Toddlers As Young As 12 Months Can Unbuckle Car Seats

Has your toddler figured out how to unbuckle his car seat?

Sometimes I can barely unbuckle my two-year-old’s car seat. Often it seems to require brute force strength to squeeze together the thingamajigs that click the harness together.

Nonetheless, a new study from the Yale School of Medicine reports toddlers as young as twelve months are able to unbuckle themselves from car seats.

In the study, reported by MSNBC, researchers surveyed 378 parents and found 51 percent of them reported that at least one of their children had unbuckled their car seat themselves. Seventy-five percent unbuckled themselves for the first time at age three or younger — some did it as young as 12 months-old. More than 40 percent of children who are able to unbuckle the restraints are doing so while the car is moving, prompting many parents to pull over, reprimand and then re-buckle the child, according to the study. Researchers also found that boys were slightly more likely to unbuckle than girls.

The findings were presented yesterday at the Pediatric Academic Societies’ annual meeting in Denver where researchers also suggested buckling mechanisms need to be reevaluated for safety, especially since kids that young don’t know why it’s not okay to unbuckle their seats. That fact is alarming considering the fact that, according to the National Transportation Safety Board, car crashes are a leading cause of death among four to eight year-olds.

I can’t even imagine my daughter being able to unbuckle her car seat but I appreciate knowing the possibility exists. I’ll definitely be looking over my shoulder a lot to make sure she’s still buckled in. What about you? Has your child ever unbuckled from a car seat? At what age?

Has your kid ever gotten out of his car seat? What did you do?


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