Monday, December 3, 2018

The Dangers of Using Winter Coats in an Infant Car Seat

I will admit that, not being a car owner, rarely traveling by car, and usually using public transportation, I am by far not a car seat safety expert, but have many friends that are. One thing that I have picked up from them is how dangerous coats can be when in a car seat. Here's some more on that that was sent to me, to help keep your children safe.

Infant Car Safety Tips: Why Using A Winter Coat Can Put Your Child's Life At Risk

It's getting cold outside, and the temperature is starting to drop. As a parent, our main priority is to keep our baby warm and cozy all the time, especially when hitting the road. Cars tend to be very cold even with the heater turned on.

The majority of parents tend to bundle their kids in thick snowsuits and winter coats to help them brave the cold weather. However, combining bulky winter coats with an infant car seat can put your baby's life at risk in case of an accident. Leaving it on your child can create a gap between your precious angel and his safety harness. Also, no matter how much you tighten its straps, your little one will not be able to get much air from these clothes.

Why Using Winter Coats Are Dangerous

Your child's safety harness should be close to his body all the time. In the event of a car crash, all his clothes including his coat will compress. However, thick and bulky snowsuits and winter coats may compress enough, creating plenty of slack in his car seat harness, making it seem like you did not tighten its straps at all. Having loose straps may result in not keeping your child in the car seat or in the vehicle.

How To Bundle Your Little One Safely

There are several do's and dont's you need to keep in mind to provide your child with additional protection during the winter season to keep him warm and safe at the same time. Here are some of those:

  • Buy infant car seat covers. If you're worried that your baby may get cold in the car seat's carrier when transferring when getting him in and out of your vehicle, there are a lot of safe infant car seat covers to keep him warm available. Infant car seat protectors are specially designed with gaps for the straps of the harness. They can also neatly fit in the original shell without intervening with your baby's car seat harness. Moreover, it still provides enough space for your child to move around comfortably.
  • Layer up with thin clothes. You can dress your child up with thin layers of clothes. Startup with tights, long underwear, leggings, or those that are close-fitting. Cover them up with a sweater or shirt and pants. The top layer should be thin but can provide warmth like a polar fleece jacket. Finish off his whole winter ensemble with booties or warm socks, mittens, and a hat that will not meddle with how snug the straps are.
  • Keep your car warm by starting it ahead of time. Your baby will love the comforting warmth that will greet him when you place him in your car. Also, you won't be struggling with him when taking off his jacket since it's already warm inside.
  • Always have a blanket handy in your vehicle. Instead of having your child's coat on, put his favorite blanket in your vehicle at all times. You can just drape it over him once you're settled inside your vehicle. However, do not tuck it under the car seat straps of the harness, so that there will be no barrier between your child and the safety harness. Having a blanket in your car will ensure that your baby will always be warm.
  • Remove your child's coat and then buckle the car seat. Take off your little one's coat before putting him inside your vehicle. Buckle up his car seat, and then put his coat over his arms in a backward position. You can keep him warm while still keeping him safe during the drive.

How To Check If Your Baby's Snowsuit Or Winter Coat Is Safe

You can assess if what you've bought is safe by following these steps:

  • Dress your baby in a couple of thin layers of clothing, and then put his winter coat or snowsuit.
  • Buckle your kid in the car suit as tight as possible but not too much that he can't properly breathe.
  • Without loosening the straps of the car seat, unbuckle your kid.
  • Take off his winter coat or snowsuit, and then buckle him up again in his car seat.
  • Now slide down its chest clip, and then pull it upwards on its shoulder straps to check if there is any slack.
  • His winter coat or snowsuit is unsafe for your car seat if there's a slack.

What You Need To Remember Before Purchasing An Infant Car Seat Cover

Avoid purchasing thick infant car seat protectors that thread through your kid's car seat harness strap that acts like a bunting for your child. They may intervene with the functionalities of the car seat, and most manufacturers will void its warranty if you use aftermarket accessories. Shower cap type infant car seat covers are normally safe. Make sure to choose those that don't have a layer under your baby, and will not cover his face as well.

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