It is not uncommon for young children to unbuckle their car seat chest clip. For most children, this is a normal part of child development. If your child unbuckles the chest clip while the vehicle is in motion – do not panic. Remain calm and safely pull over to reharness your child. Remind your child that everyone in the vehicle must remain buckled at all times while driving. You may want to encourage your child to use their new skill at the correct time – by allowing them to buckle and unbuckle themselves when it is time to get in or out of the car seat. Offering praise at the correct time may limit the child’s desire to unbuckle themselves at the incorrect time. As with all new behaviors, it may take practice and consistent repetition to change this behavior.
It is also important to ensure that your child’s harness is positioned correctly and fully tightened for each ride. If your child faces the rear of the vehicle, their harness should be positioned at or below their
shoulders when they are seated in the car seat. If your child faces the front of the vehicle, the harness should be adjusted so that it is at or above their shoulders. Additionally, the harness should be snug. You should not be able to pinch the harness webbing between two fingers when testing near your child’s
If your harness is properly adjusted and your child is still consistently unbuckling their chest clip, you may benefit from another intervention. Merritt Manufacturing has developed a Chest Clip Guard accessory
that limits a child’s ability to unbuckle or push down their chest clip. These features may limit the child’s ability to escape from their car seat harness. Evenflo has approved the use of this accessory with a few specific Evenflo car seat models – review the below FAQ for additional details.
The Chest Clip Guard by Merritt Manufacturing limits a child’s ability to unbuckle or push down their chest clip. This device replaces the existing car seat chest clip. The Chest Clip Guard by Merritt Manufacturing may be utilized with the following Evenflo car seats:
- Evenflo SureRide/Titan 65
- Evenflo Sonus 65
- Evenflo Maestro Sport
It is important to note that the Chest Clip Guard is an aftermarket accessory and not an Evenflo product. Evenflo does not sell this product. The Chest Clip Guard is available via Merritt Manufacturing at https://escapeproof.com/. There are always risks in utilizing a safety-related accessory which is not specifically engineered for your car seat and these must be weighed against the advantages. Some of those are listed in the waiver and acknowledgment form which you should read carefully and complete. However, Evenflo did conduct dynamic crash testing with the car seats listed above and the Chest Clip Guard and did not observe diminished child restraint performance.
Since the use of the Chest Clip Guard is not covered in Evenflo product instructions, it is important to review and complete Evenflo’s waiver and acknowledgement form and refer to the Merritt Manufacturing Chest Clip Guard instructions on proper use and installation prior to using the Chest Clip Guard.