Monday, September 2, 2013

Car seat solutions

I am not sure about everyone else but one of the struggles I have found with all of my sensory kiddos is finding a car seat they can't escape from in one fashion or another. The biggest problem I have found is with the chest clip and in spite of warnings left and right about not altering their harness I have found to keep them restrained and safe it was necessary until something better off came into the market. So here are my tidbits of advice and experience and product reviews.

1. One problem I hear from a lot of parents that we have experienced is that children are undoing their chest clip. I have found it is a LOT more difficult for my child to get a chest strap that requires you to press the chest clip button toward the chest rather than the clips that you push from the top and bottom. I seriously wish I had some pictures for these but I don't. There only two different chest clips I have been able to find and this type is so far our most successful.

2. The other issue we have had is the chest straps being pulled down and this has been the biggest problem for us overall.
  • We have tried distracting our children and it hasn't helped but sometimes this can be done by buckling a toy or something they can fiddle with onto their harness somewhere before you secure them in. We didn't have much luck with this strategy.
  • Another alternative which isn't the best is using zip ties to hold the clip in place. This is not recommended but because we couldn't afford a new car seat and there wasn't one on the market we were stuck.
So what are some other options you can try?
  1. Britax was very smart and invented a system that has silicone rectangles that go on the straps to hold the chest clip in place. The only negative thing we have seen with this was that my 2 yr old figured out how to pull them down within 5 minutes and she was free. While I can't say what your child will do you can always try this out at a store like Babies R Us or some place that carries the Britax brand. Now some people can't buy a $300 dollar or even a $250 dollar car seat for their child. One recommendation I would give is call up Britax and see if you can order the silicone chest clip strap. This would be far cheaper than purchasing the carseat if they will allow you to do it.
  2. If you can find a way to put the no slip type flooring mat that goes into your cupboard or under your carpet this might be another solution to put under the straps if you can to prevent it from slipping. I'm not sure how you'd secure it but it might be an if you put it under the chest clip slots and the harness.
Now for the recommended car seat I'd have to go with Chicco Next Step. It is the one carseat my kids CAN'T get out of. :) Their design is great and a lot of it has to do with the shoulder straps believe it or not. The non-slip material is put into the shoulder straps of the carseat as well as they come down low enough that you can tuck the top part of the chest clip in to so that a child can't push it down as easily. This by far is the best product we have seen or used. Unfortunately it is just as expensive as the Britax brand so how can you get it for cheaper is probably the next question.

  • Coupons. Babies R Us has a lot of coupons and sales. We were able to get 20% off this car seat and while it is NOT that much it is better than the $300.
  • Sometimes Babies R Us does a car seat trade-in and you can get more than 20% off. I have done this a few times with various products. It's a great program.
  • Another alternative is seeing if your medical insurance will cover it. This one I am not sure if it is even possible but there are some of them that realize that this is a huge issue and will fork over the bill.
  • Look into car seat programs and see if there is a way to get help in purchasing this carseat.
  • Rather than getting birthday presents and toys or Christmas toys you might see if family and friends will chip in to get your child this car seat for their own safety.
  • Lastly, if you unfortunately have been in an auto accident and a carseat is involved the insurance is supposed to pay for it. I have gone back over a year to get replacements that I didn't know they were supposed to cover. If they want proof and the photos they have don't have the car seats and your children were in the car ask them to look at the bodily injury claim to see how many people were involved in the wreck and explain that you wouldn't have a child unharnessed in a moving vehicle. Some insurances will only reimburse you for the same carseat and others will just tell you to go buy one. I can tell you from personal experience that Allstate insurance was better than Farmers insurance. Both companies did put these on our claims although they were closed claims at the time.
So there is my little okay long blurb about car seats and car seat solutions. Also do not wash the straps on your child's car seat. You can wipe them down but they're not to be saturated through washing.

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