Winter Coats and Car Seats: An Unsafe Mix

by: Steven Auger
Follows these tips to make sure your child is safe when it comes to winter coats and car seats.

Protecting your little one is a major concern for all parents, and if you live in a cold and snowy climate, add winter coats and car seats to your list. Thankfully, the American Academy of Pediatrics, through its HealthyChildren.org website, offers some tips for car seat safety during the winter.

First off, remember that your child shouldn't be wearing bulky clothing, including winter coats and snowsuits, when secured in a car seat. The extra padding from thick clothing prevents you from securing the harness tightly, resulting in extra space between him and the harness. In the event of a car accident, your child can slip out from under the protective straps.

A newborn in her car seat

Photo Source: Flickr/Dan Harrelson

Thin Layers

To help your child stay warm, opt for thin layers, and add warmer items, such as a sweater. On brutally cold days, start with a pair of long underwear. Dress him with one extra layer than what you're wearing.

Warm Those Extremities

So much focus goes into making him nice and snug in the car seat that it's easy to forget his hands and feet. Hats, mittens, and boots provide additional ways to keep your child warm without jeopardizing his safety.

Tighten Those Straps

Just because your little man looks snug and secure strapped into his car seat doesn't mean he is. Multiple layers can still present a bit of a challenge to tighten, so try this test to make sure: If you can pinch one of the straps together, it's not tight enough. When one finger fits snugly under the strap, your child is secure.

Mom secures her little one

Photo Source: Flickr/Intel Free Press

Extra Warmth

Your child's winter coat can still help keep him warm in his car seat even though he won't be wearing it. Simply flip it around and cover him over the straps. A blanket from home also does the trick.

Carrier Seat Storage

If your little one is still an infant, store the carrier seat in the house instead of leaving it in a cold car. That way he won't lose body to cold plastic..

Implement this little piece of knowledge when it comes to winter coats and car seats and that will be one less concern when the cold weather season arrives.

Featured Photo Source: Flickr/Mathieu Plourde