• Separator
  • Separator

Needing some advice…on advice

Earlier this week I was walking through the parking lot – dodging cars to make my way to the door – and saw (without too much investigation) an infant car seat forward-facing inside of a car. EEK!

And a couple weeks ago while picking up the munchkin from day care I saw a mom place a little boy in a convertible without a booster seat and proceed to place the seat belt behind the little boy’s back – effectively breaking all of the “rules.”

And of course – every day I see kids well below the age of 13 in the front seat, or toddlers with their head’s hanging out of the window or standing up in the cab of a pick-up truck – obviously not properly secured in a car seat.

Is it appropriate for me to say something?

Now for a good friend of mine I would easily say something like, “you know, that probably isn’t the safest way for Johnny to ride” and we would have a good laugh about me as a safety  geek but I think my friends would be appreciative of me giving a little advice.

But what about complete strangers?

What is the best way to approach strangers when they are doing something extremely unsafe?

Do I say – “Hi, I’m Jessica, I’m the injury prevention coordinator at Dayton Children’s and your baby is not safe.” Do I leave a note on the car with my business card? Do I roll down my window down and yell at the family next to me at the stop light?

What would you want me to say if I saw you doing something unsafe? Would you want my advice – even if you didn’t take it?


  1. Reply
    Bridget Isgro October 12, 2011

    YES! I would want your advice. I think that it is a fine line between Preaching and caring for other’s safety. Police don’t hesitate when someone is being unsafe–because that is their job. If it is your job to educate the public about safety, then that is what you should do. Maybe just tell them that it would be safer to have their child secured the proper way and ask if they need help doing so?!? Such a hard topic…but so very important!

  2. Reply
    Tabatha October 12, 2011

    I think because it’s part of your job, therefore making you more of an expert, I think it’s appropriate. If you think about it, social workers and teachers are required BY LAW to report a child in danger whenever they believe a child is at risk for injury, neglect, abuse, etc. I’d brush up on the laws surrounding improper restraint of a child (such as the case with the forward facing infant carrier) and present it more like a friendly warning before an authority is brought into the equation. I think it’s better to save a child’s life and come across perhaps a bit strongly than to not say anything for fear of what they’ll think and putting the child at risk.

  • Comment
  • Rate this article
    An error occurred!

eGrowing Together

is a monthly e-newsletter of child health, safety and parenting tips from the pediatric experts at Dayton Children's.

Subscribe to the blog

We have created this blog as a way to communicate key childrens' health and safety issues to parents and other child advocates. It is managed by Dayton Children's department of marketing communications. Comments can be sent to rodneyg@childrensdayton.org.