Winter is fast approaching. Can you smell it in the air? And that means it’s time to bundle up your little ones whenever you leave the house.
But did you know that buckling your child into their carseat with a winter coat or snowsuit on is dangerous?
Let’s talk about why this is and what you can do to keep your child both safe and warm this winter.
Why is it dangerous to buckle your child in while wearing a snowsuit or winter jacket?
Winter gear is thick, puffy and warm. So cozy, right? If you buckle your child into their seat while wearing their snow gear, you’ll need to loosen the straps for them to fit. This prevents them from being restrained properly in the event of a collision.
Yes, you can tighten the straps enough over their coat to pass the pinch test, but the force of a collision compresses the bulk of the coat leaving a large gap between your child and the harness. This gap would allow enough room during the movement and momentum of a collision, that your child would be tossed around, potentially enough to be ejected from their seat.
There are plenty of options to keep your little one warm in the middle of winter without compromising their safety.
First tip – think layers! Fleece is an excellent layering option and is safe to use under their car seat harness. You can have them wear a fleece jacket or one piece bunting suit under their winter gear, and then remove the puffy winter jacket when you buckle them into their seat.
Second tip – Keep a warm blanket in the car for the super cold days. You can have a designated car blanket (so you don’t forget it in the house) to wrap them up in after they’ve been buckled. If they get too hot during the ride, they can easily kick it off.
Third tip – Car seat Covers and Ponchos! Car seat covers are wonderful for infants – it surrounds the whole seat and keeps them toasty without having to worry about extra suiting. For toddlers and up, car seat ponchos are a great invention – they let you have the warmth of a jacket, but you can buckle in your little one underneath the poncho. It drapes over the back of the seat and around the child for warmth. Both of these options don’t need to be removed, which can be very helpful if your child has strong feelings against putting a coat on and off.
Stay safe and cozy this winter season!
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