Pre-School

Car Seat - WWYD?

This morning my 3.5 year old figured out how to loosen the straps on her car seat. I talked to her about how important it is to keep the straps tight, and asked her not to play with them again. But, I'm nervous that she will do it again, and that next time I'll be driving and unable to re-tighten them (this morning I was putting her sister in the car when she did it). Has anyone else experienced this? Any suggestions on how to prevent her from loosening the straps? 
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Re: Car Seat - WWYD?

  • Have you tried contacting the manufacturer and seeing what they suggest? 
  • My daughter started unbuckling herself at that age.   I could probably count a dozen times where I had to very quickly pull over off the road and get out and get in the back seat right into her face and talk to her about why it's important and force the buckle back on while she screamed in protest.  Eventually she got it and stopped.   Then she did it 1-2 times for my mom, just to see if she could get away with it.   Then stopped.

    You just have to know that it's probably going to happen, and a few times before she stops doing it.  Stay in the right lane so you can quickly but safely pull off the road (not on the side of the road either, but into a driveway or pull off area, etc) and deal with it.  Even if you have to sit there for 10 minutes while she screams, kicks, and fights.  

  • My daughter did this a few times. Once in a busy freeway. Scary. I pulled over. I Told her that it's not safe and a policeman will stop us and we will be in trouble. This scared her and she stopped. I'd put major fear in her.




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  • ss+elss+el
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    image KKDRAGONFLY:
    My daughter did this a few times. Once in a busy freeway. Scary. I pulled over. I Told her that it's not safe and a policeman will stop us and we will be in trouble. This scared her and she stopped. I'd put major fear in her.

    DS has never tried to get out of his, but he has tried to talk me out of buckling him at times. I tell him to wait right here while I go find a policeman to explain to him why we need to buckle up. Still snaps him into compliance at 4 1/2.

     

  • At 3.5 it's a behavioral issue, not an issue with carseat design to discuss with the carseat manufacturer. You need to make it clear why she needs a carseat and why the straps need to be on and tight enough. I would start by talking to her. If that doesn't work maybe keep stickers as a reward for staying properly buckled (in addition to punishment for not). If that doesn't work I would find youtube videos of what can happen in car accidents. That would be my last resort but may be the only thing that gets the point across.
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  • I think unless there are cognitive or developmental delays, it should be handled behaviorally.  I personally would stop the car, adjust the straps and then set my timer for a timeout while on the side of the road.  If we were going someplace fun for her I'd take her home. 

    In our house pretty much EVERYTHING is negotiable if handled calmly and politely except for safety and hygiene.  This is definitely one of those battles I would pick to "fight" rather than strong arm her by creating a contraption to keep her from getting to it. 

    Also by 3.5 she should understand the ramifications.  I would bring her favorite doll out, put it in the carseat and hold the straps tight and demonstrate how that makes her safe, then let the straps loose, and fling the doll across the car and explain to her that your number one job is to keep her safe and healthy.  And part of that is keeping her in the carseat with the straps tight. 

     

     

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  • Leap08Leap08
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    image penguingrrl:
    At 3.5 it's a behavioral issue, not an issue with carseat design to discuss with the carseat manufacturer. You need to make it clear why she needs a carseat and why the straps need to be on and tight enough. I would start by talking to her. If that doesn't work maybe keep stickers as a reward for staying properly buckled (in addition to punishment for not). If that doesn't work I would find youtube videos of what can happen in car accidents. That would be my last resort but may be the only thing that gets the point across.

    Thanks for the sticker sheet suggestion. She responds really well to them, so if this becomes a repeat thing I'll try implementing that, along with some sort of punishment if she does loosen them. So far, she hasn't loosened them again. I've been reminding her why the straps need to stay tight every time we get in the car.  I'm hoping it sinks in without having to resort to youtube horror clips.

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  • image Leap08:

    image penguingrrl:
    At 3.5 it's a behavioral issue, not an issue with carseat design to discuss with the carseat manufacturer. You need to make it clear why she needs a carseat and why the straps need to be on and tight enough. I would start by talking to her. If that doesn't work maybe keep stickers as a reward for staying properly buckled (in addition to punishment for not). If that doesn't work I would find youtube videos of what can happen in car accidents. That would be my last resort but may be the only thing that gets the point across.

    Thanks for the sticker sheet suggestion. She responds really well to them, so if this becomes a repeat thing I'll try implementing that, along with some sort of punishment if she does loosen them. So far, she hasn't loosened them again. I've been reminding her why the straps need to stay tight every time we get in the car.  I'm hoping it sinks in without having to resort to youtube horror clips.

    Good luck and I hope the sticker sheets work! I definitely find at time rewarding good behavior is more productive than punishing bad, especially in this case where doing the right thing is non-negotiable and you don't want to create a bad association with the carseat. As I said, youtube would be my last resort after trying everything else I could think of, but if all else failed and my kid wasn't complying with safety I would use fear. But it would take a lot for me to get there! 

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  • They should not be lose enough that a child can play with them.  I would make sure the seat is working correctly.  I would remind your child every single time you put her into the car that she is not to play with the car seat.  I would make sure it is tight enough and keep reminding her.  If she does anything to them, you pull over and fix them.  Even if you do it 20 times and are late for wherever you are going.  No way around having to stop and make it right.  My younger DD lowered the chest clip a few times and yes, its a pain to stop but it is what I did every time and after 2-3 times, she never did it again.
    Jenni Mom to DD#1 - 6-16-06 DD#2 - 3-13-08 
  • Is there someone special she would listen to?

    My son recently went through a phase of unbuckling himself. It was so scary and frustrating! He really loves firefighters so I took him to the fire station and they talked to him about how important it is to stay buckled. I haven't had an issue since.


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