Accidents can occur at any time to even the safest driver. If you are involved in a car accident, you want to know that your children are protected as much as possible. That’s why you put them in age appropriate car seats. Yet, in the winter months, keeping your child warm AND safe in their car seat isn’t as easy as you might think, and you may actually be doing something dangerous for your children by leaving them in their comfy coats.
Keeping children in their winter coats while buckled in the car seat actually takes away the protection of the harness!
Why? The coat acts as a buffer between the child’s body and the harness. During an accident, the coat compresses and the harness is actually too loose for the child, causing them to be unprotected and slip through the harness. That’s why doctor’s, safety experts, and the Academy of Pediatrics all recommend that parents take their kids’ coats off before putting them in the car seat.
If you want to know if your child’s jacket or coat is too thick to use in a car seat, follow these steps:
- Put your child in the car seat with their coat on
- Harness them as snugly as you can
- Unstrap the harness and take the coat off
- Strap the child back in but do not tighten the harness
- If you can pinch room between the harness and your child’s body, then the coat is too big and you must remove it.
But how will my child stay warm?
The Academy of Pediatrics has these great tips for keeping your child warm when in the car instead of using a winter coat.
- Store the infant seat or carrier in the house when not in use
- Dress your child in layers
- Hats, mittens, and blankets can help
- Never use accessories that did not come with the car seat, such as sleeping bag inserts or other stroller accessories
Using a blanket over the top of your child is a great way to give them a little extra warmth without sacrificing safety. If you live in really cold weather and are able, also consider starting the car several minutes before you have to leave the house. This gives the car a chance to warm up, so you can use your heater properly.
Further Reading: Car Accident on Company Time? Now What?
If you are uncertain about car seat safety, consider taking your car seat to a local child passenger seat safety technician. Some fire departments have been certified to safely install car seats, but not all. When in doubt, check it out. You can look here to see where the certified Child Passenger Safety Technician is in your area.
Contact Our Pueblo Car Accident Lawyers
We want you and your family to stay safe when on the roads. Unfortunately, accidents do happen, and when they do, we are here to help. If you have been injured in an accident, contact our Pueblo car accident attorneys. Call Pueblo attorneys at Smith & Smith, today for a FREE CONSULTATION – (719) 544-0062.