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Latest news
14
November
2014

Tips for Winter Car Seat Safety

Winter weather is here, but before you put the baby in a car, don't bundle her up too much. Those big puffy coats or extra thick blankets could actually be dangerous, if you get in a car wreck.

Car seat expert Phyllis Larimore with Children's Mercy, says it's because the force of the wreck could compress the material and keep the baby loose. So how should you keep your little ones warm?

"That's kind of tricky, but a lot of people simply put the one to two layers of clothing on them. You can put essentially a jacket that has nothing, but it's not fluffy. And then what we would like them do once they've got them in the harness, nice and snug, then cover them up," said Larimore.

In order to work properly in a crash, car seat straps must be snug - so make sure your baby isn't wearing clothing that's too bulky in the car seat, and don't put blankets between your baby and the straps. Instead, dress him in clothes that allow the straps to go between his legs, adjust the straps to allow for the thickness of his clothes, and pile blankets or other bulky layers on top of the harness straps instead of under them.

Here are some safe options to keep your child warm in the car:

  • Fleece jackets:  Polar fleece or performance fleece, are incredibly warm, soft, comfortable, and most importantly, safe for use in a car seat
  • Thermal/long underwear
  • Warm up your car
  • Blankets: Don't put blankets between your baby and the straps. Instead, dress him in clothes that allow the straps to go between his legs, adjust the straps to allow for the thickness of his clothes, and pile blankets or other bulky layers on top of the harness straps instead of under them. Larimore also recommends keeping blankets away from baby's face; make sure air can get to your child.
  • Put the coat on backwards: This solution can really be as simple as taking off the coat, buckling your child in, then putting the coat back on them backward. Especially if they're sufficiently dressed underneath, these five seconds of being exposed without a coat on isn't going to be a problem.
  • Gloves and a hat
For more information, visit the the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Source: KMBZ