With chilly weather upon us, one of our main focuses is keeping ourselves and our children warm.
It’s a typical day, you are getting ready to go to the grocery store, and you put your child in their winter coat, hat, and mittens. You buckle them into their car seat like you always do, and you are on your way!
But, I am sure you didn’t even think about the fact that your child is not safe. The car seat is installed correctly; they are buckled in, but, the fact that they are in a puffy winter coat holds a significant risk you probably never knew was there.
Here is a picture of my daughter correctly buckled into her car seat. With the chest clip at her chest and the straps pulled tight.
Here is a picture of my daughter buckled into her car seat the same way, but she is now wearing her winter coat.
In this next picture, I have removed her coat, placed her back into her seat and buckled her in. Note that I have NOT adjusted the straps. I have kept them at the same tightness as they were when she had her coat on.
As you can see, the straps are VERY loose.
Even though your child seems snug while they have their coat on, they are not. And because of this, in the event of an accident, the harness could cause internal organ damage, or they could be thrown right out of their seat.
So, when it comes to keeping your child warm in the car you can consider doing the following:
- Start the car 5-10 minutes before you leave, this way it is warm when you get in.
- Keep a blanket in the car that you can place over your child once they are buckled in.
- You can also, simply place your child’s coat over them to keep them warm.
Is there any outcome data about crash injuries wwhile wearing a coat?
I presume the coat takes up come space between a child’s body and straps,
though coats would be variably compressible.
If we do not measure what we are doing, we don’t know what we are doing.
Bruce, Thanks for your question. Please check out this link (one of many) that features a story on the dangers of wearing puffy winter coats in car seats.