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AIBU to expect car seat manufacturers to design which are suitable for four year olds?

(23 Posts)
TheLittlePicker Tue 26-Apr-16 14:21:10

I've recently moved my four year old son into a Britax Discovery SL car seat. While we are on the move, he can press the red button on car seatbelt to unbuckle himself. Mothercare tell me that the responsibility is with parents to train children, which according to the manager might involve stopping the car on a dual carriageway to remonstrate with the child. But children will be children. Surely this is an issue which affects lots of children? Surely the manufacturers could have developed a product which is more suitable for young users of high backed boosters?

schmalex Tue 26-Apr-16 14:27:18

Can't you just tell him not to? My DS is only just 4 and knows not to because it's dangerous. He has been in a seat like that since 3.

TheBestChocolateIsFree Tue 26-Apr-16 14:32:27

Plan A is to train them not to
- probably using a trip somewhere they really want to go. But you can buy locks.

TheLittlePicker Tue 26-Apr-16 14:40:06

Schmalex, I have told him this. The bestChocolate, am anxious about getting a lock in case of emergency. It would be great to train him not to, but he seems to do it intermittently. I cannot predict when he will do this, and it's terrifying when he does it

witsender Tue 26-Apr-16 14:40:11

You are not supposed to lock car seats for safety reasons. I agree with the manager sadly, and I speak as one who had a similar 4 yr old.

We have Britax two way elites which are big enough to rear face to 25kg odd, and even in FF can harness up to that too. They are a fiddle to undo.

Frimplepants Tue 26-Apr-16 14:47:05

Britax are crap anyway. We had to move DS out of his harness one when he was 2.3 because he didn't fit in it anymore. But I think all you can do is a telling off they won't forget - cancelling trip, no tv etc. If he goes it every trip can you do a reward chart for every time he sits nicely in his seat?

MewlingQuim Tue 26-Apr-16 14:50:06

4 year old DD knows not to undo her seatbelt. She is old enough to understand it is a serious matter.

She pressed the button once just after we got the seat, the alarm went off and I freaked out thinking the door was open too (similar alarm) and she was about to fall out the moving car.

She didn't mean to do it just pressed the button to see what happened, now she knows I think she won't be doing it again. She has also been warned that I will have to stop the car if she does it again, and cancel all future car trips to gymnastics /swimming/playdates etc.

I have also driven DDs friend who obviously hasn't been taught the importance of wearing a seatbelt in her own car. She undid the belt and climbed about on her seat, I stopped the car and said I couldn't drive without her seatbelt being on properly, if she wouldn't wear it she would just have to go home. She now wears it properly without complaint in my car. No idea what she does now in her parents' car, though, I think they couldn't care less confused

Imnotaslimjim Tue 26-Apr-16 14:55:53

Neither of my DC have ever let themselves out of their car seat until I've pulled up and the handbrake is on. They've always known that is the rule, to the point of shouting at my niece for unbuckling before I'd pulled the brake! You need to work on him not letting himself out. The onus is on you as his parent, to keep him safe

TheBestChocolateIsFree Tue 26-Apr-16 14:56:37

Locks aren't perfectly safe but they are much safer than riding unrestrained if that's the alternative, because the number of possible incidents which would damage you without a seatbelt is far far higher than the number which would require emergency evacuation from the vehicle. Unless you live on the Norfolk Broads or Somerset Levels in which case don't even think about locks.

zazzie Tue 26-Apr-16 15:05:58

You can specialist harnesses that stop them escaping if they won't respond to being told not to do it.

TheLittlePicker Tue 26-Apr-16 15:18:31

I get that I need to work on him to keep himself safe! And this obviously is an area I'm working on! I still think that a market leading company who consider themselves innovators like Britax might be able to develop a better solution!

FinallyFreeFromItAll Tue 26-Apr-16 20:07:29

You can get seats harnessed past 18kg. They are considerably more expensive and can only fit very specific cars and must be fitted with isofix and top tether. So you can go and buy one of those if you want to.

However DS was only 3and a bit when he hit 18kg (not fat just very, very tall) and he was perfectly capable of understanding that he must never undo the belt. I did make a big deal about the belted seat being a "big boy" seat and if he didn't behave he'd have to go back in a "baby harness" seat.

FinallyFreeFromItAll Tue 26-Apr-16 20:12:00

Here we go harness to 25kg (took me all of 1minute to find it and its sold in mother care and made by britax - the two companies your faulting confused hmm ),default,pd.html&loadMoreCurrentStatus=1&returnCgid=car_hbb_withharness&returnSrule=null&start=&returnScrollPos=453

Gizlotsmum Tue 26-Apr-16 20:14:33

My 4 ur old did it once I think my reaction and the threat of going back in a baby seat have meant he hasn't done it again. The first time was an accident and he tried to hold the belt in place..

YouMakeMyDreams Tue 26-Apr-16 20:14:40

The problem is though that things that would offer a solution like locks obviously compromise safety because they would affect the ability to get out quickly in an accident. Their safety record is exactly why they don't offer something like you are after. If there was a safe solution I'm sure there would be a manufacturer using it to hail themselves as the best.
My 3 have always known that they don't remove seat belt in a moving car and it doesn't come off until the handbrake is on.
It is I guess assumed by the time they are in a seat like that they should know not to escape and are old enough to be told and understand.

nephrofox Tue 26-Apr-16 20:18:55

Witsender - the 2 way elite is NOT harnessed FF to 25kg, only 18kg. If used FF past 18kg it should he with 3 point seat belt.

witsender Tue 26-Apr-16 20:19:01

Britax two way elite is none if those things costs about 200 and only needs tethering if rear facing, and isn't isofix. Harnessed to 25kgs on a 3 point seat belt. Free delivery from in car safety centre which is a great place to look...

NapQueen Tue 26-Apr-16 20:20:14

By law all child seats need to have a one clip release. Adding an additional lock would flout this.

I think you could do a few things.
1- strong and sterm telling off every time. If you are going somewhere he wants to go and he does it, take him home.

2- glue a small piece of the harsher side of velcro onto the push down part of the seatbelt release. It wont feel nice on his fingers.

3 - should all else fail, purchase the Britax Two Way elite and put him back into a 5point harness (rear or forward facing).

4 - if theres a time two adults are in the car one of you sit in the back and keep an eye on him.

witsender Tue 26-Apr-16 20:20:53

Not according to the site above Nephro, I'd be keen to know if it is wrong as that'd how we use it as present...

witsender Tue 26-Apr-16 20:23:03

This review has it as fine FF with a harness to 25kgs too...

FinallyFreeFromItAll Tue 26-Apr-16 20:45:07

Witsender - when I looked into it for DS 12months ago I got told that top tether and isofix and strict rules about which cars were suitable, were necessary as lots of vehicles seats cannot hold a ff carseat past 18kg securely, due to the forces involved in a crash. Those that cars that can still need toptether and isofix in order to securely hold a seat with a child over 18kg harnessed forward facing. I was told this was why it was normal to move from harness at 18kg.

witsender Tue 26-Apr-16 21:27:36

Ah ok, we went to the in car safety centre and were checked/fitted (for seat one, when we got the second we just got it online as we had the same car) so ours should be ok.

Fizzielove Tue 26-Apr-16 22:20:59

My DS opened it going down the motorway! He never did it again after the telling off he got! It scared the crap out of me having to stop on the hard shoulder!

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