No Child Carseat = Child Endangerment = Call to Police?

  1. I was reading the thread "Vent: I absolutely HATE stupidity! Not ignorance.....STUPIDITY!!" and it got me thinking about a potential topic for one of my nursing classes:

    Should there be more encouragement for nurses to contact police if they feel a parent may be transporting a child from the hospital/clinic unsafely?

    What are your thoughts on the subject? I'm just brainstorming ideas in my head right now, and would like to hear what you think are the pros and cons of collaborating with your local police department to encourage this practice.
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  2. 57 Comments

  3. by   SuesquatchRN
    I certainly would not involve the police. I would, however, direct the family to any free car seat program in your area. Firmly.
  4. by   drmorton2b
    Quote from Suesquatch
    I certainly would not involve the police. I would, however, direct the family to any free car seat program in your area. Firmly.
    I agree with the above also, unless you see them pulling a Britney Spears (with the child on the lap while driving), then I would look into getting the Police Involved.
  5. by   S.T.A.C.E.Y
    I understand that calling the police may be a little over the top, but could you explain why you would not want to contact the police? My thinking on why it *might* be a good idea, is that you would be doing your best to protect the child. Same rationale for contacting Children's Services for suspected abuse....you would be working in the best interests of the child. For those babies who are ejected from a vehicle because they were unrestrained: if a nurse suspected the parents weren't taking care of the baby safely in the car, and the parents had a visit from the police to address the matter, would the baby's/children's lives have been saved? Maybe.
  6. by   TazziRN
    I haven't called the police but I have put in a social services referral for that.
  7. by   S.T.A.C.E.Y
    Thanks for your input TazziRN! I was hoping you'd reply, especially since it was your thread that started me thinking about this.

    So social services, eh? I guess that would make plenty of sense. How long would it usually take a social services worker to get in touch with a parent for something like this?
  8. by   TazziRN
    That I don't know. In our area, pretty quick because our county has a smaller population than ones with big cities. They do a follow up on the family to make sure that there is a carseat for each child.
  9. by   trepinCT
    At the hospital I worked..hospital attorney said the nurses only obligation was to inform the parent of the law, document this and document if they went home witout a car seat. Police officer friends say they are way too busy to respond to calls like that from hospitals.( 2 hospitals in a city that has drug, gang, and poverty problems)Where would the line be drawn??? Pediatric patients? Adult patients? In our state, we have laws about seatbelt use for all of those age groups. Connecticut(my state) is pretty tough about seat belt laws, but they can be difficult to enforce..they keep adding laws, but still have limited number of police to enforce these laws..my police friends have said that they do ticket for this, but they dont seek these offenders out. It angers me , but there are a lot of ignorant parents out there and they are from all areas of education and income level.
  10. by   nicunana
    If we find out a parent does not have a carseat, we first find out why they don't have one. If it's because they are strapped for money & haven't been able to buy one, we provide them with some referrals. If none of those pan out, we tap our very limited supply and give them one of ours. It rarely happens that we have to do that. At no time does a child ever leave here (NICU) without one. If a family is already struggling with money problems, a whopping fine from the police sure isn't going to make it any easier for them to buy one. Instead of being punitive, we do everything we can to promote safety and save lives.
  11. by   Jo Dirt
    Quote from S.T.A.C.E.Y
    I was reading the thread "Vent: I absolutely HATE stupidity! Not ignorance.....STUPIDITY!!" and it got me thinking about a potential topic for one of my nursing classes:

    Should there be more encouragement for nurses to contact police if they feel a parent may be transporting a child from the hospital/clinic unsafely?

    What are your thoughts on the subject? I'm just brainstorming ideas in my head right now, and would like to hear what you think are the pros and cons of collaborating with your local police department to encourage this practice.
    What will running to the police to tattle do? Cause the parents to have to shell out a $200 fine they can't afford that should be used for the children, anyway?
    That law isn't there to protect children, it's there to generate revenue. All you would be doing is padding the pockets of the city.
    Instead, lets assume some of the responsibility ourselves and give the parents brochures and literature about safety. Be as blunt as you need to be, warn them of the repercussions and fines they face or worse, the irreversible damage to their children. Preach if necessary.
  12. by   TazziRN
    Quote from motorcycle mama
    What will running to the police to tattle do? Cause the parents to have to shell out a $200 fine they can't afford that should be used for the children, anyway?
    That law isn't there to protect children, it's there to generate revenue. All you would be doing is padding the pockets of the city.

    EXCUSE ME??????


    Okay, I'm going to leave before I say something that will get me banned, because I am that close.
  13. by   EmmaG
    Quote from motorcycle mama
    What will running to the police to tattle do? Cause the parents to have to shell out a $200 fine they can't afford that should be used for the children, anyway?
    That law isn't there to protect children, it's there to generate revenue. All you would be doing is padding the pockets of the city.
    Instead, lets assume some of the responsibility ourselves and give the parents brochures and literature about safety. Be as blunt as you need to be, warn them of the repercussions and fines they face or worse, the irreversible damage to their children. Preach if necessary.
    Ahhh. It is most definitely in place to protect children...

    Where I'm from, at least, I see no evidence of these laws and their fines being used to 'pad the pockets of the city'. In fact, by law, all fines collected go into a special fund to purchase safety seats for low-income families. The VA department of health has programs to provide free car seats to lower income residents.

    Yes, they are ticketed. However, that ticket is thrown out if the parents can provide proof they've complied with the law, and efforts are made to assist them in obtaining a carseat. Only if they refuse to cooperate and get the seat do the fines come into play.

    The object of the law isn't (IMO) to simply punish those who don't comply, but to assure that all children are properly restrained while in the vehicle. I'm thinking that none of those involved in the administration of the law, from the police officer to the judge, are looking to collect moneys and "pad pockets" rather than keep children safe. I'm pretty sure that most if not all of them would prefer to see that the parents are assisted in getting the proper seats.
  14. by   bethin
    Quote from motorcycle mama
    That law isn't there to protect children, it's there to generate revenue. All you would be doing is padding the pockets of the city.
    I know in my county that fines collected are not put into a general county/city fund. If you're pulled over for a DUI and pay the fine then that money is put into a fund to pay for more officers to pull over these offenders..................and since when is that a bad thing? If this isn't the case where you live I would suggest contacting your mayor and city council.

    I've noticed in my town that the majority of kids I see that are not restrained are riding in high end vehicles. I'm talking Audis, Lexus, Mercedes, and Beemers. You can't tell me you can afford a $50,000+ luxury vehicle and not afford to buy a carseat.

    Just last week I saw a small child (small enough to still be in diapers) hanging out of the window in the backseat of a Lexus SUV. Hanging out enough that I could see that she was still wearing diapers and they had Elmo on the front. :angryfire

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