We are heading headlong into the winter season and those who have little children in the household realize that they need to be bundled up snug as a bug. Safety experts, however, are sounding the warning about the winter coat that your baby may be wearing before they are strapped into the car seat.
Your child may be somewhat uncomfortable if they are wearing thin layers in the cold before being buckled in. Although it may be uncomfortable, it could mean their life.
The American Academy of Pediatrics is saying that the padding of a winter coat could put them at risk.
It doesn’t matter if the child is dressed in a snowsuit or a winter coat, experts are saying that those items should not be 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,” they wrote on their website.
Thinking about the situation logically, it comes into clear focus. Any parent in a cold part of the world realizes that strapping a child into a car seat is difficult when they have on a bulky coat. In addition, when the coat gets larger, the risk gets greater.
You should keep the following in mind when strapping your child into a car seat: the webbing at the collarbone of the child should be taught. You should not be able to pinch it.
If you’re able to pinch any material at that position, the harness is not tight enough. When you try to do the pinch test, your finger should just slide across the webbing without affecting it.
Although it is important not to have your child in a winter coat, there are some things you can do to keep them warm during the winter months.
1. Keep the Child’s Car Seat inside – There is no doubt that it is cold in the car when you first get into it. Children hate that feeling, which is why storing your child’s car seat at room temperature is so important.
They will be able to keep their body heat and won’t be as uncomfortable when they are transferred to the car.
2. Dress the Baby in Layers
Layering is very important when it comes to keeping warm in the winter.
“Infants should wear one more layer than adults. If you have a hat and a coat on, your infant will probably need a hat, coat, and blanket,” experts recommend.
Your child could be dressed in leggings or tights with pants and a warmer top over them. If the weather is especially cold, you can use a blanket over the child’s body.
3. Accessorize Properly
Don’t underestimate the power of accessorizing, including scarves, mittens, hats, extra socks and a warm pair of shoes.
When you keep the head, hands, feet and neck warm, it really makes a difference in their comfort level.
4. Cover up the Straps
After you have your child strapped into the car seat properly, you can always put a coat or blanket over top of them and the straps.
This is also important because you can just remove extra layers after the car heats up, rather than having to stop, undress them and then buckle up again.