Are unrestrained kids a 911 call?

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ketchupqueen

CPST and ketchup snob
Staff member
In CA we have a number, 1-800-TELLCHP. That number is the CHP hotline and I use it to report unrestrained children (or blatant misuse-- infant seat forward-facing or in front seat with airbag, etc.) when we are on the highway. :)
 

MySillyKids

New member
Arizona's is 1-800-505-BABY

You have to leave a message. Just remember the license plate, and the details of the unbuckled child, and the vehicle description.
 

4boysmom

New member
In CA we have a number, 1-800-TELLCHP. That number is the CHP hotline and I use it to report unrestrained children (or blatant misuse-- infant seat forward-facing or in front seat with airbag, etc.) when we are on the highway. :)

I didn't know that. I always wondered best thing to do when I see wacko misuse and such.
 

morninglori

New member
In CA we have a number, 1-800-TELLCHP. That number is the CHP hotline and I use it to report unrestrained children (or blatant misuse-- infant seat forward-facing or in front seat with airbag, etc.) when we are on the highway. :)
Thanks for the number...I typically call the non-emergency line at my local PD.
 

JerseyGirl'sMama

New member
I wondered the same thing. Last Saturday I was nursing DS in the car at Babies R Us, and saw a family of 4 come out and get into a vehicle nearby. 4ish year old hopped into a HBB in the back, and mom was carrying a 6ish month old infant in her arms. They both got into the front passenger seat while dad loaded the car, including putting the infant bucket carrier into the backseat (they had it in their shopping cart.) I thought maybe the mom was just going to nurse her baby but never saw babies head go down, and after dad put the shopping cart away, they drove off. Meanwhile I am left scrambling to get the license plate number and figure out what type of vehicle they left in. I called the local 1-800-BUCKL-UP, but wondered if I should have called 911.
 

LISmama810

Admin - CPS Technician
Keep in mind that people call 911 all the time for absolutely ridiculous reasons.

They have a cold. Their cat is stuck in a tree. They want the address of the nearest fire station. They want to make a complaint. Their toaster is broken.

It's wonderful that people are concerned about keeping the lines clear and not wasting the dispatchers' and officers' time, but at least an unrestrained child can REASONABLY be considered an emergency situation.

You do have to decide where to draw the line. Loose harness? No. Kid bouncing around in the back seat? Yes.
 

April

New member
I have called 911 for an unrestrained toddler on the highway before, and I'd do it again in a heartbeat. I had to follow them until the police found us, and the officer was full of praise for me and said he wished more people would do it.
 

ceruti82

New member
In CA we have a number, 1-800-TELLCHP. That number is the CHP hotline and I use it to report unrestrained children (or blatant misuse-- infant seat forward-facing or in front seat with airbag, etc.) when we are on the highway. :)
thanks, i was wondering if there was something i could do, and i am in Ca. !
good to know!
 

ketchupqueen

CPST and ketchup snob
Staff member
The CHP also encourages motorists to use that number to report drunk or otherwise dangerous driving. :)

Of course 911 is still appropriate-- but I've found it's sometimes faster to use this number.
 

MySillyKids

New member
The CHP also encourages motorists to use that number to report drunk or otherwise dangerous driving. :)

Of course 911 is still appropriate-- but I've found it's sometimes faster to use this number.
I've done that. For a INFANT going in the back seat, with just a seatbelt. Gave the description of the car. no idea what happened, however.
 
I've called 911 several times for unrestrained children. I've managed to witness them getting pulled over a couple of times. Another, I followed for nearly an hour and they never got pulled over. We jsut happened to be traveling from one large city to the next, so it wasn't like we were stalking the people, just traveling the same highway. I was in constant contact with authorities, but there were no units available because they were working a kidnapping. It was the worst I have ever seen because this was a small toddler on the lap of a front passenger and they were going well over 80 mph at times. Kid was banging on the airbag. :eek: As far as I know, the only number for me to call is 911. I immediately tell them what is going on so they can transfer me to the correct precinct I am in as to not keep them on the line too long.
 

fyrfightermomma

New member
I think it depends on the area as well. Are you in the middle of the city of Milwaukee that gets hundreds of 911 calls a day and does not have the manpower or resources to even respond? Then no, I probably wouldn't call.

Would I do it in my population 7000 little village that is 3 square miles and I know the cops do pretty much nothing all day and they get maybe 4-5 911 calls a day? (I can rip on the cops cause I work so closely with them) :p Most definately. (but I wouldn't cause I have non emergency #s for everyone around her in my phone. But if I didn't I'd call 911)

I think it depends on where I am, how "emergent" I feel it is, and other circumstances. However I work for emergency services so that sckews my perspective some as I've seen the 911 abuse. One person commented that people call 911 for such stupid stuff, why not this? It's important. I agree. But that doesn't change the fact that people call 911 for stupid things and now you have these unrestrained children calls in addition to the stupid calls clogging the lines even more.

When I lived in a smaller town near Melizard I did call 911 once and couldn't get through (they had 3 lines at the time, technology has changed since then allowing 911 calls to go to other cities instead but still increases response times) and it was very very scary. It took 3 attempts for me to get through and that was precious time wasted. Since then I always try to encourage people to not call unless absolutely necessary. Because that could be the split second you call, the dummy who is mad at mcdonalds calls, the lady who wants the address to the firehouse calls, but also the split second the wife tries to call 911 because her husbands heart stopped beating. And she may not be able to get through. That always scares me.

So having a non emergency # programmed into your phone is the best bet. If not, make the decision if if its important enough to use a 911 line for. Only you know if the situation at that moment warrants it
 

Misty-Bug

New member
when I called 911 and reported a child on a parents lap. I appologized to the dispatcher and said that I didn't know who else to call. She said that I did the right thing and that it is an automatic call to 911
 

LISmama810

Admin - CPS Technician
For the California people: I was at a SafeKids meeting today and someone from CHP was there. She said that if you call the TELLCHP number, they'll try to do something about it. If they can't find the person but you have a license plate number, they'll try to send information to the house.
 

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