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Quick question re: childminded children in cars

18 replies

Chocol8 · 14/02/2005 22:42

Please does anyone know what the regulations are for a child in the care of a registered childminder being put into a lap belt (in the middle of the back seat) rather than a 3 point seatbelt in a car?

My son tells me that he usually goes in the rear of the car but in the middle using only the lap belt. I have told my minder twice that I do not want this happening as a 3 point is more safe than a lap belt (he is 7), especially when her own children or her mother are using the 3 point belts. I do not want to cause any friction but each time I told her, she has disregarded what I have said.

I cannot seem to find any stats that prove a 3 point is safer on the websites to show my childminder. Can anyone suggest anything that may help please?

OP posts:
KatieMac · 14/02/2005 22:48


The rules (I think) are that any restraint is better than none. I personally didn't use the lap belp for anyone (don't have one now)

BUT a C/Mer should take into consideration the wishes of the parent.

However she might not want to put her own children in the lap belt - again I would only put a c/med child where I would be happy for my child to be. You might loose her over this...unless her mum could use the lap belt.

BTW - I actually agree with you about lap belts and the NCMA are advising that all children under 11 yrs or 1.5m in height should be in a booster seat.

KatieMac · 14/02/2005 22:49

I would put your request in writing. That way your wishes cannot be refused

Fran1 · 14/02/2005 22:53

There are no extra guidelines for childminders other than they have to have business insurance on their car and follow the same rules and regs we all follow.

I know my car seat instructions says the booster seat should be used up until the age of seven. So could you possibly use that angle? I s'pose it depends whether your son is a big or small size for his age, cos i think the weight and height of a child is to be considered.

If there is room in the car for him to sit by the window and use a 3point harness then i would insist he uses it if i were you.

But i'm guessing the car is full hence your son going in the middle?

If i were the childminder and had a full car, i guess i would put the eldest or biggest child in the middle with the lap belt.

Do they travel much in the car?

Fran1 · 14/02/2005 22:53

sorry posts crossed

Fran1 · 14/02/2005 22:55

wow so it is 11 years for a booster, well i would definitely use that angle. Provide her with a booster and request she uses it.

Another thought just came into my head, is it possible to have 3point belts fitted into middle seats of cars?? Don't know whether i'm just fantasising about that or not!

KatieMac · 14/02/2005 22:58

That's not legal yet (about 11 yrs or 1.5m) It is due to be legal this year or next and the NMCA advise that C/Mers use those guidelines.

If she isn't happy for her own child to be in the middle seat she shouldn't put a C/Mee in it.

Why is her mum in the car?

Chocol8 · 14/02/2005 23:18

Thanks, yes I do supply a booster seat to her, but I am very unimpressed with the way she disregards my request that he doesn't use the lap belt. As KatieMac says - if she is unwilling to put her own child in it - why should my child have to use it?

The implication on one occasion was that the car was very full and my son was still in the lap belt - not impressed. The only thing is that I can't lose her services as there are simply no childminders in this area to take and collect my son from school (I work 4 days a week) and i'm a single parent.

Thanks for your help - I will speak to her again tomorrow morning, just dreading it.

By the way Katie - her mum was in the car as they tend to do alot of family things in the holidays and my son has to lump it. I am going to have to broach the subject of her teaching him to tie his shoe laces and tell the time as she states on her CV, very soon.

Last year I found out that she was sometimes leaving my son in the car with her 11 yr old daughter whilst she popped into the shops...had to knock that one on the head pretty sharpish!

OP posts:
Fran1 · 14/02/2005 23:27

So she has an 11 yr old dd! Then SHE should be the one sitting in the lap belt.

I'm trying to work out what i would do if i were in her position, full car - no choice but to have someone in the middle. But i would choose the tallest of the children, whether it mine or childminded child.

If i were you i would ask her if you could have a meeting - make it more formal at a time when you can talk child free. That way she would know you are serious also. Prepare yourself with some pointers, and work out how to gently insist you want her to start doing things a bit differently when she is caring for your child.

Alternatively, does your local council have a childminding co-ordinator, and is your childminder in touch with them? You could contact them about your issues, and ask for advice and maybe support in demonstrating your wishes to your childminder.

ayla99 · 15/02/2005 16:35

ROSPA Child Car Seats

You might like to read standards 8 & 12
National Standards

I don't know if the Which? Car crash tests would have any data for you?

Does she have your written permission to take your child in her car?

KatieMac · 15/02/2005 20:40

Chocol8 - How did it go?

Chocol8 · 18/02/2005 15:57

Sorry Katiemac, it's been a bit of a hectic week. Yes, I asked her politely to put my ds in the tribelt and not the lap belt and she said yes ok.

Got home that evening and my ds said that he had been in the car with her to the local shops and she had put him in the tribelt but...had not used his booster seat. She then took him to various shops and collected something then drove a little way down the road and left him in the car (on a main road) whilst she popped into a shop saying "I can see you from there"!!!!!

My ds is 7 and knows this is wrong, so why doesn't she? Luckily on Wednesday and Thursday, they didn't go out in the car so I was happier then.

I realised that I am going to have to change minders anyway as I am removing my ds from his present school, so hopefully I can find a new (improved) one in the centre of town - here's hoping I can do it before Easter!

OP posts:
KatieMac · 18/02/2005 18:21

It's a shame that your wishes aren't being respected. I'm sorry you have to find a new minder.
Good Luck

Mum2Luke · 22/05/2007 14:18

I have a 7 seater (VW Sharan) and in the 2nd row behind drivers seat have only 2 3 point seats (th middle is a lap) and the two very rear ones have 3 point belts.

I put the 4 yr old and my 5 yr old in the very back on proper seats appropriate for their ages and the baby is in a seat where i can see him behind the passenger. I am left with the front seat which I allow NO child under 8 can use (because I have child protection policy) only my own child.

If I had an older child who was taller and perhaps heavier than a 4/5 yr old I would put him/her in the lap belt, I don't really like them, I wish I also had a 3 point belt but could not afford the same car that had one as they wanted £1,000 more.

Mum2Luke · 22/05/2007 14:22

I would also say that the woman who leaves the children in the car to go and buy something has a screw loose, hasn't she seen the news lately with that little girl Madeleine who has gone missing? What if someone could break in and steal the child while she was distracted!

The only time I would do that is if I had one of my older children with me in the car looking after them. I have a 16 yr old (CRB checked of course) and 13 yr old who sometimes are with me.

luciemule · 22/05/2007 14:26

It has been the law since september 2006 to put all children under the age of 11 (unless they're over a certain height) into a correctly fitted car seat or booster for their age/height.It's not advice - it's the law so child minders would be aware of this.There is loads of info on the website.

thebumcleaner · 22/05/2007 22:11

The law says 135cm at the mo, not 150 which is what it is changing to.

I have a lap belt in the middle of my second row of seats, and have bought a chaur that will fit on a lap belt. If my son is in the car then he goes in it, but mindees also use it as well as it is fitted correctly so safe as it has a 5 point harness in it.

I definately would put it in writing that you only want your son in a 3 point belt as then she would be in breach of contract if she did not follow your wishes. You would be able to remove him then if you could find a more suitable cm somewhere else!

jura · 23/05/2007 10:16

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

luciemule · 23/05/2007 13:12

that's so funny - oh well - at least I was right about the law now!!!

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