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  1. #1
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    Unhappy I should have said something...

    At the playground today my mother and my two sons and I were alone until a family with a young mom, a 10 month old (I asked) and the mom's elderly grandparents came to play. Seemed nice - and the mom was VERY careful with her little girl, constantly not allowing her (a brand new walker) to fall or get into even remotely dangerous situations (stark contrast to me!!). I watched them get into their suburban to go because I had a feeling... and yes - FF overhead shield that looked to be at least 10 years old.

    And I was too chicken to say anything. :-(

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  3. #2
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    Re: I should have said something...

    Quote Originally Posted by BeanJeepin View Post
    At the playground today my mother and my two sons and I were alone until a family with a young mom, a 10 month old (I asked) and the mom's elderly grandparents came to play. Seemed nice - and the mom was VERY careful with her little girl, constantly not allowing her (a brand new walker) to fall or get into even remotely dangerous situations (stark contrast to me!!). I watched them get into their suburban to go because I had a feeling... and yes - FF overhead shield that looked to be at least 10 years old.

    And I was too chicken to say anything. :-(
    It is hard. If you say something, what do you say? You don't know this person and while they may welcome the advice suggestion, some could really be upset for your nosing in to their private business. Just a tough call.
    Sad though, for that child. I guess you could be happy that at least she was buckled.
    Lori (I drive Cadillac Escalade ESV) SAHM to Brooks 9/13/01 seatbelt only, Brady 7/4/03 seatbelt only, Kinsadie 2/23/08 Pink Britax Frontier, and Brakin David 6/7/10 FF in a cowmooflage Britax Frontier Clicktight

  4. #3
    Carseat Crazy mimieliza's Avatar
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    Re: I should have said something...

    What's really sad is that if she was so attentive with the baby, she's probably trying to do everything right. Maybe when her baby reached 20 lbs., her ped told her she could turn the seat around. Maybe a relative gave her the seat and since it's an older seat, the instructions said to FF at 20 lbs.

    It's just sad that parents who want to do what's right for their kids still end up misinformed.
    michelle mama to
    dd 10.30.06 graco connext & recaro performance booster
    ds 5.4.10 sunshine kids radian xtsl & graco nautilus safety surround
    riding safely in a 2014 mazda 5 and a 2002 subaru forester


  5. #4
    Moderator - CPST Instructor snowbird25ca's Avatar
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    Re: I should have said something...

    It's always hard to know what to do in these situations. I usually bite the bullet though and say something in cases of blatant misuse or a situation that is inherently dangerous... sometimes the parent accepts help, sometimes they get offended.

    Don't beat yourself up over it. It's never easy to decide.. maybe if you see them in the park again though you could build enough of a rapport to mention something...

    I recently had a positive experience in a store where I mentioned to a mom a couple problems I noticed her infant seat had. (Dad was parked in front of the door, baby was strapped into the seat and I walked past them on my way in.) Mom was concerned and when she found out I was a tech asked me to come check her seats. Both her and dad were very grateful for the help... I always feel good when it goes this way. And when the opposite happens, I feel annoyed and frustrated that a parent wouldn't care enough to do better...

    Anyways, I guess I'm just commiserating with you. I think it's hard for techs and advocates when we notice misuse, because we feel like we need to tell the parent and help them fix it. But in the end, if we spent time and worry about every single seat we saw with a problem, we'd worry ourselves to death.

    There's a balance in there, and I think each person has to find it for themselves. You did what seemed best in the immediate situation, try not to beat yourself up now that time has passed and you're able to look back in retrospect. You know what they say, hindsight is 20/20.
    Trudy - Canadian CPSAC certified CRST Instructor-Trainer and mommy to:
    Janeen - 17 yrs and learning to drive!
    Jillian - 11 yrs, 80'ish lbs, 5-stepping in each car. :O
    Jonas - 8yrs, 65lbs, Riding in an Oobr in each car.
    Both safely riding in either a 2007 Outlook or a 2015 Subaru Legacy depending on the day.


  6. #5
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    Re: I should have said something...

    I know exactly what you mean! We went to visit DH's cousins last year and they went to the zoo with us. I really bit my tongue because they had their DD in one of those infant seats where you thread the seatbelt over the top of the seat and they had it reclined so far back that she was practically laying down and they didn't really tighten the seatbelt or anything. I kept thinking that I should say something, but I didn't want to offend them or anything. I mean, they are really really frugal people and there's no telling where they found that seat or how old it is... and they are such great parents in every other way, I know they are really trying to do what's right. But I don't think they knew any better. I have thought about that day so many times and have regretted not saying anything. Especially since they now have another little one and I'm sure he is in the same infant seat...

  7. #6
    CPS Technician keri1292's Avatar
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    Re: I should have said something...

    I'm starting to say things more often now. If I don't say something especially to friends and family and the WORST should happen, I'll feel tremendous guilt. I just try to be at peace with their decision after I give the information. Especially, when people are great parents otherwise. They usually don't know any better. If they choose to ignore me, the guilt and knowledge is now their burden to carry.
    Maiya ~ 12y/80lbs ~ Jane Indy Plus ~ Hayden ~ 9y/55lbs ~ SK Monterey ~ Quinn ~ 8y/45lbs ~ RXT ~ Mitchell ~ 18m/24lbs ~ Arctic Cat MA

  8. #7
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    Re: I should have said something...

