Is Your Child’s Winter Coat Putting Them in Danger?

The winter weather brings many wonders and hazards. When the weather gets cold and snow, we parent bundle our children into puffy winter coats to keep them warm and safe from the harsh weather. The driving in the winter is something we try to avoid, especially to avoid our little ones from the harsh air to the slippery roads.

However, you might already be endangering your child without even knowing it.

Emily A Thomas, Ph.D states that “a bulky coat and a car seat can be a dangerous combination” and that “winter coats should not be worn underneath a car seat harness because that can leave the harness too loose to be effective in a crash.”

It seems the padding of the winter coat used to keep our children warm during the cold season can prevent the straps and seatbelt technology from working how it should.

Check your child’s coat to see if it’s too big

In order to check your child’s coat to see if it’s too big take a look at the following steps.

  1. Put your child in their seat with their winter coat on. Bulk them into the seat.
  2. Tighten the harness until you can’t pinch any of the webbing with your thumb or forefinger.
  3. Remove your child from the seat without loosening the harness.
  4. Take their coat off and place them back into the seat and buck them in with the harness.
  5. Pinch the webbing between your thumb and forefinger.
  6. If you can pinch the webbing with your thumb and forefinger than the coat is too bulky to be worn under your child’s harness.

Bundle your child up safely

If your child’s coat is too big to be worn under the harness, here are some tips you can use to keep them warm and safe at the same time.

  • Put a blanket over them to keep them warm, especially small children.
  • For bigger children, you can turn their coat around and put it on them backwards with their arms through the armholes so the back of the coat works as a blanket on top of the harness. Do this after they have been secured in their car seat.
  • Turn on the car on before taking your child into the car so it can be heated up

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