Step in? Or mind your own business?

Amber - posted on 07/26/2010 ( 29 moms have responded )

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Recently, I've been told two stories that left my mouth hanging open. I then heard that nobody did anything, and my mouth hit the ground.

First~ A mom told her babysitter, "Don't feed the baby more than 4 oz at a time; I don't want her to get fat." This is a 4 month old baby. She wants her to eat 4 oz per feeding, when she is supposed to be eating 8 oz. per feeding.
The baby sitter just ignores her, but the mom follows through at home. The baby is constantly crying and the mom gets ticked because she won't be quiet.
None of her family, or the babysitter, feel that it's "their business" to call social services....Sorry for them, but I did.

Second~ A 2 yr old was given a sparkler on Indepence Day, and not supervised. He burned his leg. The dad said it was "No big deal" and gave the sparkler back. He burned himself again. He was screaming in pain by this point and the dad refused to take him to the hospital or even give him basic first aid.
Once again, the family and friends did not feel that it was "their business" to take the child to a doctor, call an ambulance, or report them. They just got the little boy an ice pack....(They wouldn't tell me his name, so I couldn't report him.)

Things like this REALLY get under my skin. So, do you feel that you should mind your own business because it is not your child? Or do you feel that you should speak up and do something about it regardless of the backlash?

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[deleted account]

I think that you should find out all the facts BEFORE reporting people to the authorities - yes the information you have told us makes the situations look bad BUT there are always more sides to a story and without you witnessing these events you cannot get a true picture.

1) this mom may have been joking about the baby getting fat there may have been a reason why her daughter only needed 4oz at a time - my friend found that she had to feed her son half the amount of milk at a time because he would just throw it all back up if he was fed a full feed (so she fed him a lot more than I fed my son huge amounts).

2) Things like this get exagerated - maybe the injury did not require medical intervention (children cry over paper cuts but they don't need to go to the hospital) - they treated the injury the way they felt best they did not just leave it.

I think sometimes before jumping to conclusions you need to know all the facts - for example I can tell you about an incident where my dad kicked a 4lb lump hammer onto my head when I was 5 - on its own this info sounds abusive but it was an accident he did not know I was there because I had told him I wasn't - he rushed me to the doctors (the nearest hospital was over 40 miles away and I had blood literally spurting out the top of my head) and my head was super glued, when you have the full story it paints a different picture. If I had a problem with someone I know I would discuss with them their reasons behind it (unless i caught them abusing their child in a can't be questioned kind of way).

[deleted account]

Hi! as for the formula feeding, my doctor told me that my son shouldnt be drinking 8oz even when he was about 7-8 months, and my son never did. Some babies are hungrier than others and my son would be full off 4-6 oz around that age. It really depends on the doctors advice to the mom but bc she doesn't want a fat baby-thats just terrible. 8oz at that age does seem like a bit much. too much formula or even the right amount (happened to my baby) can cause an iron buildup that somexs makes it hard for them to go. I usually mind my business unless clearly the child is being abused or the parent is negligent. I've never called the authorities on anyone bc I havent seen anything that I feel a person should lose their child over. and disagreeing with how a person is handling their childis not reason enough-not for me at least. I dont really watch what other people do when i am out in public so maybe i miss things but generally i mind my business. If every idiot parent was locked away and their kids taken away there would not be very many free people on this planet and a bunch of orphans. parents will make mistakes, even if they are stupid.

Tah - posted on 07/28/2010

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i would need to have all the info..like the woman who saw her neighbor in the market with their child who had a brusied face, and went and called cps..come to find out the child hurt himself at school...the teachers called the parents, parents took him to the doctor and the neighbor caused all the children to be taken for weeks while investigations were done and the parents still have the fact that they investigated on their record so if they wanted to teach ot deal with children or in healthcare in any way it would be next to impossiblem some things may need an intervention, and some things need people to stay on their side of the street. If i wasn't there and i was hearing it second, third or fourth hand i would probably mind my own business, now granted i was rasied to mind my business, and i have seen snitches get sticthes...and worse..literally...



