HELP!--18mo old unlatches carseat

Lindsay - posted on 07/07/2010 ( 6 moms have responded )

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My 18mo old can unlatch the chest buckle of his car seat. He is way too little to move to the booster seat. I of course scold and tell him no, but how else do I keep him safe ??

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Bri - posted on 07/09/2010

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If he's able to unlatch his chest buckle then his buckles are NOT tight enough. I can't tell you the number of infants and children that I see in car seats whose straps are not correctly tightened (which can cause more injury as the child ricochets back and forth between their straps and the car seat in the event of an accident).

Not long ago a friend of ours, with a 2 yr old, had this very problem and when I investigated, sure enough they were not fastening it tight enough. When I showed them the correct tightness, no more unlatching!

When properly tightened you should be able to get NO more than 2 fingers between the straps coming over the shoulder and his chest! If the straps are this tight, then you move the buckle up so that's correctly positioned so that it is even with his armpits, there will be enough resistance against the buckle parts that he will be unable to release it.

It's important that the straps are RECHECKED/RETIGHTENED absolutely EACH and EVERY time you buckle your son in... the clothing that he's wearing today may fit differently than what he was wearing yesterday.

Locate a car seat safety inspector http://www.nhtsa.gov/cps/cpsfitting/inde... and ask them to help you make sure you're getting the buckles tight enough and positioned correctly.

Planning ahead, as your son gets old make him responsible for helping get the buckles tight enough- show him how to measure 2 fingers and do an "armpit check" (make your hands like a play gun, thumbs go on buckle and pointed fingers should be inserting themselves into the armpits!). And when you move up to booster which doesn't have the 5 point harness, if he unbuckles, pull over until he's buckled. And make sure you do it EVERY time. It will be a pain in the butt for a week or 2, but he'll soon realize that YOU are the boss, he's not going to win, this is no fun sitting here, I'm missing out on things and give up being naughty!

Diane - posted on 07/07/2010

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yea i agree with the first post, but my 2yr old just moved to a booster seat last month and he did it once we scolded and told him not to do it and why. the 2nd time was like 15 min later and we pulled over and slaped his hand and said no, that was all it took and hasen't done it sence. saftey 1st

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Angie - posted on 07/11/2010

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I agree with Bri, if they are properly tightened in their carseat they won't be able to get themselves out of the carseat. Tighten the straps. Also if he is tight enough in the harness then having the chest clip unsnapped really won't make a differene.

[deleted account]

My 2 year old can't unbuckle his chest, but he can slide it down to his belly button and them wiggle his arms out the top. I simply pull over to the side of the road. Turn off the fun kiddy music. I refuse to do anything until he puts his buckles back on. which he usually needs help with. He quickly discovered that this game was no fun. And stopped within a week or two. (I never hit him as I don't subscribe to that form of punishment)

Lindsey - posted on 07/07/2010

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try investing in a different more secure carseat.. maybe try looking around walmart and 'testing' some out by having him sit and try unbuckling them :D that would make sure you got one that he can't get out of

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