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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Improper Car Seat Usage
JessJC4 01:36 PM 03-19-2016
So the little one in my care shows up 99% of the time strapped in her car seat incorrectly. By this, I mean that the chest clip is often down on her stomach and/or the straps are loose enough for me to fit my closed fist between the straps and the little one's chest.

I have spoken with DCM many, many times about this (she's a first time mom) - she actually advised me that she thought I was adjusting it too tightly (mom for 21 years - not to say I'm perfect, but I have the hang of this). I've seen her put the base into her car, as well, also done incorrectly. I've demonstrated how to do it correctly with her standing beside me. Hasn't made a difference.

Is there anything I need to/should be doing in regards to this? I don't know that this is reportable, but I'm not really sure. I'm legally unlicensed, so no one to directly report to.
Unregistered 07:52 PM 03-19-2016
You can report it to child services but honestly in my state its a 25 dollar ticket. The ticket for having dogs unbuckled in the car it actually higher than having a child unbuckled. Child services will investigate but likely not change mom or anything she does and you will likely lose her as a client though.
You may be surprised that chest clips are not actually required for carseats. They are used to basically keep the harness straps over the shoulders properly. I would be more concerned with the snugness of the straps than the chest clip. Keep trying to educate mom but in the end she is going to do what she wants.
Unregistered 09:27 PM 03-19-2016
I would tell mom that it's really bothering you and unless she figures out the proper way to put the child in the seat she will not be allowed to bring the child in the seat or place her in it at pick up until she is in the car. Refer her to the local fire station, they will give a lesson on how to attach the base to the car and how to fasten the seat and child correctly.
Ariana 05:50 PM 03-20-2016
Let her know you are a mandated reporter and that you don't want to have to report her. she may not know what she is doing wrong.
thrivingchildcarecom 11:34 AM 03-21-2016
You know this just came up at a Health & Safety workshop I attended two weeks ago. Apparently, something similar happened and either a child was injured or killed after being involved in an accident after pickup. The policed backed up all the way to the provider who was cited and fined.

Its really hard because we can be held liable if something does happen.

After that workshop I promised myself that I was going to redo my sign-in sheet to have the parents check off that they have a properly installed car seat in their car. I just want the documentation because I am not always able to go out and inspect when alternative people pick-up the children.

One other thing I would do is to maybe download and print off a copy of the car seat safety guidelines for your state. You should think about posting them and giving them out to the families. Maybe emailing would be even better because you can then prove you have informed them.

Hope that helped.
AmyKidsCo 09:11 PM 03-21-2016
It's a liability issue - if you know the car seat is being used improperly and don't do anything about it and the child is injured the parents can sue you. I know it's crazy since they're the ones using it improperly, but it's a crazy world.

I'd let the parents know that due to your concern for the child they need to use the car seat properly or you will have to report it. I'd also give them information about how to properly use a car seat. In our area they have free clinics a couple of times a year where parents can go and have professionals double-check how they're using the car seat.
TXhomedaycare 08:32 AM 03-22-2016
Your liable if you help her and you are liable if you don't. Tom Copeland made it clear not to help a parent install or instruct them on their car seat as it makes you liable. I agree you should send mom to the fire station and be done. Maybe have a form for them to sign stating she went and received instructions and let her know you are a mandated reporter and from this point forward you will need to report her. I had a mom that forgot her car seat a few times and I warned her about what I was required to do that she has started a pattern and she never forgot it again or she no longer tells me if she does
Tags:car seats, car seats - guidelines, safety of children, transportation issues
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