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  1. #1
    mom2boys77
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    Question child can escape the car seat..please help!

    Hi. I am new here and need help. My son is 3. We have an integrated car seat in our minivan and he not only learned how to undo the chest buckle but also the one between his legs. Does anyone know of anything they make to cover the buckles or make it much harder for him to undo. He is making going out a nightmare

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  3. #2
    CPS Technician Victorious4's Avatar
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    This thread might be of some help >>> http://www.car-seat.org/showthread.php?t=3175

    Also, you might adapt the role play experiment I made up with my daughter about the same age to suit your situation >>> http://www.car-seat.org/showthread.p...13995#poststop

    GOOD LUCK
    Last edited by Victorious4; 07-08-2005 at 10:33 AM.
    TIFF ~ doula & all hours childcare provider
    SCARLA: winter '02 . . . Jr. Roller Derby level III
    BEAR: spring '11 ... Recaro Sport + Clek Oobr
    RAHNE: summer '17 ... MicoMax30 + RadianRXT
    childcare: 0-7yrs... Contender + Frontier Clicktight
    {emergencies: Scenera Next, Highback, Topside}

  4. #3
    Unregistered
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    Wink

    maybe this will help- Have you considered the car seat. Maybe it's a desing that make for easy escapes. If this is the case maybe you could look at other car seats that would be more difficult for him to escape. Also being a three year old maybe you could reason with him- say he gets a prize when he sits correctly in his seat for the duration of the trip. Dose he have other siblings that sit in car seats- maybe you could use them as example. I don't know if you have this at your luxury but my sister in law told her 2 1/2 year old he could no longer go in the car with her because he wouldn't sit in his car seat. This trick worked real fast especaily when he saw his brother going with mommy and he had to stay home. And he knew the minute he got out that she would turn around and drop him off at home with dad or grandma. Also maybe your son gets too bored in the car have you tried some car safe toys to entertain him. Hope more people have some suggestions for you and you can put one of them to use so you can safely get back on the road again.

  5. #4
    Unregistered
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    You might want to look at WHY he is getting out of his seat. Is it uncomfortable? Is it a poor fit that holds him 'loosely' enough that it gave him the idea? Is it for attention, is he bored? If you can figure out why he is now doing this you may be able to stop the behavior sooner. Since it is a SAFETY issue stopping the car and putting him back in in a calm and no nonsense way is a start. Then perhaps as another poster said, something to do in the car to keep him ooccupied. maybe something he can pick out on a successful trip out, a special toy for just the car. If he's geting a lot of attention for this behavior maybe a stern but not excited response in the car and more attention other times will help. A review of car safety rules and just why they are needed before heading out could help too.
    Good Luck...I've found with behavior things and my kids, just when I'm ready to tear my hair out and ask for help, the behavior goes away!
    C.

  6. #5
    safemom
    Guest

    Also have a Houdini

    My son also just learned to unlatch the buckle on his carseat and I came to this forum looking for practical solutions to the problem. I'm just rolling my eyes at all the "behavior modification" advice and no real working ideas. My son is not even 2 yet. He doesn't care if the car is going or not. He doesn't understand the concept of time or future rewards. McDonalds means nothing to him. I can't just leave him at home because I don't always have someone to leave him with. And in the real world I can't stop every 3 minutes on the freeway because he unbuckles himself. It's impractical, unsafe and ridiculous advice. I understand that children need discipline. I have a college degree in education and have taken several psychology courses. I also have a daughter with whom I have never had this problem. So, I can tell all of you with obedient angels for children that not all kids are the same. Personally, I'm thinking of sewing some kind of cover for the buckle so he can't see where the red button is. Maybe that will slow him down until he starts understanding the safety issue.

  7. #6
    Senior Community Member scatterbunny's Avatar
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    Adding anything to the carseat that didn't come with the carseat voids the manufacturer's warranty.

