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We all want our kids to be safe in the car right? I mean, that’s why we research best car seats to get them and (hopefully) learn the proper ways to buckle them into the seats.
What I’ve come to realize though, is that not a lot of parents know how to keep their children safe in the car during winter. It is something that is very important to me and being the anxious mom that I am, I’ve always tried to read and learn as much as possible about this topic. Now, I’d like to share with you some information and show you how I dress my son for venturing out in the cold, cold weather!
Big warm and puffy winter jackets are super cute, don’t get me wrong, but they are super unsafe in the car. Why? Well, in a car seat your child’s harness needs to be firmly secured against their body and the puffy winter coats will put too much space between the child and the harness. In a crash, the air in the coat will deflate leaving too much slack in the harness and could possibly cause the child to be ejected from the car seat completely. Check out this video from The Today Show on 11/10/16 for an awesome visual demonstration on a crash test dummy.
The question I get next from a lot of people is ,”So what do you put on Thomas to keep him warm?”. That’s a great question! Let me show you how we left the house last winter when he was baby…. long sleeved shirt, fleece jacket, pants, gloves, hat, done. For extra warmth a blanket over baby is fine or if you have an older child and will allow this, you can take their big puffy coat and put their arms through it once they are buckled in. Once you are out of the car, feel free to put that cute puffy coat back on!
It was a lot easier last year since Thomas was carted around everywhere in his infant seat. Its a bit more of a struggle now that he’s in a convertible seat and I have to get him in and out of the car….and take his coat on and off, on and off, etc…but it’s worth the extra time and struggle to keep your precious cargo safe right?
For the times that you may be wondering, “This is not a big puffy coat but it’s heavier than fleece. Will this be safe in the car?”, here is how you check!
- Put object in question on child and buckle into car seat. Make sure to buckle them in like you would any other time.
- Do not adjust the slack on the harness then unbuckle and remove child from seat.
- Take off the object in question and put child back into car seat
- If the harness is just as tight with or without that clothing item on then its safe for winter wear in the car. If you have to adjust the straps and make them tighter then you should forgo that clothing item when buckled into the car.
For a TON more information on carseats and car safety in general, check out Car Seats For The Littles which was a huge help to me as a new mom and trying to learn the ins and outs of car seat safety! They have some great ideas also for other options besides the fleece/blanket idea but my mom-xiety wouldn’t let me try them. Fleece works for us so that’s what we’re sticking with.
Want some ideas of where to get really cute fleece jackets for the car? Here you go!
Columbia Fleece Jackets-
Osh Kosh makes a cute fleece too…although be warned, if your child has a big head like mine. Theses will not fit!!