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Child with no car seat

(18 Posts)
shufflebum Wed 29-Jun-11 15:59:26

On leaving toddler group yesterday with DS another mum saw me putting DS into his rear facing seat (he's a large 2 year old) she laughed and said she's seen it all. That's fine each to their own, she then pointed at her own car parked behind me and said "DD doesn't even have seat, I just pop her in the back with a lap belt!" This was said all very cheerily, she even added that she considered herself to be a very careful driver and she guessed it was down to relaxing standards when you have a 2nd child. I said I was horrified at which she responded that she occasionally put her in her brother's high backed booster on the way back from doing the school run. I think her brother is about 5/6 but her DD is only 2.5 and much smaller than my DS.
The final part is that her car is a soft top convertible (marque 1/2 Golf) so if she were to have an accident I can't bear to think what would happen to her.

I don't think AIBU to be shocked and sickened that someone would laugh about putting their child at risk like this and that's not what I'm asking. It's just that on telling the story to DH last night he immediately said I should tip off the police comparing it with someone leaving the pub over the limit and about to drink drive.
Would you tell the police, it's going to be pretty obvious that it came from me which could make things rather awkward in our small village community but obviously if that helps a child stay alive in an accident then that is a small price to pay.

cleverything Wed 29-Jun-11 16:01:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Gracie123 Wed 29-Jun-11 16:06:15

Have to agree with clever
She needs reporting.

GrimmaTheNome Wed 29-Jun-11 16:06:37

How about printing out this and giving it to her?

If she still continues to flout the law, yes, you probably should mention it to the police.

SofiaAmes Wed 29-Jun-11 16:21:24

It is my understanding that there is no research that shows that a child in a booster with a belt is any safer than a child with just a belt.
In addition, if there are only lap belts in the back of the car, then a booster could not be used as they don't work with just lap belts.
It is odd that she would make a point of ridiculing your safety choices, but seems a bit OTT to report her to the police when she is in fact using a belt for her child.

thisisyesterday Wed 29-Jun-11 16:24:50

yes, i would inform them, or tell the nursery at least....

if she regularly leaves at the same time then a PCSO or someone could just "happen" to be passing....

shufflebum Wed 29-Jun-11 16:24:59

clever I wish that was all it was but no a toddler. Writing it down here has made me realise I'm not being an interfering busybody.
Grimma I'm certain she knows it's illegal and how she's done 2 years of school and nursery runs in a convertible without someone more outspoken than me pointing it out I don't know.

shufflebum Wed 29-Jun-11 16:25:24

What I meant to say was I'll report it asap

thisisyesterday Wed 29-Jun-11 16:25:56

sofiaames... it is illegal for her NOT to use an appropriate child restraint

the little girl is only 2!!!! she ought to be in a carseat still, not even just on a booster. there are a fair few that can be fitted with just a lapbelt

GrimmaTheNome Wed 29-Jun-11 17:21:08

Really, Sophia? I found this without even trying hard:

According to researchers at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, for children 4 to 7 years, booster seats reduce injury risk by 59% compared to seat belts alone.

(its got a reference to a paper if you look at the link)

SofiaAmes Wed 29-Jun-11 18:30:34

I stand corrected re the studies. Why don't you give her a copy of that article. Or one of the others that is relevant to a 2 year old.
I don't disagree that her child should be in a car seat (in fact when I lived in England it was before your current car seat laws and everyone thought I was a little OTT for the care I took to always put my kids in car seats per the California recommendations).
However, I do disagree that reporting her to the police is an appropriate or effective way to get her to change her habits (if that is your intention). It will probably only result in her being really pissed off and doing her best to never put her child in a car seat. In my experience, the best way to get her to put her child in an appropriate seat, is to buy her one and help her install it in her car. (That's what I did with my dh's ex).

GrimmaTheNome Wed 29-Jun-11 21:35:56

I'd try more persuasion before invoking the police - but buying some totally unrelated person a carseat would get the OP branded as an obsessive safety nut, I fear!

SofiaAmes Wed 29-Jun-11 22:27:37

And calling the police in a small village where everyone would know it was her, wouldn't!? I think both approaches are overkill as a first step. I would advise giving the woman a copy of the articles to start with.

onagar Wed 29-Jun-11 22:31:36

its not as illegal as you think. there are all kinds of situations where it isn't required. Feel free to call the police though and make fools of yourself - again.

thisisyesterday Wed 29-Jun-11 22:45:01

the only situation where it is ok is in a taxi

the law says:

"n the Rear Seat

The child MUST use the correct child restraint.

In a licensed taxi or licensed hire car, if a child restraint is not available then the child may travel unrestrained in the rear. This is the only exception for children under 3, and has been introduced for practical rather than safety reasons. You should always think about ways to make sure that a child seat is available.

It is the driver's legal responsibility to ensure that the child is correctly restrained."

GrimmaTheNome Wed 29-Jun-11 23:18:03

Yup, and even when the little girl is over 3, its clear that she will still need that seat to be legal in her mum's car. Onagar, I'm sorry to say you're being a uncharacteristically foolish if you can't understand something so clearly written as the current requirements.

Well, hopefully this mum is just out of date too and the correct information (including details of potential fine!) will do the job.

dragonmother Wed 29-Jun-11 23:29:05

I think you should talk to her again and say break the ice light-heartedly at first by saying something like 'hey I know you probably think I'm an over-protective nut but I really want to discuss this with you because I did double-check after our chat last week and the law is...and did you know that if you had an accident....etc.' Be really friendly 'oh I don't want you to get into trouble with the police, or god forbid...' and you never know. She might just listen.

SofiaAmes Thu 30-Jun-11 04:57:06

It may be more effective to talk about safety, rather than the law. Many people think laws don't apply to them if they can't see the sense in them.

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