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when do preventable accidents become parental neglect?

smnikki's picture

as i have mentioned, things have been very peaceful and pleasant on the bm front, as far as our interactions with her.... however we have been hearing from ss that he is upset at things at his moms house, and "something is bothering him" every time we get ss back from bm's he has a new scratch or injury, from either playing out side, falling on gravel, etc. all things have been chalked up to the fact that he is a 5 yo boy and bumps and bruises are going to happen....but for some reason its only happening at bm's house?! there have been a couple little annoyances, but for the sake of keeping the peace, we have looked the other way and not caused drama.

friday dh picked ss up from bm, her bf was with her which usually he has nothing to do with bm...there is a bandage above ss's left explains that she was "right there" and it was an "accident", her bf also repeatedly apologizes. turns out bf was playing pool and jumped the que ball which flew off and got ss right above the eye.............every ones first response, "why was ss standing there??" apparently bm and her bf are too fucking stupid to grasp this concept, but anyways, bm says that its "pretty bad" but that she doesnt think ss needs stiches.

dh proceeds to take ss up to my moms house where a bunch of my family is all getting together, dh takes off the bandage, and EVERYONE gasps at how aweful this injury is and EVERYONE with out question says that ss needs to go to the hospital. HOW IS IT THAT HIS OWN MOTHER DIDNT THINK HE NEEDED TO GO??? ill tell you how!! because bm failed to mention to us that ss no longer has medical or any other type of insurance, and beause she spends her money on god knows what, she did nt have the money to take him!!! we know this because, dh called bm and told her to meet him at the hospital because she had his health card...they meet at urgent care to find out his card was rejected (thats how dh finds out hes not covered anymore) then bm says she does not have the 100 dollars for him to go to urgent care, so they are off to the hospital, dh tells bm that she needs to pay the entire bill for this "accident" it was preventable, and its not like ss did something on his own.... bm agrees that she will. ss had to get his eye glued, rather than stiches, so who knows what that bill is going to be.

so here is the issues. currently the court order states that each parent is 50% responsible for any and all medical expenses concerning ss. but dh and i are sick of the fact that ss ONLY gets sick and injured while with bm. why should we pay for a hospital visit resulting from an accident she could have prevented that HER bf caused? 6 months ago, ss was bitten very badly on the right eye by her pit bull, and because we didnt get him until days later, bm didnt take him to the hospital then either...but he clearly should have gone. my question is, whats next? they drink a lot and often ride quads and dune buggys, with that combo its only a matter of time before ss has his first hospital stay, and what? dh should pay half the bill for that too? dh and i are drafting up a letter to state that both parties bm and dh agree to alter the current court order and that any medical cost incurred from an injury will be the sole responsibility of which ever parent had custody at the time the injury occurred. we are some what confident that bm will sign this letter to avoid court....but do any of you know if this will stand up in court? we are currently looking in to getting insurance for him on own, and would have, but bm has lied all this time and we didnt even know it was an issue.

i was at bunco when it happened, and some one told me that we really needed to call cps, and report this, and the dog bite that i have photos of, even though it will cause a bunch of drama its better to watch out for ss, and make sure that this is all documented...dh says no, that bm has been cooperative and does love her son, just has no idea to be a parent....what do you all think?


smnikki's picture

also, dh and i feel that bm didnt take ss to the hospital about the dog bite because of money and also because she knew something would happen to the dog, we think the dog belongs to the bf..or some what paid for it, so to avoid issues with bf as well bm didnt take ss to the hospital.

bm use to take ss to the hospital if he sneezed more than once, so its not like she has never taken him, she use to take him for every thing and now suddenly isnt taking him at all....maybe she doesnt want these things documented because there is more going on at her house we dont know about?

smnikki's picture

she is required. he was covered under her old job..then she didnt work for a year and had him on state provided health care....which we have been told along he was still on. dh and i are now going to get him on our plan.

