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Can your 1 yr old unbuckle a seatbelt or their carseat belts?

I have a friend that lost her 10 month old in a car accident a few yrs ago. She said he was fastened but that he must have undone the belt. He was ejected from the car and the carseat was not. I use to watch this boy and still don't see how he would have the strength to push the button hard enough. Now that I have my own son, I just have more of a hard time comprehending this. I found one of his toys in the closet last night so I am thinking of all this again. His 7 yr old cousin was also in the backseat and he had 2 broken legs. So it was a real bad one but autopsy showed the only trauma to baby was to the head from windshield impact. He was in a brand new carseat with the harness straps. I always let his mother bring up the subject. I don't ask. She still calls me crying and I just comfort her and help her deal. There are some things that I do not know about it. The first thing I asked her though was, "was he strapped in." She was driving and ran off the road. It was investigated and she was never charged. My former supervisor's son is on the fire dept and was the first to find him. He said his first impression was that he was not buckled.


Asked by Anonymous at 6:35 AM on May. 15, 2011 in Babies (0-12 months)

This question is closed.
Answers (5)
  • My bet is that the child was not buckled in correctly... so many parents keep the staps WAY too loose, they need to be nice and snug and they also have the chest clip, which should be at arm pit level, down on the tummy... if there is too much slack the straps can't do their job... a child will just fly right out of their seat. You also mentioned that the child injury was from hitting his head on the winshield... I am assuming that the child was also forward facing at too young of and age because I can't think of how that type of injury could occur in a RFing child. I highly doubt that the child unbuckled his seat.

    Answer by AmiJanell at 11:21 AM on May. 15, 2011

  • Hi, I am sorry to hear about your friend baby that is so tragic to hear. I don't believe a 10month old baby can unbuckle themselves because my 2yr old still have trouble with it. If she brings it up don't mention to her how you really feel about her baby not unbuckling the seat belt, it might cause her to become angry and start problems in the friendship. Just keep comforting her and letting her know your there for her.

    Answer by VIMommy at 6:52 AM on May. 15, 2011

  • I haven't asked her questions since it first happened. They were even leaving a bar and I still have no idea if her or her sister were drinking or not. There are just so many things I cannot ask her.

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 7:03 AM on May. 15, 2011

  • Deep down the mother knows that she must have made a mistake that cost her losing her child. I hope she can get pass the trauma.

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:06 AM on May. 15, 2011

  • My kids have always been very strong, but the youngest any of them was able to unclasp their buckles was about 18 months old. I don't believe for a minute that a 10 month old could have unstrapped himself. Either he wasn't buckled, or she didn't have him strapped properly and the straps were too loose and he slid out.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:33 AM on May. 15, 2011