What Do You Do When You See Parents Who Don’t Put Their Tots in a Car Seat?

What do you do when parents don't use a toddler car seat? How do you handle it nicely yet still look out for the safety of the child? Check out our tips!

Sadly, we’ve all been faced with that moment when we had to ask ourselves, What Do You Do When Parents Don’t Use A Toddler Car Seat?  Car seat safety is one of the most important things you have to think about when getting into your car with your child, but sadly even with all of the information presented by studies, many parents still don’t abide by standard regulations.  So, how do you handle it when you see parents not using proper car seats for their kids?

Related: Are We Misusing Car Seats? You May be Surprised at the Answer!

What Do You Do When Parents Don’t Use A Toddler Car Seat?

Inquire if they need a car seat: Sometimes a polite question can go a long way.  Ask if they need a car seat, and if you are in a place to help them do so.  There are many affordable options out there.  However, some people will consider it interfering and wrong for you to ask.  You must look at it as if you witnessed abuse.  While it is not direct abuse, the lack of a proper car seat for a toddler is definitely child endangerment.  You have every right to be concerned.

Look for places that can help buy or donate one to those who cannot afford them Check with local hospitals, shelters, police departments and even retailers to find out who donates or sells car seats at discounted prices.  Children’s hospitals often have special events on car seat safety along with the local division of state troopers.  Keep a list in your car of any local organizations that help make car seats affordable to share with those who may be struggling to pay for a new or upgraded car seat for their child.

Related: 5 Car Seat Safety Tips for Parents

Contact local law enforcement: Sadly, there are instances where parents just don’t care and thus don’t use a proper car seat.  Every state has regulations and laws for a good reason.  To protect children.  If you see a parent not properly securing their child, you have every right to report them to local law enforcement.  A ticket for child endangerment can wake them up to the seriousness of what they are not doing or their child.

Some people may believe you are meddling, but the safety of children is important.  When they can’t make a decision themselves, their parents are supposed to make the right decision for them.  Stepping out of your comfort zone to ask a question, offer help or even pick up the phone to call for someone else to intervene is your responsibility as a human being looking out for the children who have no voice.

Have you ever had to decide what to do when parents don’t use a toddler car seat? How did you handle it? Tell us in the comments.

15 thoughts on “What Do You Do When You See Parents Who Don’t Put Their Tots in a Car Seat?”

  1. Elizabeth Matthiesen

    I would have thought that all parents wanted to protect their little bundle of joy from harm and I’m always speechless when I read of some of the things that parents do without thinking, like not using a car seat or leaving a child/baby in a hot car (never seen either myself though), letting kids ride bikes without a helmet etc etc.

  2. Ive never had to deal with something like this. It depends on the situation, my daughter is quite small so she just got out of her booster, but others could still think she should be in one so all depends

  3. It’s hard to believe people wouldn’t use car seats – but then, some people leave their little ones in car seats on top of their cars! Horrific.

    I have printed out warning flyers about leaving dogs in hot cars and won’t hesitate to leave one on somebody’s window – and call for help. Should find some for babies, too, since we read horror stories every summer about that kind of ignorance, too.

  4. Knowing me I would probably say something. I don’t know how anyone would put their child, or any child in that type of danger. It’s so ridiculous to me!

  5. I can’t even believe that some do not use a car seat, that is just so scary. Thank you for sharing this.

  6. Luckily, I’ve never met anyone that doesn’t use a car seat. It seem so dangerous. They are expensive, though, so I can imagine many people need assistance and don’t know where to find it.

  7. I haven’t seen anyone here in the states not use a car seat for their child, but I have seen parents turn their car seats from rear facing to forward facing way too soon! I do mention something…..but there is only so much you can do.

  8. Robin Rue (@massholemommy)

    I have never come across anyone so ignorant. Hard to believe there are parents out there like this.

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