so even if bm signd something saying she agrees to pay any medical expenses that occur in her custody, that doesnt hold up in court? would a judge change the court order ever if dh tried to have it changed by going to court and dh can prove that these things are happening at her home because she is being a neglectful parent?

smnikki's picture

just turned 5

we already have had cps investigate her once when ss told day care lady and myself that bm's bf was whipping him with a belt when he was bad....mind you this kid is an angel, people always comment in the store "hes not this perfect all the time is he?"

caya506's picture

Actually, if both parents agree on an issue, either party can draft a "Stipulation to Modify and Order" It basically states what the parties want changed in, both parties need to sign the order in front of a notary, and there needs to be a separate sheet simply titled "Order" for the judge to sign off on. This is if BOTH parties agree to new stipulations.

caya506's picture

Yep, it does, but as long as both parties are agreeing to it by signing it in front of a notary, the judge will generally sign the modification order. BF did this to change his parenting time and all in all it took only two weeks from the time the paper work was submitted to the time he got the signed paperwork from the judge.

Willow2010's picture

I don't think a judge will sign off on this. he is more than likely going to order someone to carry the child on insurance. I "think"

violetforest's picture

believe it or not duct tape works really well also. This advice we got from the doc. tape it up, leave it on. works like a charm.

smnikki's picture

i dont know that either party is ordered to, but she always has. we have offered and she said no. she continues to have him on medical or some type of state funded coverage because she also collects any other type of state asst she can get, ie, day care.

smnikki's picture

i dont think that it was court "ordered" that one party has to provide it....but bm always has had him on state asst, or through her work. it took her 6 moths last time to even give us a copy of stuff to be able to take him to the doctor, because she wanted to have to be able to meet dh there any time he went. (only for colds that went un treated at bm's)

lastchance's picture

Just because you love your kid doesn't mean you are good for them. I wish BM would get this point in her head. Your DH doesn't want to rock the boat, but how is he going to feel if something really bad happens to him, like in the example of the drinking/dune buggying. If anything, maybe it will scare BM enough to get her shit together and actually act like a parent instead of a friend.

smnikki's picture

thats what i keep telling him!!! i hate that people are always telling me, "smnikki he is your kid, he loves you, and you are one of the best things in his life" "you need to love him like he is your...etc" and then the second i try to speak up because i feel something needs to be done to protect him..."well smnikki, its between bm and dh, and you need to just support dh"

i told dh exactly what you said.... so whats next bm isnt looking and ss plays in the street and gets ran over by a car? when is enough going to be enough for dh to protect his child. i really do feel sorry for bm she has had a really crappy life, but at what point do you just say enough and do whats best for ss, and who determines what is best? usually a judge sides with the mom, so if we go to court will it even help or just makes things bad again with us and bm, where at least now she is working with us....ugh so frustrating!!

lastchance's picture

can you annonymously report your concerns to CPS? would you be comfortable with doing that? if you make it vague enough it would hopefully not come back to you, but at the same time may get someone in there to do some parental training and monitoring.

smnikki's picture

i want to, but dh told me not im kind of at a cross roads. like some one mentioned though...the que ball hitting ss, could be chalked up to an accident, and how can i provide info about the dog bite with out it being linked to dh and i?

dh and i just got in a fight about it on the phone, he says im questioning his parenting, which damn right i am...what has to happen to ss for him to realize that ss is not safe at bm's? he said that hes not worried about the medical bills because bm will pay them to avoid going back to court because she has done nothing they requested her to, like attend court ordered counseling....he also said that bm was the one ordered to provide insurance unless dh had a job that did, which he does not...according to dh, bm had to send in paper work for ss, which will most likely be received and re instated before this bill is processed

lastchance's picture

you know, its a really crappy situation to be in and i definitely understand where you're coming from, but when it comes down to it, you need to do what is right for you. if this is really worrying you and it would eat you up in side to NOT do anything and then have something horrible and tragic happen to SS, then you need to do something for your own well being and sanity. is this dog still around SS? that scares me right there. if they can't prevent injuries to their kid by watching him, how are they going to prevent the dog from attacking again? and this time it being deadly.

