With winter upon us, it’s a good idea to review the safest way to manage getting your child to and from activities when bundled up for cold weather conditions. Car seats are vital to your child’s safety, but it is also essential that they be used correctly for maximal protection. Here are some tips for the winter season.
- As a general rule, bulky clothing, including winter coats and snowsuits, should not be worn underneath the harness of a car seat. In a car crash, fluffy padding immediately flattens out from the force, leaving extra space under the harness. A child can then slip through the straps and be thrown from the seat. You can help keep your child warm by dressing them in thin layers.
- Check that the straps of the car seat harness are tight enough. Even if your child looks snuggly bundled up in the car seat, multiple layers may make it difficult to tighten the harness enough. If you can pinch the straps of the car seat harness, then it needs to be tightened to fit snugly against your child’s chest.
- Use a car seat cover ONLY if it does not have a layer under your baby. Nothing should ever go underneath your child’s body or between her body and the harness straps. Be sure to leave your child’s face uncovered to avoid trapped air and re-breathing. Many retailers carry car seat bundling products that are not safe to use in a car seat. Just because it’s on the shelf at the store does not mean it is safe!
- Do not use sleeping bag inserts or other stroller accessories in the car seat. Please remember, if an item did not come with the car seat, it has not been crash tested and may interfere with the protection provided in a crash.
We hope you and your family enjoy the winter season keeping these safety tips in mind.
For general safety information on car seats: