Bundling For the Cold with Children in Safety Seats
With temperatures falling below freezing, heavy winter jackets are a necessity to keep warm, but they can create dangers for children in car seats.
“The risk of using a bulky jacket or a blanket under the harness is that it’s going to actually introduce slack and that harness isn’t going to be as snug as it should be on the child,” said Britney Lombard, a Child Passenger Safety Technician.
While that might not sound like a very big deal, the extra space will allow your child to move around a lot more in the event of a crash.
“When you add in a coat, that adds in a little extra bulk which would compress with the force of a crash and it can cause anywhere from minor to serious injuries including even ejection out of the car seat,” Lombard said.
She offered some tips to keep your child warm and safe without putting them in danger.
“One solution would be to just take the child’s jacket off when you get to the car seat, buckle them in nice and snug and put the jacket on backwards on their arms over the top of the secured harness,” she said. “You can also use a warm blanket instead of a jacket and just kind of tuck it around the edges so that it doesn’t go under or behind the child.”
For more resources or to find a Child Passenger Safety Technician in your area who can check to make sure your child’s car seat is installed properly visit seatcheck.org