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My Child was Tied to a Chair at Daycare

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  • My Child was Tied to a Chair at Daycare

    I'm fairly new to the daycare game. My child is 22 months old, but only started going to daycare 2 days a week in May to give our family members a break.

    He goes to a daycare facility in Central Illinois, and so far I've been mostly happy with the place. I will say the menu isn't as healthy as I'd like, and I don't see as much interaction with the younger kids. I've been there at all times of the day, as it's close to my job, but I've never seen them reading, singing, etc with the under 3 rooms. But aside from that, friendly teachers, clean facility, etc.

    However, I went to pick him up yesterday (he goes on Mondays and Fridays) and got there about my usual time. Well, they were just finishing up snack time, which was kinda late for snack time. I think it's usually an hour earlier. So I see my son sitting at the table, and I call his name and usually he RUNS to me but he just sat there. So I walked over and the teacher came running over and started figdeting with his chair. He was tied to the little plastic chair with a scarf! The other kids I noticed had like a little seatbelt apparatus restraining them. So I said "Oh, got ya tied down there, huh bud?" and the teacher says "Yes, it's the only way they can learn to sit still."

    Now, I was angry, but didn't say anything then. I mean, if this is an approved means of teaching kids to stay at the table, fine. I will likely put my kid at a home daycare and be done with it. I am going to call the director today to discuss the fact that he was tied up with a scarf. I mean, if they ran out of the seatbelt things, OK. But maybe you should just have a teacher sit there with him instead of tying him up with a scarf?

    Anyway, sound weird to anyone else? I mean, maybe Illinois regulations state that they can use those seatbelt things for meals. It would be like a high chair or booster seat. But if that's the case, I will find a home daycare because if he's gonna sit in a chair, let him sit in a chair. But if you want him immobile, then use high chairs or booster seats. Duh.

  • #2
    tied to a chair

    this was discussed a lot in another thread...anyway...

    was she using the scarf b/c the seat didnt have a belt? We use boosters sometimes and we fasten the belts so they cant fall out or stand up. Maybe the belt was broken..she should replace the seat...



    • #3
      If she was using the scarf as a means of safety to keep him from falling out of the booster seat then honestly, I don't see anything wrong with it.....I personally never understood why they would make a booster seat without a belt, if he was actually hog tied to the chair, well then, hmm. This was just in another thread?????


      • #4
        Originally posted by tinytotzdaycare View Post
        this was discussed a lot in another thread...anyway...

        was she using the scarf b/c the seat didnt have a belt? We use boosters sometimes and we fasten the belts so they cant fall out or stand up. Maybe the belt was broken..she should replace the seat...


        But hey, at least this one is registered!


        • #5
          I just was the other one! But, we haven't heard from that one in awhile so I still don't think that one was even true


          • #6
            tied up

            More info on this would be great, was she using the scarf so the child wouldnt get out for safety or was he like hogtied??? Makes a HUGE difference


            • #7
              Well, I personally don't see the difference between a safety strap and a scarf. If safety was the concern (and perhaps the rule in a state licensed facility) then better to have a scarf than nothing at all. KWIM?

              That said, it is my personal belief that if you provide kids with kid-sized furniture throughout the daycare day then have the luxury of sitting untethered. And, it is always better, IME, to TEACH a child that sitting for meals, and staying there is what is polite and appropriate rather than tethering. Because with tethering or confining etc the FIRST time that child is NOT tethered they will be out of the chair. The reason is they have only learned that tethering is the reason the can't get out instead of learning that the need for good manners is the reason they may not leave.

              Just my two cents.


              • #8
                Ok, I actually called DCFS yesterday. Using the seatbelt things is allowable, and the lady didn't even seem that bothered by the use of a scarf as a temporary restraint if they ran out of the seatbelt things. She said kids can be restrained for mealtimes, but only if they're all restrained. She also said that usually they would have booster seats or high chairs instead of the belt restraints, but they are legal.

                How it was set up was, they have those toddler sized, molded plastic chairs, the kind with three slots in the lower back area. The rest of the kids were secured into their chairs with little web belts, similar to what you'd see on a high chair or booster seat. But apparently they'd run out of the belts and just tied Jame into his chair with a scarf. It was around his waist, and tied in the back of the chair through the slots. So, yeah, he was literally tied up, but not the only child restrained.