    Quote Originally Posted by keri1292 View Post
    I'm starting to say things more often now. If I don't say something especially to friends and family and the WORST should happen, I'll feel tremendous guilt. I just try to be at peace with their decision after I give the information. Especially, when people are great parents otherwise. They usually don't know any better. If they choose to ignore me, the guilt and knowledge is now their burden to carry.
    I say things to family/friends. Strangers I'm still working out the best/least confrontational way to approach it.

    By the way - hi! I think you're on APRoch too? Your kids gender/ages look familiar.

  9. #8
    CPS Fanatic ZephyrBlue's Avatar
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    Re: I should have said something...

    It's so hard to know what/when to say something. If I were a tech, I know I'd be more apt to approach a stranger; it's hard as "just" another parent to go up to someone and tell them that they're doing something wrong. (I've done it though, because sometimes I just can't help myself ) With friends and family, I have to say something, or it eats me up inside. I, too, feel that if something happens to a child and I could have made a difference by providing information, the guilt would be unbearable. This happens when we have a spare seat that I know someone really needs; I always wind up giving it to them. The idea of having something to pass out to people is great; I've heard of people here doing it. An "offical" looking document with installation misuse info, common booster misconceptions, etc. would be a fantastic thing to be able to casually give someone.

  10. #9
    Carseat Crazy chaoticoctopus's Avatar
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    Re: I should have said something...

    I can't always think of the right thing to say at the right time, either. I try to come up with ideas for future reference when I find myself in similar situations repeatedly-- comments for people who stared/complained when I was nursing in public, comebacks for the inevitable "are you done yet" or "is hubby getting a vasectomy" situations, and now, carseat issues.

    One thing I've used a couple of times now IRL, is to approach the person looking concerned, apologize for (interrupting, poking my nose into their business, whatever the case) and say "I couldn't help but notice... (your seat, the harness, RF/FF install, fill in the blank)" and then follow up with a personal anecdote for WHY I'm concerned... "a friend of mine has that seat and just found out it's recalled/expired/unsafe", "my seat was all wobbly like that too, until a CPST showed me how to install it at a carseat check", "I was surprised to find out that the AAP no longer recommends automatically turning babies FF at 12m/20#"... I try to keep a few things like this in mind so I can come up quickly with a non-confrontational, non-threatening approach. Then I encourage them not to take my word for it, but to do some searching online themselves. I point them here, of course.

    ChaoticOctopus
    Dd (4y)~Radian: 36#, 41"
    Dd (7y)~PW: 43#, 45"
    9y, 11y, 13y & 15y/o~ seatbelts

  11. #10
    CPS Technician keri1292's Avatar
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    Re: I should have said something...

    Quote Originally Posted by BeanJeepin View Post
    I say things to family/friends. Strangers I'm still working out the best/least confrontational way to approach it.

    By the way - hi! I think you're on APRoch too? Your kids gender/ages look familiar.
    Oh, cool! Yes, I think I even posted some carseat pics for a question or two. You're the first person I've "met" that's near me! We're in West Irondequoit. Hello!

    I don't get on APRochester often because I have a hard time following the posts. When people reply, there's a crazy long string of quotes, like a PM here, and I lose my place rather easily. I'm glad there's another car seat freak in Rochester. I have never seen such crazy use as I have here. Yesterday I saw a father leave the post office and buckle his 15ish month old up in a regular seat belt. No carseat...at all. PM me sometime, maybe we could meet up at the playground or Strong museum. We're still pretty new to the area (moved last Oct) and I'd love to meet a like minded mama. Wow, small world, huh?
    Maiya ~ 12y/80lbs ~ Jane Indy Plus ~ Hayden ~ 9y/55lbs ~ SK Monterey ~ Quinn ~ 8y/45lbs ~ RXT ~ Mitchell ~ 18m/24lbs ~ Arctic Cat MA

  12. #11
    Moderator - CPS Technician safeinthecar's Avatar
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    Re: I should have said something...

    When it comes to older car seats I think there is actually a lot of logical reasons why parents are clueless that they are dangerous. First, we see cars on the road everyday that are 20, 30 40, even 50 years old. Not only do most people not consider these cars unsafe, many people actually think that older cars were safer because they are made of steel. Many people see the way todays cars crumple and say " they don't make them like they used to" Even when people know that older cars are not as safe as newer ones, ( umm, ME) there are those of us who because of finances are in a position of needing to drive an older vehicle until it just won't drive anymore.

    Since car seats are seen as going with the car, it naturally follows that car seats are good as long as cars are.

    Add to that the same kind of sentimentality that drives moms to save that cradle or crib to hand down as an heirloom and what you get is a lot of kids riding around in old expired seats.

    Kimberly

  13. #12
    Moderator - CPS Technician safeinthecar's Avatar
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    Re: I should have said something...

    When it comes to older car seats I think there is actually a lot of logical reasons why parents are clueless that they are dangerous. First, we see cars on the road everyday that are 20, 30 40, even 50 years old. Not only do most people not consider these cars unsafe, many people actually think that older cars were safer because they are made of steel. Many people see the way todays cars crumple and say " they don't make them like they used to" Even when people know that older cars are not as safe as newer ones, ( umm, ME) there are those of us who because of finances are in a position of needing to drive an older vehicle until it just won't drive anymore.

    Since car seats are seen as going with the car, it naturally follows that car seats are good as long as cars are.

    Add to that the same kind of sentimentality that drives moms to save that cradle or crib to hand down as an heirloom and what you get is a lot of kids riding around in old expired seats.

    Kimberly

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