.i would def. not allow a woman to be drugged and raped or a baby to be stomped in the middle of the street, but if i wasn't there to see with my own eyes i def. would not be the one to put that family through anything that they didnt deserve. thats probably why they wouldn't give you the info so that you wouldn't jump the gun and call...and heart attack symptoms warrant at least a trip to a small curtained area and ekg....lol..but really, they do...

Charlie - posted on 07/28/2010

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Wow the mum with the fat issue is deluded and starving her child that is intentional harm and should be reported .

The sparkler , i dont know , i doubt it was intentional , kids hurt themselves sometimes repetitively , an ice pack sounds like basic first aid perhaps they could have done more but without knowing the full extent of the burn you cannot not know what treatment was suitable , ive been burnt by a sparkler it certainly wouldn't warrant a visit to ER , i dont feel a simple lapse in judgment is worth reporting , perhaps simply talking to the parent about what happened and how it could be better dealt with in the future .

Rosie - posted on 07/27/2010

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i think you did the right thing for the formula, but with the burn i don't know. my oldest boy burned his hand on a sparkler when he was 3, no medical attention needed. my youngest when he was 10 months grabbed my curling iron. he screamed and screamed and there was a huge blister. i took him to the emergency room, and waited an hour to even have a triage nurse look at him. then i waited anohter 2 hours, and got to talking to some people that were there. one guy had been there for 5 hours and he was having symptoms of a heart attack!!! so while i wasn't about to keep a screaming (yes he was still screaming) child there for 9 hours, i took him to the doctor in the morning. and guess what? they told me to keep his hand bandaged, don't pop the blister, and gave me some cream to use if the blister did pop. since it didn't pop i didn't need to use the cream. so going to the doctor was unnecessary even for a horrendous burn like that one. it all depends on the situation, and the judgement of the parents. since you weren't there and didn't see it, i don't think you should even have any right to call child services on them for that. i know you didn't, but you would've if you would've known who the child was.

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29 Comments

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Starfish - posted on 09/15/2011

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I worked in family law for quite a while, and I'm a fan of reporting if I truly believe that the child's wellbeing is in question.

Yes, investigations suck. They are a hardship on a family. However, I still remember being four years old, and a lady walking in on my mother beating the hell out of me in the changing room...and then she walked out. Never said a word about it. I saw her every week and she'd just stare at me, but she never helped.

I'd die before I'd do that to a child.

[deleted account]

I'm thinking maybe (just maybe) what the ladies w/the babies might mean when they say fat, is maybe they dont wanna overfeed the baby which i have seen people stuff bottles in a babies mouth soon as it opens all day everyday. that is not healthy. my cousin was overfed as a baby and at 3 years old was 80lbs. thats not healthy and there are parents that have 2-3 y.o. that they cant even lift up they are so fat. my cousin grew up and he did eventually shed the weight but he unfortunately had ended up with diabetes and he passed away at 19. I'm thinking just maybe that may be what they meant? family would try to tell me all the time that my son s/b eating more yet he was not finishing what i was giving him and it just took him longer than the other kids to have an appetite to drink 8oz. I may have even said i didn't want him to get fat, but i didn't mean so that he can look great in a speedo, i meant i did not want to force him to eat more than he wanted or needed and i didn't want him to be like my cousin. its very unhealthy. im just saying maybe what was said was taken out of context. -and my family hated that i always listened to the doc and followed my own instincts as well-if he cried and it wasnt bottle time i would give him a bottle here and there if he was hungry but usually he was pretty on schedule every 3 hours so he was mostly satisfied. I think ppl just didn't like that i refused to just do whatever they said bc everyone is a know it all or at least they think they are.

Katherine - posted on 09/14/2011

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I work with children, when i see/hear I'm obligated and required to report it!!! That being said, I also make sure things are documented and facts are accurate before calling and reporting.

