Escaping Seat/pushing down chest clip

griffinej5

New member
Hi
I am evaluating a 4.5 year old boy with down syndrome for behavioral intervention. One of the problems for which he was referred is escaping from his car seat. His mom says he gets out of it by pushing down the chest clip and wiggling out. She has tried a few different seats,and the current seat is the most difficult. I don't think there is an issue of the seat not being tight enough. While I have only seen it in video, it appeared tight enough, and she says she's put it so tight it cuts into his legs, he can still do it.
Currently, she is putting the seat belt over top of the harness. I think the seat is installed with LATCH (can't tell, wasn't in the car, but the other possibility is that it she is using the belt from another seat over top). I know that is not recommended, but it's probably better than him getting out of his seat while driving down the highway. If his seat is installed with LATCH though, at some point the belt will be needed for the install. I'm also not sure if NY is a proper use state, and this isn't legal.
Other than putting the seat belt over top of the seat, is there anything else I might recommend to keep him from pushing down the chest clip?
 
ADS

EmmaGrace'sMom

New member
What seat is he in? I would try putting harness covers below the chest clip, then he can't slide it down. I would be comfortable using aftermarket covers if needed, it might take two sets depending on his torso height.

My almost 2yo decided she would do this to the sitter and putting the harness cover below the chest clip stopped the problem.
 

LISmama810

Admin - CPS Technician
Are you a CPST? If not, can you try to find one in her area for her to meet with, preferably one with Special Needs training? There's a list on here of techs from this site. Obviously a CPST can't really do anything about the behavior, but he/she can at least make sure the seat is installed and used properly.

Placing the seat belt over the child is not a good idea. Besides potentially interfering with the way the seat performs in a crash, it seems like it wouldn't be very effective in keeping a child in the seat. It also seems like it could pose a strangulation hazard (even if locked) if the child were to get tangled while escaping from the seat.

Some people recommend threading toilet-paper rolls below the chest clip to keep it from being pushed down. I'm not necessarily a huge fan of that idea, but in extreme cases, it's certainly better than a child escaping.

How tall and heavy is the child? I wonder if another seat would be a possibility. (Do they still make the Chase with the adjuster on the harness? Or isn't there that new Baby Trend seat that has something that keeps the chest clip fixed or something?)
 

griffinej5

New member
I'm not a CPST. I'm a Behavior Analyst.
His mother reported that putting the seat belt over the seat does keep him in. I'm not happy with it, but I'm happier with that than a child running around the car on the highway.
I'm not sure what seat he is currently in, and what others have been tried. I'll have to ask about that tomorrow. He is 38lbs, and I am not sure of his height.
Not being a CPST, I'd be slightly reluctant to recommend putting anything after market on the seat like strap covers or toilet paper rolls, but I'd certainly think that would be better than him being out of the seat. I'd be happier about letting a CPST recommend something like that, and I may suggest she talks to one.
 

safeinthecar

Moderator - CPS Technician
I'm not a CPST. I'm a Behavior Analyst.
His mother reported that putting the seat belt over the seat does keep him in. I'm not happy with it, but I'm happier with that than a child running around the car on the highway.
I'm not sure what seat he is currently in, and what others have been tried. I'll have to ask about that tomorrow. He is 38lbs, and I am not sure of his height.
Not being a CPST, I'd be slightly reluctant to recommend putting anything after market on the seat like strap covers or toilet paper rolls, but I'd certainly think that would be better than him being out of the seat. I'd be happier about letting a CPST recommend something like that, and I may suggest she talks to one.

You could also send her here for ideas.
 

ketchupqueen

CPST and ketchup snob
Staff member
It sounds like this is a child who might benefit from a back-closing vest. You really do need to get her in touch with a Special Needs-trained CPST to explore that and other options effectively- there may be some at your local hospitals, if you don't find any here. You can also search by going to http://www.tinyurl.com/cpstsearch and selecting "additional training-special needs" (I think that's how they word it) at the bottom.
 

CuddlyMonsters

New member
Sometimes kids what have Behavioral issues escape their car seats for different reasons. Like take my 5 year old DD for example. She has mastered getting out of just about any 5 point harness car seat and we have tried LOTS of things to keep her from NOT doing it. We have turn the buckles backwards and put things over the chest clips etc...

Long story short, we were in a situation one day and needed to a ride home. The only people who could give us a ride had two Britax Parkway SGL's. I sat between my kids the whole time, since I was worried about them getting out. Both my kids fit height wise into the seats and with the seat belts, but we all know just because it looks like it fits doesn't mean it is the best idea.

I can however tell you that my DD left the seatbelt alone the whole time. She did not once touch it. We have since then discovered that she has sensory issues being 5 point harnessed, so we will are in the process of moving her over to a safety vest/highback booster combo. So far I borrowed a Graco Highback Turbo Booster and have been taking rides within our development and just today we went on a short 5 minute trip. She actually leaves the thing alone...

In my opinion it really is not safe to have a child in a 5 point harness when they constantly get out! It is much safer to find a soultion that works, but yet is the best possible one safety wise! Safety always comes first!

We do have a BSC and TSS working my child on this too.
 

Car-Seat.Org Facebook Group

Forum statistics

Threads
219,690
Messages
2,200,936
Members
13,435
Latest member
pcarter

You must read your carseat and vehicle owner’s manual and understand any relevant state laws. These are the rules you must follow to restrain your children safely. All opinions at Car-Seat.Org are those of the individual author for informational purposes only, and do not necessarily reflect any policy or position of Carseat Media LLC. Car-Seat.Org makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, currentness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis. If you are unsure about information provided to you, please visit a local certified technician. Before posting or using our website you must read and agree to our TERMS.

Graco is a Proud Sponsor of Car-Seat.Org! Britax is a Proud Sponsor of Car-Seat.Org! Nuna Baby is a Proud Sponsor of Car-Seat.Org!

Please  Support Car-Seat.Org  with your purchases of infant, convertible, combination and boosters seats from our premier sponsors above.
Shop travel systems, strollers and baby gear from Britax, Chicco, Clek, Combi, Evenflo, First Years, Graco, Maxi-Cosi, Nuna, Safety 1st, Diono & more! ©2001-2022 Carseat Media LLC

Top