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Guard to stop child undoing car seat?


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#1 mum2jp

Posted 17 April 2019 - 04:09 PM

Help my 3 year old has discovered she can easily press the red button and undo herself from the car seat. It isn't even difficult for her to do.

We just had a two hour drive on our way back from holidays and had to stop several times to do her back up. She absolutely knows its wrong, she is just an extremely difficult child. She is laughing when i am getting upset with her and keeps doing it.

I have seen the guards for traditional seat belt buckles. Is there a similar thing i can use for a car seat button? And are they even safe as i assume harder to undo im event of accident. Or do different brands of seats have a harder to undo buckle. She is in her 0 to 4 safe and sound seat and still has plenty of room even though she turns 4 this year but i would be open to buying a 6m to 8 seat with a better buckle system that would see her through if anyone has recommendations.

#2 mandala

Posted 17 April 2019 - 04:19 PM

I've heard it recommended to put a sticky velco dot (hook side) onto the button to make it painful/uncomfortable for them to press.

My experience is that the buckles are all about as easy as each other to undo. We have gone through that with DS2, and the best way we could find was to pull over, rebuckle, and otherwise ignore the behaviour. Obviously this is really inconvenient, but telling him off just made it more fun.

ETA: This behaviour is now really convenient at 4yo, as he can unbuckle and buckle himself in (I always check and listen for the click!). The novelty did wear off and now I don't have to fumble with keys/phone/bag/buckle.

Edited by mandala, 17 April 2019 - 05:04 PM.


#3 laridae

Posted 17 April 2019 - 04:20 PM

Seeing as you'll need a new seat for her eventually I'd try a 6m-8y harnessed seat. Try her in them and see if she can get out.

#4 Cheesy Sanga

Posted 17 April 2019 - 04:20 PM

All harnessed seats in Australia have the same buckle.  There's no buckle guard that's safe or legal as our seats need to have a one step release.

You can try the rough side of a dot of Velcro as some kids don't like the feel of that. Maybe give the buckle a wash as well.

If there are SN involved then a physio or OT can possibly prescribe something.

#5 Kiwi Bicycle

Posted 17 April 2019 - 05:58 PM

There is a definite difference in how hard a press I had to do between my Maxicosi 0 to 4 seat and my Infrasecure Evolve 6 to 8 harnessed. DS5 has only just managed to press the Evolve himself with two thumbs.
I would go to a carseat store and get her to try the older harnessed seats to see how successful she is.

#6 SplashingRainbows

Posted 17 April 2019 - 06:05 PM

My almost 5yo can’t press the button on her brutal safe and sound seat. It’s a 6m-8 seat.
Could be worth a try.

#7 Mumma bug

Posted 17 April 2019 - 06:47 PM

You have my sympathies, my youngest still sometimes gets her arms out of her seat and it’s a worry.

I researched those Houdini strap things and apparently they aren’t safe as they can cause chest injuries in a crash and can make it difficult to get the child out in a crash.

Could you invest in some interesting new small toys that only come out a car time? Or even an iPad just for car time?

Hopefully it’s a phase and the novelty wears off.

#8 mum2jp

Posted 17 April 2019 - 07:11 PM

Thanks for the suggestions. I don't even think the houdini strap would help as she can undo the whole buckle. She was literally out of her seat, standing on the floor as we were driving at 100k on a highway. Poor DH i was shouting to pull over as i was in a panic and he couldn't do so straight away as someone was right behind us and he needed to find a safe kurb space. I am glad he is calmer under pressure than me.

I might try to look at a few seats, maybe even just the fuss of it being a special big girl seat might make her want to sit in it and not try it again.

eta Also need to look at swapping her and DS over as if i am on my own it's hard to see her as she is behind the driver's side. I have DS8 who is still in a booster on the passenger side as he gets out himself whereas i get her out so i feel he is safer on the kurb side.

Edited by mum2jp, 17 April 2019 - 07:31 PM.


#9 MooGuru

Posted 17 April 2019 - 07:16 PM

This might not work for you but one of my friends had the  same issue.  The only thing that worked for her was pulling over and essentially ignoring the behaviour.
"Mummy can't drive if you aren't buckled."
"buckle up and we can go." No other reaction.

Everyone who drove with her in the car was given the same instructions (me included). She tried it on with me twice in one trip.  The second time I just read a magazine for maybe 3 minutes.  
As soon as she rebuckled and I checked it we sang songs etc and drove on. She didn't try it on again for me luckily given we had an appt to get to!
I reckon it would've been a nightmare the first few times at least!

#10 mum2jp

Posted 17 April 2019 - 07:42 PM

MooGuru yes i need to work on a calm reaction. We basically had to do this the few times after as she continued to take it off once she realised she could but my initial reaction was far from calm. I just think i was so shocked to actually see her fully out of the seat as she hasn't done it before. Ds said Mum she is taking her belt off, i turned around thinking she was just taking her arm out or something only to see her jump down out of the seat.

#11 MooGuru

Posted 17 April 2019 - 07:49 PM

Don't blame you OP. I'd probably have shat myself in that scenario.
My friend tried for months with different things but with her DD it was the reaction she wanted so treating the behaviour was better than trying to make the belt buckle less accessible.

#12 mum2jp

Posted 17 April 2019 - 07:53 PM

Yes i agree it is 100% the reaction she is doing it for. Children are delights lol, there is a reason she is my youngest (read LAST) as she keeps me on my toes lol.

#13 blimkybill

Posted 17 April 2019 - 10:33 PM

 MooGuru, on 17 April 2019 - 07:16 PM, said:

This might not work for you but one of my friends had the  same issue.  The only thing that worked for her was pulling over and essentially ignoring the behaviour.
"Mummy can't drive if you aren't buckled."
"buckle up and we can go." No other reaction.

Everyone who drove with her in the car was given the same instructions (me included). She tried it on with me twice in one trip.  The second time I just read a magazine for maybe 3 minutes.  
As soon as she rebuckled and I checked it we sang songs etc and drove on. She didn't try it on again for me luckily given we had an appt to get to!
I reckon it would've been a nightmare the first few times at least!
Definitely this.
However if it doesn't work,  my local Kidsafe office will turn the lower strap of the buckle around so the button faces inwards. Much harder for a child to undo but still quick for an adult

#14 PocketIcikleflakes

Posted 17 April 2019 - 10:56 PM

It might be worth calling the manufacturer. The instruction booklets for my car seats, all britax, say replacements are available if they get broken, don't click in properly, or get filled with chocolate and won't come clean... it may be that the mechanism has weakened and a new one will be harder to unclip.

#15 Cheesy Sanga

Posted 17 April 2019 - 11:12 PM

 blimkybill, on 17 April 2019 - 10:33 PM, said:

will turn the lower strap of the buckle around so the button faces inwards.

No. Not legal or safe.




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