I do know a mom who did the same thing with the feedings to her brand new infant straight out of the hospital. I was so frustrated and told her to give him more but she kept saying she didn't want him to be fat and the doc said to only give him like 3 oz every 3-4hrs.....she would only listen to the doc!!! Makes me sick

Sherri - posted on 09/14/2011

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I think with the baby if there is a problem which as long as her weight is consistent etc. and doesn't appear malnourished I wouldn't say a word. If there is a problem I am sure her pediatrician will take care of it or maybe teaching is a much better option then reporting.

The sparkler I don't see that as a big deal in the least. A sparkler burn only requires an ice pack that is completely minor. I have given my 2yr old sparklers before too.

Amber - posted on 08/02/2010

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Thanks for the comments. I understand what you guys are saying about the sparkler...it still gets under my skin, but I understand your comments.
I don't feel quite so crazy now. People around me really seem to think that if it's not your child, you keep your mouth shut. And well...I have a big mouth and lots of opinions when it comes to children hurting! :) gqtm

**My best friend told me that I should add a disclaimer. My father was abusive and I spent my childhood dreaming of the day that somebody would do something. One day, my aunt heard him threatening us...and I thought.."Finally, my day has come." But it never did.
So, my friend told me that I'm a little sensitive and need to compartmentalize.
In the future, I'll try to take your comments and hers to make my decisions. It really did help.**

Micha - posted on 07/30/2010

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I think you were completely right for reporting that first mother. She was knowingly starving her child because of her own vainity. As for the parents of the little boy, maybe, just maybe, THEY should be burned as badly as their son was, THEN denied medical attention.

And has anyone heard about the mothers putting fat free skim milk in with their formula to keep their children from getting "fat"? Turns out, the milk they added to it caused some disabilities. Did anything happen to the mothers who did that? Nope. Because they all claimed to know nothing about the damage it could cause. Whether they really didn't know or they were just lying about it to be able to keep their chubsters, I couldn't really answer that, but since when is ignorance warrant being able to keep the child you endangered?!

April - posted on 07/30/2010

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http://www.babycenter.com/0_how-to-tell-...

this website has a formula to calculate for how much each baby should get. it depends on their body weight and remember they need so much in a 24 hour period. so maybe this baby is still getting the required amount.

i never formula fed so i don't know much about FF and bottles...they are foreign to me (seriously, i wouldn't know what to do). BUT...8 ounces of formula sounds like A LOT to me.

How old is this baby? that makes a world of difference in deciding whether calling CPS is necessary.

[deleted account]

The baby being starved yes I would report that. As for the sparkler incident who in their right mind gives a sparkler to a 2 year old?!?

Stephanie - posted on 07/29/2010

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I would definitely call CPS about the mother who is starving her infant, With the two year old and the sparkler?? I'm honestly not sure. I'm absolutely appalled that any one would hand a sparkler to a two year old but I'm not sure if it would be a case of dumb parents or child abuse.

[deleted account]

I think you should speak up and/or report IF you witness these events first hand or you have actual evidence that they happened. I would not intervene based on stories that someone else had told me. People lie or exaggerate sometimes.

Amber - posted on 07/27/2010

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My issue with the sparkler is that he was burned not once..but twice! In the same spot. They continued to give this child a sparkler even after he was burned, and then burned again. And after he burned himself twice, they still refused to do nothing to help him.
Even if they didn't take him to the ER, it should have been cleaned and bandaged. Instead, he was handed a third sparkler to try again with!

**And as a side note, I know how ER's work. My SO works in one. They have to take the most severe cases first. So, while it doesn't seem right that a man was sitting there waiting with those symptoms, you have no idea what type of patients were being treated in the back. Traumas are not brought through the waiting room, they are brought from the ambulance enterance.
It's frustrating to sit in the waiting room, but they assess you as you come in and determine whether it is safe for you to wait.

Mae - posted on 07/27/2010

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I think you totally di the right thing, I mind my business for the most part because I stongly believe that there is no one right way to parent a child but when you are hurting your child that's different. Not having enough fat in you diet as a child causes developmental delays and nerve damage which if it is bad enough can lead to serious mental handicap and sometimes even death. as for the sparkler, I have been burnt by those before and they hurt really bad and very rarely cause a "minor" burn. At the very least someone should have washed it out and bandaged it with some neosporin

Amber - posted on 07/27/2010

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I have a DVR.....which is the only way I get to watch any of my shows. I just don't scout out new shows because I don't have time. But..I'm going to try and find it now...Although I'll probably yell at the TV a lot gqtm.

