Winter is upon us, and, as parents, it’s our job to keep our children safe. This could involve a great many steps, with anything from warmer clothes to defensive driving in the snow. But all of this isn’t enough on its own. When buckling up, you should avoid having your kids wear their coats as it could prove fatal in the event of a collision.
What’s Wrong With Coats?
Coats themselves aren’t a bad thing—in fact, they are a great way to keep your children warm and happy during the colder temperatures. Just don’t have your children wear their coat in the traditional way, while also being buckled in their car seat.
According to Consumer Reports, thick winter wear can prevent seat belt and car seat harnesses from functioning properly. Although the harness might fit fine, there’s too much empty space to move around in, and your child can slip forward or even free of the harness in the event of a car accident.
What difference does a couple inches really make, though? A whole lot, according to the Car Seat Lady, a popular online resource for car seat safety. The car seat lady cites the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute saying that the extra 4 inches in your child’s harness (caused by the bulky winter wear) greatly increases the risks of injury—particularly head injuries.
All parents wants their children to be as safe as possible, so read on for some surefire tips for keeping your children as safe, and as warm, as possible this winter.
Tips for Staying Warm and Safe
There are several options available to parents who want to keep their kids warm enough without wearing a puffy coat under their harness or seatbelt. Here are a few:
Saranoni Minky Luxury Receiving Blanket – Swirl/Lush – Light Pink/Gray
- Small children and infants especially benefit from a blanket over their tightened harness, as they are subject to more heat loss than older children and adults. Looking for the perfect warm blanket for your car or elsewhere? We’ve got you covered with a simple Saranoni.
- Thin layers can add up for a surprising amount of warmth. A cute sleeper with a thin jacket and socks does wonders for your baby. Just make sure that, despite the layers, you are still unable to pinch the webbing with your thumb and forefinger.
- Backwards coats. All you have to do is buckle your child sans coat and tighten the harness accordingly, then put their coat on backwards for warmth and safety.
- Aftermarket bundle accessories like this JJ Cole Urban Bundle Me infant car seat add-on. Just be sure that you contact the manufacturer to make sure anything you use is an approved accessory, otherwise it could void the car seat warranty.