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No Child Carseat = Child Endangerment = Call to Police?

Specializes in Emergency. Has 2 years experience.

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.

I certainly would not involve the police. I would, however, direct the family to any free car seat program in your area. Firmly.

drmorton2b

Specializes in Sub-Acute/Psychiatric/Detox. Has 2 years experience.

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.

S.T.A.C.E.Y, LPN

Specializes in Emergency. Has 2 years experience.

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.

I haven't called the police but I have put in a social services referral for that.

S.T.A.C.E.Y, LPN

Specializes in Emergency. Has 2 years experience.

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?

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.

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.

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.

Jo Dirt

Has 9 years experience.

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.

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.

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.

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

Jo Dirt

Has 9 years experience.

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

Okay, okay, I'm not too proud to admit when I've made shoot from the hip remark that wasn't too appropriate. In retrospect, I would have worded it differently. In this instance, the child restraint laws are a good thing, but at the same time, when you see someone doing something stupid, the answer is not to always run to the cops.

But at the same time I know some people (now these weren't bad people) but their kids were out of their car seats jumping all over the car and they were pulled over. They didn't get out of the fine. It was something like $150 or $200 they had to pay and had to go to a class on top of that.

But I won't be bullied into silence and the city still has to generate revenue from somewhere.

HeartsOpenWide, RN

Specializes in Ante-Intra-Postpartum, Post Gyne.

Are the police called when a person come in for a drug over dose? My friend found her baby barley breathing once and rushed him to the ERl without a car seat, she was sick too, sat with him on her lap while husband drove, car seat was in another car that was blocked, hospital only one mile from the house. I think her situation is different. (Of couse they bought the baby back home in a car seat)

purple1953reading

Specializes in ER OB NICU.

the laws in our state have recently passed to say that all children under 80 pounds, 8 years old, must be in a carseat.These are furnished by the fire dept. TO ANYBODY, who comes and asks. They would like for the need to be there, in that you could not afford one otherwise, but never say anything to anyone about it. Babies are not dismissed from Nsy, without one, Nurse must see and document. How about Pes. Do they have to see children under 2, 4, or 8 or whatever age your law says. We don'thave a pediatrics floor,so I am not familiar with that one.I do know that EVERY child in primary school through third grade should not be in carseat by law. THEY DEFINITELY are not. In additon, everybody points out that school buses don't have them.

I have never put one of my children, oldest is 30, 36, 17, 16,and 14, in the car without a car seat. Won't even drive my grandson next door. IF they are always put in one from birth on. THey expect it. I have seen police give tickets to kids parked in gas station,not in carseat, parent inside, looking out window. TICKET was for parent leaving child in car. ANOTHER pet peeve of mine. I would not call police, but would explain laws, and purpose of protecting the child.In addition, it seems like DFS provides these folks with housing, utilities, food stamps, ins. , WIC,and they might as well add car seats, could prevent injury or death. I actually heard a woman complain the other day because WIC did not provide MEAT.

Car seat laws, like seatbelt laws are in place to save lives!!!.

jojotoo, RN

Specializes in Emergency.

But at the same time I know some people (now these weren't bad people) but their kids were out of their car seats jumping all over the car and they were pulled over. They didn't get out of the fine. It was something like $150 or $200 they had to pay and had to go to a class on top of that.

But I won't be bullied into silence and the city still has to generate revenue from somewhere.

Motorcycle Mama - I don't want it to seem as if you're being picked on here, because I know that's not my intent. I'm not sure of all your nursing experience, so I don't know if you've ever seen an unrestrained child that has been thrown from a car. I have. We don't usually have to spend much time with them in the ER because almost all of them come in dead. Horrific injuries and dead. And these kids had parents that weren't "bad people". Parents that may have been distracted, tired, or just plain lazy. But not "bad people". Those kids are still dead. Kids that depended on their parents to protect them. It's a very small inconvenience for parents to make sure their kids are restrained. And while they're at it, to buckle themselves in also, if not for themselves, then for their kids.

I don't think you'll find anybody that's ever done any Trauma in disagreement with me.

jojotoo, RN

Specializes in Emergency.

Are the police called when a person come in for a drug over dose?

In LA, police do respond to the hospital for any OD brought in by rescue.

But I won't be bullied into silence and the city still has to generate revenue from somewhere.

Have you been reading my siggy line? :)

Revenue is generated through fines, taxes, grants, etc. I know our fire dept received a grant from the state along with a grant to fix a major road. Most cities are not rich and live paycheck to paycheck. If you still have questions, sit in on a council meeting and ask questions.

Motorcycle Mama - I don't want it to seem as if you're being picked on here, because I know that's not my intent. I'm not sure of all your nursing experience, so I don't know if you've ever seen an unrestrained child that has been thrown from a car. I have. We don't usually have to spend much time with them in the ER because almost all of them come in dead. Horrific injuries and dead. And these kids had parents that weren't "bad people". Parents that may have been distracted, tired, or just plain lazy. But not "bad people". Those kids are still dead. Kids that depended on their parents to protect them. It's a very small inconvenience for parents to make sure their kids are restrained. And while they're at it, to buckle themselves in also, if not for themselves, then for their kids.

I don't think you'll find anybody that's ever done any Trauma in disagreement with me.

AMEN!!!

Just last year I had a 3-yr-old boy brought in. Mom was pulling out of a parking lot into the street and got t-boned. Her son was thrown out the open side window. He had nothing but scratches and bruises, but she was presented with a citation because he was sitting in his carseat but completely unrestrained! Her excuse? "We were only going a few blocks."

Ironically, that very same day the officer that cited this mother had also checked out the parking lot of the town daycare center and found quite a few cars without carseats. He waited and watched, and he saw parents coming out with toddlers and driving off with the kids unrestrained. He pulled them over and cited them.

The saddest unrestrained pedi case I was involved in: I came to work one day and got report on a family of 6 that had been brought in after being t-boned....five adults and a 2-yr-old. The adults were all restrained and had very minor injuries. The toddler was being held on someone's lap because there was no room for the carseat, and she was thrown out. She survived but had major head injuries and was in a vegetative state.

Yeah.......the cops involved in these two cases were only looking for revenue.

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