Amber - posted on 07/27/2010

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@ Sara~ Nothing yet, because I just found out about it...but if/when I hear that something happened, then I will update you guys.
People have talked to her though. And she tells them to mind their own business. And that they just want her baby to be fat. I just couldn't believe how many people knew about this and did nothing. It's been happening for a little while I guess...I just found out and was outraged.
I've never heard of those shows before...that's interesting. I don't get to watch a lot of TV that isn't Mickey Mouse lol.

Jennifer - posted on 07/27/2010

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this sounds like something that should be on the What Would You Do? show...i think you did the right thing, and if it were me i would have done the same provided nobody finds out i'm the one who made the call. i came pretty close to calling CPS on my cousin who was smoking pot and taking her 11yr old daughter with her to a party where she was going to play beer pong, but instead i confronted her directly because i felt bad about the idea of doing that to my own family. needless to say, we haven't spoken since.

Corena - posted on 07/27/2010

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Do something! Of course!
I watch those shows sometimes where they set up social experiments, set up a bad situation in public and see how people react. The amount of people who do nothing literally makes me sick to my stomach!
In one they had a car parked at the curb on a hot day with a "baby" in it alone and crying. MOST people just walked by and ignored it, a couple tried to find the car owner and a couple found a policeman and told him about it. I think only one person actually tried to get the baby out. I would break those windows so fast...!
In another one they had a couple on a date in a bar. It was made obvious that it was a first date. The woman went to tthe washroom and the guy slipped something into her drink. Only one person told the woman when she came back! A couple of others told the staff, most just watched her drink it and leave with him all "sick" and drowsy.
Horrific!

[deleted account]

I don't know that I would have reported her BUT I do want to add that it's not just about not giving the baby enough to grow or that the baby will get fat BUT breastmilk/formula is SO important for brain development in the first year. She's depriving that baby and whether or not that baby is fat is going to be the least of her problems. GAH...people make me SO angry!

Amy - posted on 07/27/2010

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I'd start with talking to the parent and seeing why they do that and try to educate them on why it's wrong. If they don't listen and the child's safety truly is in danger I would defiantly say something so social services.

Charlene - posted on 07/27/2010

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For the most part, I keep my mouth shut if I don't agree with something. That said, if what you are doing is illegal and/or harmful to the child in question, you better hold on to your britches, because I will not hesitate to tell you that and/or report you.

[deleted account]

Then definately report them you were correct to do so because the children are potentially in harm.

That is seriously disturbed that a mom thinks her baby is fat WTF?!?! No wonder girls are growing up insecure of their looks if parents are behaving like this!

Even if I did something stupid and hurt my son I would take him to get medical attention straight away of he needed it - regardless of the consequences to me! This is what being a parent is about.

Amber - posted on 07/26/2010

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No, the mom really thinks that her baby is fat. She told the baby sitter and her mom that she will NOT have a fat baby. She told me that MY son was fat because he was in the 90th percentile, but he's in the 95th for height. So, the doctor said he was healthy. She told me that I'm a "bad mom" because my child is in the 90th percentile. No matter that the doctor told me he is healthy and that because he is tall he should weigh more to be healthy.
And a nurse from the party told the father that he had 2nd degree burns and that he needed medicine.
I guess I should have put ALL the details. These weren't just rumors or jokes. They were very serious incidents. And that baby is really only getting 4 ounces per meal from her mother...not for medical reasons, but because her mother thinks she's fat. If the baby screams for more, she refuses.

Gina - posted on 07/26/2010

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I think that if you are speaking respectfully out of genuine concern, then it's fine. If you are truly concerned about the well-being and safety of a child, then calling the local social service agency is the right thing to do. Worst case scenario, they follow up and don't find anything but at least you can say that you did what you could. Good for you.

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