if they ordered counseling, they probably did so for a reason and it sounds like she needs it. how is it that she can get away with not complying?

i really feel for you lady Sad this is a hard situation to be in.

smnikki's picture

yes, bm still has the dog. i think thats a main part of the reason ss didnt go to the hospital, because bm would maybe lose the dog...and it was fairly new.

i really dont know what to do. i know that bm loves her son, she was texting me this weekend asking how he was, and how his eye looked, etc....its like a lack of common sense, she just was not blessed in the brains department.

the thing is, i love ss, ALOT, he and i are very close. i am truly worried about his well being at bms....but the fact is that, im not the parent, and if both parents are fine with things, what can i do? im trying to get pregnant, so why put myself through the breaks my heart that a parent like me cant get pregnant, but some one like bm, got knocked up after 2 months...i dont know what god is doing up there..but its really not making any sense to me these days Sad

as far as the counesling...she said she was waiting for insurance or a doctor that would take the medical....i think that the court is just too busy with bigger fish

lastchance's picture

oh sweetie...i really feel for you.

But how much of the lack of common sense on her part have to do with the drinking? I've known a few hard core alcoholics who, i swear, drank all of their brain cells away. i don't know if she's THAT bad, but it could be a contributing factor.

i'm guessing you love your SS like he is your own, correct? i doubt other posters would agree, but treat him as if you would your own. if you and your DH split up after having a kid and he was showing the same sort of neglect, would you allow him to continue parenting your kid without consequences or some type of monitoring?

you have to do what is right for you. is there a way to maybe set up a meeting with a CPS worker just to talk about your concerns? maybe there is a way for them to go and do a monitoring without bringing up the dog stuff, especially if she has been in their system before.

stepmasochist's picture

Sounds like the kid doesn't need to be with her at all. I like the CPS idea.

Consult an attorney regarding the rest.

smnikki's picture

ugh, yep this is all what im trying to get through to dh.

dont get me wrong, i am truly enjoying the peace with bm, but whats best for ss? and that would be safety....none of these things happen when ss is in our custody, and they shouldnt be happening over there either. the funny thing is that if this happened at our house, bm would have us in court or cps on our door so fast our head would spin!

Rags's picture

I agree with the Bunko crowd. Call CPS now!!!!!!!! Have them check out the Skid very closely and give them copies of the pictures of the dog bite as well as notifiy them that BM allowed the insurance to laps on the kid. That should get BM's ass firmly recorded in their system and hopefully some kind of charge that will result in your DH getting cusody.

My answer to your original question is ..... EVERY ACCIDENT IS PREVENTABLE! I work in heavy industry in very dangerous work environments. The goal is always ZERO Incidents and the company I work for routinely accomplishes tens of millions of man hours of work with no incidents or injuries.

Certainly a single incident may be written off as coicidence. However, two severe injuries (Dog bite and pool ball) and a regular string of minor cuts, bumps and bruises are a trend and should be reported immediately to CPS. Any further incidents should be reported immediately. Your DH not reporting these types of incidents could result in him bearing some of the brundt of any CPS findings for failing to report the incidents and failing to hold BM accountable for the child's safety when in her custody.

Best regards.

steptwins's picture

Are pitbulls true BM dogs? I guess b.c. my BM has one too. And anytime she goes away for "trips" or to "Work" one stepson thinks the dog should stay w/us. NOT!!! I am terrified of this dog and its mean acting too. So if anything permanently happens to BM, then that dog will need a home and DH will let it come over b.c. that's his son & he loves that dog... And this boy torments and teases this dog b.c. he has ADD and refuses meds too. I'm just
waiting for his B.M. dog to rip into him...

CrystalRE's picture

To answer your initial question...I dont think CPS is going to fault her for not being able to prevent accidents, no matter how frequent but failing to take the child for medical care when it is necessary is DENIAL OF CRITICAL CARE and is considered neglect! Regardless of whether she can afford it or not if she takes the child to the ER the hospital cannot refuse treatment. May hospitals even have financial aide departments what will write off the bill for uninsured children. She has no excuse not to take him to be seen unless she is afraid that the hospital will turn her in to CPS for too frequent of injuries.