                So, the DCFS lady suggested that I talk to the center director and tell her that my son is to only be restrained by a web belt, not by any other means. Which I did yesterday, but I also told her that I'm likely going to pull him out and send him someplace that doesn't restrain at mealtimes or uses a more conventional restraint like a high chair or booster seat.

                I guess the way I see it is, if you're teaching a kid to sit in a chair, teach them. If you just want them to stay put for their meal, put them in a high chair. You aren't teaching them anything by strapping them in to a regular chair. At least, that's my opinion.


                • #9

                  I have never heard of a child being tied down at meal time. I work in a different state and am shocked to here this is allowed. We have kid sized tables and chairs and would never think to tie a kid to his seat. My opinion is to go somewhere else which I believe you said you are doing. If the chair is too big for the child then they should find safer chairs because strapping them in with a scarf is not safe.


                  • #10
                    At my house right now I have 1 high chair and 4 booster seats. One booster seat has a tray that can go on it and be used for a second high chair. One booster seat was not manufactured with a seat belt the other three were. At my house, if the child is 3 years old or less they are buckled into the booster seat. I do this for the safety of the children. The little ones are wiggle worms and I don't want anyone falling out of their chairs because it is a long way to the floor. I use the one that doesn't have a seat belt for the older kids who just need a boost to reach the table.
                    Give a little love to a child, and you get a great deal back.


                    • #11
                      Another thing about seat belts-look at any of the booster seats and high chairs, and you will see not only a seat belt, but a strap that extends from the center of that belt down to the center of the seat (a crotch belt, for lack of better terminology).

                      This is meant so that the kid can't do the "spaghetti noodle" that toddlers are so known for, and slip out, and possible get hung up and strangle themselves. I know that without this strap in place, a high chair or booster seat cannot be used here.

                      IDK about every scarf, but I've never seen one with a crotch belt.
                      Last edited by Michael; 10-22-2009, 11:38 AM.
                      Spouse of a daycare provider....which I guess makes me one too!


                      • #12
                        GAH! Again!!

                        So, Friday, even after I talked to the director about it, I had to pick up my son early. I came in during naptime, and he was sitting at the table up front with two other kids. He's not a good napper at daycare, but he does nap well for me at home, so I'm not sure why. He was strapped in, again! This time with the seatbelt thingy, but come on! If you don't want the kids who aren't napping to disturb the kids who are, then keep them busy. But all three kids who weren't napping were belted into their little chairs, and they were all just working on a puzzle together. And the teacher was just standing off to the side, watching everyone. And there was only one teacher in the room, for 9 children, which I know is not right. I dropped him off this morning, and the director wasn't there. I'm giving her my notice today, and will find a new place to be for my son next week.


                        • #13

                          PS - The chairs are like the ones on this web site:

                          I've looked and looked, and this is the closest thing I could find to the type of belt they used. It didn't attach to the legs, just looped through those slots in the back of the chair. Notice how old this ad is:


                          • #14
                            The add doesn't show how tall the chairs are. At my daycare, if you can sit in a chair without a booster, you shouldn't need to be buckled in. 22 months is really just at the age where I let them sit in a chair, but my chairs are very small and close to the ground, at a short (maybe 2 ft tall) table. If they are taller chairs meant for older children, I would not trust putting a 22 month old without some sort of restraint, just b/c they could fall so quickly, smaller chairs should be fine without a restraint, just have a teacher sitting at the table with them.


                            • #15

                              The chairs are the small kind. My son is 22 months old and he can easily sit down into one or stand up from it. If he fell off the chair, no problem. It would be like falling down from his own feet.

                              That's what I am saying, there is no safety reason to strap the kids in, they are doing it to 'teach the kids.' In my opinion, teaching children to sit in a chair by strapping them in is like teaching them to nap by strapping them down to the cot. Is that the next step for this place?

                              Doesn't matter, I'm interviewing several day cares this week. I put in my two weeks notice at that place, only because I could not find a relative or friend to fill the gaps and I have no vacation time left to just keep him at home. I told the lady that my son is NOT to be restrained at all for the next two weeks.

                              She hasn't been too happy with me, and keeps trying to talk to me about staying when I pick him up or drop him off. HELLO! How do you tie a kid down a second time after I've already talked to you about it once?

                              Glad he only goes there twice a week.