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Mom seeks to keep kids safe with invention

By: Penne Usher, Telegraph Correspondent
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Out of a need to keep her son safe in his car seat, an El Dorado Hills mom invented Monkey Tyz.

Gayleen Pellicano is the mother of three boys, ages 6, 9 and 12. It was her youngest son Avery, then 18 months, who had the Houdini trait of unfastening the upper chest clip on his car seat.

Once his arms were free he would wiggle out of the top portion of the restraints.

Pellicano said she constantly had to pull over and refasten the seat for fear that her son could be seriously injured in the event of an accident.

“I went to baby stores and looked for something to prevent this from happening,” she said. “I found nothing.”

She shared her frustrations with another mom only to find out that her daughter had just started to do the same thing.

“I went to Baby’s R Us, looked in Baby Trend Magazines, the Internet you name it … I was desperate to find any kind of a solution. I came up empty handed everywhere I turned,” Pellicano said.

That night she had a dream.

“I dreamt the design, sketched it out and made it,” she said. “I believe that dream was truly a gift.”

The Monkey Tyz soft-sided device fits over the upper chest buckle and fastens in the back, next to the child’s chest where it cannot be unbuckled by the child.

“I went ahead and developed it and a neighbor of mine said her daughter was getting out and doing the same thing. She requested I make her one,” she said. “I didn’t think much about it after that.”

It wasn’t until a friend sent a newspaper article about a child fatality that her invention hit home. The child and managed to unbuckle the car seat. There was a crash and the child was thrown from the vehicle and died.

“I knew I had to do something,” Pellicano said.

She made a prototype, spoke to a local attorney and now has a patent on the design.

“It seems as if everywhere I turned I would run into someone that has or had the same issue with their child unbuckling,” Pellicano said. “I knew I was on the right track.”

Audrey Williams, a mother of two, said she hadn’t heard of Monkey Tyz, but was interested.

“I have had a problem with the little one, (2 years old), getting loose from her seat sometimes,” she said. “Having something to stop her from getting out would be great.”

Currently Monkey Tyz is available at Amazon.com and at www.Monkeytyz.com. Pellicano hopes to find an investor in order to mass produce and make Monkey Tyz available in larger retail outlets.