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UnbuckleMe uses a type II lever to reduce the force required to unbuckle by more than 50% (Note: this has been tested and confirmed). Leverage is critical to creating a mechanical advantage, and thereby lowering the amount of force needed to unbuckle.
1. Lift lever arm to slide around buckle
2. Center the peg & pinch ends together
3. Pull down to release the buckle
UnbuckleMe was invented by an Occupational Therapist who specializes in hands. Did you know that thumbs contribute 40%-60% of the use of our hands and allow us to complete both delicate and forceful tasks? Therefore, it’s important to minimize repetitive activities that strain the small joints in the thumb/hand, and try to shift force to larger muscles in the body.
UnbuckleMe is designed to be used in various ways, depending on what is most comfortable. Although leverage reduces the force and minimizes strain on the thumb, UnbuckleMe can be used without using your thumbs at all! This method shifts the force entirely to larger joints and muscles in the hand.
Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) require infant and child car seat buckles to require a minimum release force of 40 Newtons, or about 9 lbs. This force is higher than most activities of daily living, and requires the “red button” to be pushed only using the thumb. For anyone with thumb pain or weakness, including arthritis, carpal tunnel, De Quervains, etc. this creates quite a challenge. UnbuckleMe is here to help.
UnbuckleMe is intended to be used under adult supervision, which means it should remain out of reach of children while the vehicle is in motion. It is recommended that you store in a convenient location that is easily accessible, like the side door or seat back pocket of your car. UnbuckleMe can also be attached to a keychain or diaper bag, if convenient.