To answer your last question...we deal with this a lot with our BM. She doesn't have a lick of common sense when it comes to parenting and is so comfortable letting the kids run where ever they want, no supervision, that they often get hurt because they are kids and not capable of always making wise decisions. The kids almost never leave our house beat up or sick but come home from BM's that way 75% of the time.

smnikki's picture

dh called cps....made a very meek anonymous report...didnt mention the dog bite, and said he too thought it was an accident, that should have been prevented since bm was right there..

the person at cps said that even though it seems bm is lacking common sense, it seemed to be an accident, and that they would add it to her at least its documented. but that it is completely up to a parent whether the child goes to the doctor for an injury, and the parent has the right to not take them if they feel its not necessary.

i hate that dh gets all defensive, i get upset that i feel hes excluding me from having input about things, i get all pissed of yell and then he tries to just do what he thinks i want, and then it ends up not being right because he never actually discusses it with me to find out what i was actually thinking about the whole thing....and now in the end, dh called cps, and feels hes done what i wanted, and that now that i asked him why didnt you mention the dog bite, and the fact that these irresponsible events keep occurring and thats why you called, he says nothing is ever good enough for me..ugh

SteppingUp's picture

This whole situation is a very common occurence in the CPS field. My best friend is a CPS worker and she often tells me that there are so many cases just like this. I think your DH certainly doesn't want to rock the boat but it is probably also because he doesn't want backlash. As you said, if he reported the dog bite, BM would know who reported it. This often leads to retaliation, and she might try to find any reason to report YOU or DH as well. Then the kids get involved because they are constantly being asked questions. At that age, they don't know what the "right" answer is and will often answer questions a certain way depending on how they are asked and who is asking. That's a bad scenario, but a very common case, and is traumatic for a child.

In addition, CPS has to have enough preponderance of evidence BEFORE investigating. Your best bet is to keep documenting and keep calling you said, they are putting that info in a file, and the more they get, the better.

I know it's hard to sit back and watch this happen (we have this issue too), but everyone we talk to says we just have to keep documenting, and that there's just not enough evidence to actually investigate yet. As my friend says to me often, "Poor parenting choice on behalf of the BM? For sure. Neglect/Abuse? Unsure." Eventually all the "poor parenting choices" can add just takes some time.

Try to teach/instill safety into the child as best you can so that he might pick up where the BM lacks. We've had to teach the kids how to put on bug spray, how to wash a wound, what kind of shoes to wear in the woods, etc.

anabihibik's picture

So, let me get this straight. The cue ball hit him in the eye or above the eye? And he needed an open wound closed? That doesn't make much sense to me unless a bone got broken and broke through the skin. This all seems suspicious, Lady.

anabihibik's picture

I wasn't trying to be sarcastic at all. I wasn't understanding the injury, trying to picture it. I was only trying to understand if there might be more to the picture than the cue ball, like if there was some sort of abuse happening. I was saying that the situation at BM's house sounded suspicious, not you. I've always respected you in the past and followed your blogs because I liked you.

smnikki's picture

picture taking my foot out of my mouth...sorry. i thought you were saying i was implying something wrong... lets see pms with super stress over trying to get pregnant...yep, smnikki is in rare form. and i havent been posting much since the big drama blow out so i dont really feel safe posting anymore or know whos who here but im not sure what else to do

but now that you say it like that, ss also showed me a scratch on his leg and said it was bleeding and from the pool ball as well...its all kind of weird, but dh really thinks there was no foul play......i on the other hand am just preparing for when dh gets a call that ss is in the hospital because hes been run over or something. im sure its only a matter of time

anabihibik's picture

You've never heard me talk out loud to hear how I talk. I can see how it could have been misread. We all have off days. I was in rare form on Monday at work with the new doctors that just graduated. Wink