Child is Escaping from Carseat

Archived Q&A and Reviews


Two year old is pushing carseat chestclip down

Jan 2008

My 2 year old uses a Britax Roundabout carseat. She has recently taken to slowly working the chestclip down until it is directly adjacent to the buckle, making it so that she is only restrained at the waist. This happens regardless of how tightly she is buckled in. I called Britax, but they were not able to help and did not advise pinning it or doing anything like that since, if we were to have an accident, rescue personnel would need to be able to easily free her from her seat. Any suggestions are welcome, since I am becoming increasingly afraid of taking her anywhere in the car for fear she'll work herself completely out of her seat. Thanks!

Why don't you try sewing a large button on either strap right below the chest clip? The button would prevent the clip from being pushed down. kelly

Can you sew a large, protruding button on each side of the seatbelt? Position the top clip in the proper position (across the chest), and then sew the buttons just below the clip, so the clip can still be opened and closed easily, but cannot be slid down. Mommy of 3

My daughter has done this and it is indeed very scary to see her sitting there with her arms out over the straps. When she does that, you need to stop and rebuckle her. Mine did not make a habit of it. I think you may not be adjusting the straps tight enough. If she is buckled in very snugly and you push the clip up pretty high on her chest it is harder for her to slide it down. Hope this helps. If she is a little Houdini and keeps doing it, then it is a discipline issue. Just explain calmly that you have to wear the seat belt the right way and you are not allowed to drive like that. anon

I have the same problem, I put some duct tape around the strap to stop them being able to push the buckle down. This works and does not seem to be a safety issue as an adult can push it down with some force. melissa

A few thoughts: 1) Is the seatbelt too tight? Maybe she is doing it because she is uncomfortable. 2) Have you tried giving her something else to occupy her hands while you are in the car? 3)Instead of tampering with the carseat, how about laying down the law and teaching her that it is not ok to mess with her seatbelt? It would be be inconvenient for a couple of days, but if you turned the car around and went home every time she did it, she would probably stop soon enough. Tough Love Mama

One-year-old getting her arms out of carseat straps

Nov 2004

My lil Houdini 1 year old gets her arms out of her Roundabout backwards facing car seat. I have tightened it but she keeps escaping. This makes the buckle turn in towards her belly. Yesterday a deer ran out in front of the car, and I had to stop short. She was fine, but this made me again realize how dangerous this situation is - she had a slight red mark on her belly. Does anyone know if there are additional restraints I can use. Will turning it around to face front help - we have to do that now anyway. Should I just get a different style carseat that stops the escape artist? Thanks for any and all advice. Houdini's mom

I know you said you tightened up the straps. You should make sure only 1 finger of yours fits between the baby's shoulder and the strap of the seat. Also another thing I see incorrect with a lot of seats is the chest clip psition. Make sure it is at arm pit level. If you make sure you do these 2 things it may help. Otherwise check out this site there are lots of people there that know more about seats than I do. Good luck. Melinda

Dear Houdini's mom, you might need to tighten the shoulder staps even more. The recommendation (I'm a car seat safety technician) is that the straps should be tight enough so that you can only fit 1 finger underneath the stap at the chest/collar bone--that's pretty tight. Turning the car seat around is not going to make a difference, unless she's trying to get out to see you. On that note, you may turn the car seat around if your child is 1 year AND 20lbs--both of these criteria need to be met, not just being 1 year. As an FYI, I'm not familiar with any after market product that will help, however if you do find something, please remember that after market products have not been crash tested with the seat. Good luck. Dana

Maybe a convertible car seat would work better for you, assuming your baby is the correct age/weight/height to be in the forward-facing position. I'm not familiar with the particular seat you mention, but rear-facing carseats are NEVER safe facing forward - they are not designed fto be secured into the car in that position. Are you sure the seat's straps are through the correct slots for the best fit? Is the slide-buckle up high enough (armpit level)? Maybe you could get an expert to help you assess the fit. RK

Make sure the shoulder straps are at the right height. As you know, there are three (I think) slots to choose from in threading the shoulder straps through the seat. I was told by the owner at Rockridge Kids (who seems very educated on car seat stuff) that you should choose the slot either at or below the point your child's shoulders sit, so that there is not a lot of space (if any) between the top of the child's shoulder and the point at which the shoulder strap comes out of the seat. Not sure if this adjustment is the cause of your child being able to escape, but worth checking. I don't see how turning the car seat around would make a difference. Best of luck. Tracy

Preventing 2-year-old from opening carseat buckle

Apr 2004

My 2-yr old has figured out how to easily unlatch the chest strap on his carseat (a Britax Roundabout) and now does so frequently while the car is going. Although we continue to try all sorts of behavioral strategies, he's just turned 2 and we're not having great success -- and trips can take forever, with us pulling over every time this happens. Does anyone know of an actual physical gizmo meant to block kids from opening these kinds of latches? Jen

We had the same problem. I went to Rockridge kids, and Britex makes a snap on piece for this, they gave it to me free. Sally

While I haven't had this problem with my two girls in their Roundabouts, I've heard of other people securely duct-taping the two sides of the buckle together, but so that it still slides up and down. Then you can just slide the two stuck pieces down so the straps can be lifted over the child's head to get in and out. Heidi

When my son started playing with the carseat buckle, I got a small plastic cover at Rockridge Kids to clip over the buckle. It is really tough to open! (I actually haven't used it though because my son seems to have forgotton about the straps.) I'm sure you can pick one up from any store that sells Britax carseats. Jen