    I understand your frustration, but being consistent about the importance of the child staying buckled is really the best way to handle the situation. Show the child crash test video if need be (worked for my 2.5 year old). Putting a cover over the buckle is only making the "game" (as the child sees it) more exciting, more challenging.

    Looking at the reasons why will usually also help. If it's a poor fit of the child to the carseat, for example...or if the chest clip needs to be slid up and the harness tighter (surprisingly this deters some kids--ones who usually get out by slipping their shoulders out of the top harness straps).

    There are some models of seats that are more difficult to undo--stiffer buckle buttons, so you have to push harder to get it undone, things like that--hopefully someone can list a few seats that are known for being difficult to buckle/unbuckle. What may be a little inconvenience for a parent could be what stops a child's potentially dangerous adventure.

    I wonder if re-threading the chest clip onto the harness straps, upside down, would do the trick? Maybe putting the button on the opposite side would make it harder for the child to undo?
    ~Jenny

    "When I was young, I admired clever people. Now that I am old, I admire kind people." ~Abraham Joshua Hesche

  8. #7
    Admin - CPST Instructor murphydog77's Avatar
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    Which car seat do you have? If it's a Britax Roundabout with the old style puzzle buckle harness, it doesn't surprise me that he's able to undo the harness. There are lots of complaints about that buckle and they no longer make it. A new harness, including buckle, may be ordered from Britax for around $12.

    If that's not the problem, then I agree with Jenny that working on discipline consistency is the best course of action. I also agree that kids under 2.5 yrs just don't get it, don't have the cognitive ability to process consequences, but you can't add things to car seats. Give him toys to play with (soft are best, but lightweight plastic cars are also fine), snacks to eat, music to listen to, something to keep him busy. Also, don't be afraid to call the manufacturer and let them know that a 1 yr old can open the buckle!

  9. #8
    safemom
    Guest

    Thumbs up Useful advice - THANK YOU!

    Heather, thank you so much - I do indeed have the older Britax Roundabout w/ puzzle type buckle. I didn't realize this was an issue, since there were no recalls issued or any mention of it on the Britax website. I ordered the new style buckle for $12 (+6.50 S/H), so hopefully this will solve the problem (at least until my son can understand "Happy Meal"!) Thanks again!

  10. #9
    Unregistered
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    From your post it sounds like you are using the seat that is built into the seat of your minivan, correct? If so how much does your son weigh because that may be a factor in why he can get out of the integrated seat. I tried my son in my friend's minivan integrated seat when he was 2 1/2 and he was just too slender for it too work even though he weighed 25 pounds which is what her minivan owner's manual stated the weight of a child should be to use the integrated seat...he was able to get his arms out and he just looked very loose even though we had tightened the straps as far as they would go. You might want to try an actual carseat that you install in your van if you are indeed using the seat that is part of the minivan seat. You would probably be able to get a more snug fit for your son and the buckle on the seat may be more complex for him to figure out. Other people who post here would probably be able to make a good seat recommendation based on your son's height and weight.

  11. #10
    Senior Community Member scatterbunny's Avatar
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    I hope the new harness solves your problem.
    ~Jenny

    "When I was young, I admired clever people. Now that I am old, I admire kind people." ~Abraham Joshua Hesche

  12. #11
    CPS Technician bazanna's Avatar
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    I felt the need to respond to this for other parents who might be lurking.

    Quote Originally Posted by safemom
    My son also just learned to unlatch the buckle on his carseat and I came to this forum looking for practical solutions to the problem. I'm just rolling my eyes at all the "behavior modification" advice and no real working ideas. My son is not even 2 yet. He doesn't care if the car is going or not. He doesn't understand the concept of time or future rewards. McDonalds means nothing to him. I can't just leave him at home because I don't always have someone to leave him with. And in the real world I can't stop every 3 minutes on the freeway because he unbuckles himself. It's impractical, unsafe and ridiculous advice. I understand that children need discipline. I have a college degree in education and have taken several psychology courses. I also have a daughter with whom I have never had this problem. So, I can tell all of you with obedient angels for children that not all kids are the same. Personally, I'm thinking of sewing some kind of cover for the buckle so he can't see where the red button is. Maybe that will slow him down until he starts understanding the safety issue.
    Whoa, hold on there a second. I am currently a preschool teacher, and also certified to teach in the public schools. I've been teaching for about 15 years. I am also a mother to at least one child with a fully diagnosed serious mental illness, for which she takes medication on a daily basis. I am the last person to say that all kids are the same and believe me, my kids are NOT obedient angels...my dd is especially puzzling at times and every day I count to ten and remind myself of her developmental level.

