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  1. #1
    Carseat Crazy
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    391

    3 year old unbuckling chest clip AND taking arms out

    I'm posting this for my friend who is in need of advice. Her son turned 3 in November and recently figured how to undo his chest clip and take his arms out of his harness! She's a carseat freak like me and I know the straps on his seat are not loose (I've seen her buckle him several times). Any advice? At first I thought she was just telling me that he was unbuckling his chest clip, which isn't really a problem as long as the straps are tight, BUT then I heard the "taking his arms out" part!

    I told her to just pull over when it happens and really tell him that it is not ok to take his arms out and that he could get really hurt. I think he thinks it's funny when he does it.
    Latia (Birth & Postpartum Doula and Infant Nanny)
    Conner (11 yrs old, 102lbs, 61" tall, adult seat belt)
    Parker (6 yrs old, 49lbs, 49" tall, FR90 and FR85)

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  3. #2
    Senior Community Member Baylor's Avatar
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    Jun 2010
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    4,532

    Re: 3 year old unbuckling chest clip AND taking arms out

    I do that. I pull over and then I take whatever he is playing with away til he sits right. He likes to watch movies so off they go until he is sitting without playing with the straps. It worked for him. He is almost 3 and does not do it anymore.
    A five stepper and a booster rider

  4. #3
    CPST Instructor Minnesota's Avatar
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    Mar 2008
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    Minnesota
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    829

    Re: 3 year old unbuckling chest clip AND taking arms out

    A NT 3-year-old should respond well to discipline. It will probably be frustrating for her for a little bit, but she needs to stop every time and really get after him for doing it. He should be able to understand how serious it is.

    I actually had a friend take her escape artist to a police station and ask an officer to talk to him. It worked. Without using "scare tactics" the officer explained that the only way to be safe in the car was to stay in his harness, and the little boy listened solemnly and never tried to get out again.
    -Mandy
    CPST-I, Special Needs trained
    Mommy to two boys
    A ~ 9 years, 70 lbs ~ Boostered in Chicco KidFit & Graco SafetySurround
    K ~ 6 years, 45 lbs ~ Boostered in Parkway SG & Harnessed in Frontier85

  5. #4
    Senior Community Member Evolily's Avatar
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    Feb 2008
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    1,623

    Re: 3 year old unbuckling chest clip AND taking arms out

    C did that. I believe I did the shirt trick- put the child into a seat with an oversized unfastened shirt (zipper, buttons, snaps, whatever- something the child can't undo). Buckle up the harness like normal, and then fasten the shirt over the harness. Out of sight, out of mind.

    Barely 3 is a weird age, some kids are quicker to catch onto discipline and consequences than others, and sometimes ANY reaction reinforces the behavior . If discipline and the shirt trick do not work there may be an option of removing the chest clip, it would depend on the seat and if the manufacturer allows it in special situations. Removing the clip would allow the harness to be tightened more snugly, which would make it hard or impossible to get his arm out.
    Formerly known as CelticLabyrinth
    Big sister to
    A, 5/06 and C 11/04
    Riding in Safety 1st Incognitos

  6. #5
    Carseat Crazy Jocey'sMommy's Avatar
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    Jun 2010
    Location
    Johnson City, TN
    Posts
    428

    Re: 3 year old unbuckling chest clip AND taking arms out

    Jocelynn does that . . . I tell her sternly to sit back the right way, if that doesn't work then I threaten to pull over or go home(if we are going somewhere fun) if she doesn't do it immediately, if that doesn't work we do pull over lol We usually stop at step one because I have pulled over before and she knows it lol It only takes a few times to get the point across
    Jocelynn Makena 02/20/07 riding in a britax parkway knight sg and pink cub sgl
    Corbin James 07/27/2013 riding in a britax cowmooflage marathon and laguna boulevard

  7. #6
    CPS Technician
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    373

    Re: 3 year old unbuckling chest clip AND taking arms out

    My 4yo did that recently. I immediately pulled over, explained the severity of the situation and told him that he could never do it again. It hasn't happened since, and a couple of times afterward he has told me, "I will never do my car seat again while you're driving." So he gets it.
    Rolling around town with my best friends:
    DS (7), DD (6), DS (5), and DS (3)

  8. #7
    CPST Instructor Minnesota's Avatar
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    Mar 2008
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    Minnesota
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    829

    Re: 3 year old unbuckling chest clip AND taking arms out

    Quote Originally Posted by karlatta View Post
    My 4yo did that recently. I immediately pulled over, explained the severity of the situation and told him that he could never do it again. It hasn't happened since, and a couple of times afterward he has told me, "I will never do my car seat again while you're driving." So he gets it.
    We had almost the exact thing happen with our then 4-year-old. We were on the freeway and he decided out of nowhere that he would undo his chest clip and pull his arms out of his straps so he could lean over and hit his little brother! I looked back and almost had a heart attack, had DH pull over immediately, and he got the lecture of a lifetime. He's never done anything like that again, I don't think he dares.
    -Mandy
    CPST-I, Special Needs trained
    Mommy to two boys
    A ~ 9 years, 70 lbs ~ Boostered in Chicco KidFit & Graco SafetySurround
    K ~ 6 years, 45 lbs ~ Boostered in Parkway SG & Harnessed in Frontier85

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