouble for stopping contact than he would for no car seat. It sadly wouldn't be considered an acceptable reason to stop contact.

I think she probably wants you to report him to the police.

StudentMum92 Mon 27-Mar-17 14:27:02

A booster cushion is adequate for an average 8 year old in the eyes of the law.

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