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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Are Your Parents This Dense?
Lissa Kristine 09:41 AM 11-21-2017
DCB is 11 months old. When dad carries his carseat in, he is bundled up in a thick winter jacket and at least 2 shirts (sometimes 3)- often one, if not all, of the layers are thick sweatshirts/sweaters.

His carseat still has the newborn neck/shoulder support installed, and the straps are at the second row from the bottom. At around 40 pounds (according to the doctor), he exceeds the weight limit by 5 pounds. When he's buckled into his seat, the buckle that is supposed to act as a chest clip is clipped around his waist like a lap belt. He has NOTHING over his shoulders.

In NJ, the law states that children should be rear-facing until age 2, so there are rear facing seats that will fit a child who is over the weight limit for an infant carseat. Furthermore, he might be able to at least manage the straps properly if he's not bundled under up to 4 thick layers and if the carseat straps are adjusted properly for his age.

I'm debating calling the cops or child protective services on this family, but I really don't want to rock the boat or risk my job without having a backup plan. The whole thing just makes me cringe, however.
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daycarediva 09:51 AM 11-21-2017
Hand him some info about car seat safety, or have a technician come out during pick ups one day to give ALL parents info on proper fit/installation.

It is unsafe for sure, but not CPS worthy.
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Blackcat31 10:00 AM 11-21-2017
Originally Posted by Lissa Kristine:
DCB is 11 months old. When dad carries his carseat in, he is bundled up in a thick winter jacket and at least 2 shirts (sometimes 3)- often one, if not all, of the layers are thick sweatshirts/sweaters.

His carseat still has the newborn neck/shoulder support installed, and the straps are at the second row from the bottom. At around 40 pounds (according to the doctor), he exceeds the weight limit by 5 pounds. When he's buckled into his seat, the buckle that is supposed to act as a chest clip is clipped around his waist like a lap belt. He has NOTHING over his shoulders.

In NJ, the law states that children should be rear-facing until age 2, so there are rear facing seats that will fit a child who is over the weight limit for an infant carseat. Furthermore, he might be able to at least manage the straps properly if he's not bundled under up to 4 thick layers and if the carseat straps are adjusted properly for his age.

I'm debating calling the cops or child protective services on this family, but I really don't want to rock the boat or risk my job without having a backup plan. The whole thing just makes me cringe, however.
What does your employee handbook/training say you are to do?

In my state improper car seat use witnessed by the provider is a reportable issue.

Rocking the boat seems a small price for a child's safety.
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storybookending 11:12 AM 11-21-2017
Are they first time parents and just donít know? I would hand them information on car seat safety or just make the comment and ask if heís aware that Junior is over the weight limit for an infant carrier.
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happymom 11:30 AM 11-21-2017
Is he really a 40lb 11 month old?
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Lissa Kristine 12:28 PM 11-21-2017
I canít confirm the exact weight, but he is a chunky baby.

I donít think we have any handbooks or manuals here. This place is a mess.
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Blackcat31 12:32 PM 11-21-2017
I need to preface this post by saying I am not trying to be rude nor am I saying parents can't be silly or a bit "" at times but the wording of this thread title just doesn't sit well with me and I was going to leave it alone but... well, I just can't...

so with that said, I am wondering if these are first time parents perhaps... Or parents that have never been taught proper car seat use etc.

If so then I'd probably use the phrase "don't know any better" or "haven't been instructed properly" in regards to safe car seat use. It sounds better and conveys a more positive message then saying they (parents) are dense.

Situations like you described are THE perfect opportunity to ask... Offer assistance and/or teach them how to do it correctly. Every negative moment within the context of our days as providers and caregivers are teachable moments and opportunities to teach. It applies to parents of the children in your care as well.

Since this is something you noticed and recognize to be unsafe, why not take the opportunity to assist.

That wouldn't be rocking the boat or having to report anything to anyone but could perhaps be saving the child's life some day should something happen.
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midaycare 01:04 PM 11-21-2017
When DS was little there were a few things I was clueless on. Car seat safety changes and while vital, you just don't think about it unless someone tells you you're doing it wrong.

Something that I'll admit to - which will make y'all squirm - is that when DS was using sippy cups, I didn't realize the inside kids came off. One day DH showed me...Oh my word, it was disgusting.

You don't know what you don't know until you know.
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AmyKidsCo 01:04 PM 11-21-2017
ITA that you should take it up with the parents first - maybe print an article about proper car seat use.

That said, according to this article, child care providers are mandated reporters in every state, and improper car seat use is listed as a reportable offense. So if you don't report it you could get in trouble.
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daycarediva 01:14 PM 11-21-2017
Originally Posted by AmyKidsCo:
ITA that you should take it up with the parents first - maybe print an article about proper car seat use.

That said, according to this article, child care providers are mandated reporters in every state, and improper car seat use is listed as a reportable offense. So if you don't report it you could get in trouble.
So I emailed my registrar to ask about this. I thought it was suspected abuse or neglect.

OP-I DEFINITELY would NOT report until I had a conversation with the parent and gave them some information about car seat safety, even if I was mandated. That seems extreme. As other posters have said, they're probably just clueless.
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Mom2Two 05:31 PM 11-21-2017
Why not start a conversation and do a demo for dad? Me, being me, would just blurt out about it, like "Okay, this is how these are supposed to work, and you're not supposed to buckle them in with coats on, and it's a five point harness etc" Oh, and I would weigh the kid.

If a parent was ignorant or non-caring, they would be hearing about it from me. If they didn't care at all, I would then start thinking about reporting. But I don't think at that point it would be stupidity...it would be not caring. I would be trying to help correct actual ignorance. If it drove them away from my daycare, then so be it. I try to help parents.
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mommyneedsadayoff 09:43 PM 11-21-2017
40 pounds at 11 months??? Are you sure on that number? It is beside the point, but my eyes went when I read that! My 5 year old is 37 pounds!

As for the carseat stuff, I would do as suggested and offer info and education. Generally, it is not intentional and they just need a little guidance.
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lblanke 05:05 AM 11-22-2017
Just a visual on a small child weighing 44 pounds.

https://nypost.com/2015/01/14/meet-t...ghs-44-pounds/

Before reporting, make sure what you are reporting makes sense. Did the doctor dictate and 14 pounds became 40? A 40 pound 1 year old may need medical assistance.

Firemen here are car seat safety technicians (free to all). Maybe send info on car seat techs in your area along with statistics on incorrect installs?
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Lissa Kristine 09:47 AM 11-22-2017
He's not a first-time parent. He has another child.

I'm not even sure how to go about mentioning anything to this parent. He refuses to acknowledge my existence when I greet him and his two kids. He won't help take jackets off either child- nor does he even say "goodbye" to the kids. He basically just carries them both inside and walks out without saying a word. If both of the teachers are busy with another child, he'll just stand there and wait until one of us is free to take the baby's coat off him.
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Ariana 11:12 AM 11-22-2017
I had this issues come up with a previous parent but with grandmas carseat. I used to help grandma lift the child into the carseat because she injured her back. I told grandma the regulations and told her how to fix it. In fact I told her twice and she never changed it. I then had to text dad (I knew mom would be useless to text) and he fixed it. I told him that I am a mandated reporter and that I cannot in good conscience let it go.

A great opener for the self absorbed pareng is “excuse me Mr. X I wanted to let you know that juniors seat needs readjusting. I am a mandated reporter but I do not want to have to call the authorities.....”. That should get his attention.

Another option is to call the police and tell them to stop and check this guys carseat.
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Tags:mandated reporter, parents - are clueless
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