I also noticed that the baby was perched high on top of the shopping cart inside of her car seat. I felt my heart tighten up a little bit. I know how dangerous that is. I know that babies have been hospitalized after falling off of car seats perched atop a shopping cart like this girl was. I know that some babies have even died because of a fall like that. The thought of something happening to that precious, new little baby- I could barely bear to even think about it. If I felt that way about a baby that I barely knew, how much more must her parents feel protective of her? I'm almost positive that they didn't know just how dangerous it was for their little one to be sitting on top of the shopping cart like that.
These awesome little seats? They shouldn't go on top of a shopping cart.
I so badly wanted to say something to them. Our paths through the grocery store crossed several times, and I thought about how I would approach them and what I would say. Maybe something about how I had no idea when my first was little, and that I'm glad someone told me? I could start by apologizing for inerrupting them, and then say something about how I'd hate to see something bad happen to the beautiful little girl they had with them. Would that come across right? I ran through all the things I wanted to say each time I saw them, but I didn't. I kept my mouth shut.
I know that people don't like criticism. Most people have a hard time hearing they're doing something wrong, no matter how nicely it's presented, especially coming from a stranger! I didn't want anything to happen to the baby, but I also didn't want to offend a couple of complete strangers, especially ones that were brand new parents. Parents, especially new ones, need encouragement, right? I was so torn- and when you factor in my nervousness with talking to people I don't know, it ended in me keeping my mouth shut and not saying anything to them.
Then last night I was scrolling through Facebook, and came across this link. It's an open letter that a mom wrote to a stranger that helped her in the Safeway parking lot- a stranger that helped her stay calm after her shopping cart hit the side of a speed bump in the parking lot, sending her baby's car seat crashing to the concrete. Thankfully, the baby was okay, but what a scary moment(including an ambulance ride to be checked out at the hospital) for both the baby and the mother!!!
Reading that had me doubting myself even more. What if the same thing had happened to the family I saw on their way out to their car? What if that little girl had been hurt, and I could have said something to save her, and didn't? But was it my business to say something? Could I even say something without being offensive? My "thanks for NIP" cards have gone over well- what if I made a card that explained the dangers of perching a car seat on top of a shopping cart to hand to parents that I came across? But wouldn't that just make the interaction even more awkward?
I'm still struggling with these questions, and I'm still not sure what I'll do next time I see a baby baanced precariously on top of a shopping cart. Is it even my business to care?
What would you do? Do you say something when you see other parents doing something dangerous, or do you stay quiet so as not to offend? Is there a way to share important information with a complete stranger without offending? What would you do?