    Stopping on the freeway is impractical and unsafe but there are other roads besides the freeway. And although under 2 is on the young side for this kind of behaviour modification, it can be done, although you might have to make it on a smaller scale. I would expect you to use your imagination, but as an example, you can take your child on a trip to see a favorite friend. The trip can be 5 minutes. You may have to stop 16 times in those 5 minutes but if you have that favorite friend make a BIG DEAL to the child about what a good thing it was that s/he stayed buckled (because the child should still be buckled upon arrival, or you should be stopped and rebuckling), it will help.

    Heck, you can take a package of small treats along, like those horrible sugary "fruit snacks" and a kitchen timer...and reward with a fruit snack for every minute s/he stays buckled...maybe something like that will help you work up to the staying buckled for 5 minutes trip...

    A good way to talk to under 2's is "when...then" sentences. They are simple and easily understood once your child learns the convention. You can start with them at anytime and then when you NEED them to understand in the car, you have that going for you.

    "WHEN you stay buckled, THEN we will get to Aunt Patty's house." Be very matter of fact and eliminate the negatives from your vocbulary. Do not say, "when you unbuckle, we can't go." Keep it positive, keep it consistent, and most of all, keep your patience and sound very matter of fact, instead of exasperated. You can practice when-then in your home. "WHEN you pick up the toys, THEN you can read a book with Daddy." "WHEN you are all done whining, THEN I will get your juice."

    Baby steps. This may not be solved in one trip with younger children.

    There are lots and lots of good tips here, and as with everything else, YMMV.
    YES I am a certified CPS Technician...Internet advice is never the same as having someone actually look at your seats, your kids, and your car. Have your seats CHECKED by a Technician.

  13. #12
    Unregistered
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    We had the same problem with our son in the britax husky until I made an epoxy cover for the buckle. It has a thin slot over the button so you can only undo it with a key. We also got a special belt-cutter near the seat in case of emergency.

    Besides the reasons safemom just mentioned it is just too dangerous to stop 16 times and I cant drive safely if I have to make sure if he is still buckled every tree seconds especially in winter when a blanked is over his seat. Once he was climbing between the front seats and nearly fell on the gearshift.

    Now he is five years old and doesn’t try to get out anymore. But we still use the cover for our peace of mind.

  14. #13
    CPS Technician Victorious4's Avatar
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    What is the belt cutter? Where is it? I hope it's not a possible dangerous projectile laying loose in the car....
    TIFF ~ doula & all hours childcare provider
    SCARLA: winter '02 . . . Jr. Roller Derby level III
    BEAR: spring '11 ... Recaro Sport + Clek Oobr
    RAHNE: summer '17 ... MicoMax30 + RadianRXT
    childcare: 0-7yrs... Contender + Frontier Clicktight
    {emergencies: Scenera Next, Highback, Topside}

  15. #14
    Unregistered
    Guest
    http://www.october.com/preparedness/car/

    We fixed it at the back door.

  16. #15
    Unregistered
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    I believe that small buses that transport kids in seat belts have to have these belt cutters, or at least the ones I rode in (Head Start) had them. Apparently one MAJOR objection to seat belts in buses is that if there is an emergency not all the kids might be in a condition to undo their seat belt and get out quickly. The belt cutter can allow you to quicky cut through a number of belts and get kids out.
    C.

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