Staying Warm in the Car Seat

You’ve likely heard that children shouldn’t wear coats under their car seat harnesses. That’s because each car seat’s harness is fitted to your child’s size and weight.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says that fluffy padding flattens from the force of a car crash, leaving extra space underneath the harness. A child can slip through the straps and be thrown from the seat.

To protect your child during an accident, the harness needs to fit as close to the body as possible. Wearing a puffy jacket, snowsuit, or a few thick layers impacts how the harness fits. Adjusting the harness to make room for a coat or layers may feel like it’s minor change, but it can impact your child’s safety in the car.

We’re sharing a few tips for keeping your child warm in the car seat this winter without bulky clothing.

Winter Car Seat Safety

Plan to give yourself plenty of time to get out the door and travel to your destination. Adjusting the car seat fit, dressing for the weather, and driving in wintry conditions can all slow you down, so be sure to allow extra time.

If you can pinch the straps of your child’s car seat harness, it needs to be tightened. Straps should fit snugly against the child’s chest. Only use a car seat cover if it doesn’t have a layer under the baby. Make sure the child’s face is uncovered to prevent trapped air and suffocation.

Remember, if an item didn’t come with your child’s car seat, it hasn’t been crash tested. Just because an item is available for purchase doesn’t mean it’s safe to use. Make sure products have been approved by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Don’t use sleeping bag inserts or stroller accessories in the car seat.

Staying Warm

Your child will warm up quickly in the car, so think about what they would wear indoors in the winter months and dress them similarly for the car ride. Using multiple thin clothing layers can help your child stay warm in the car seat without the need for a jacket. For example, you could add a long-sleeved t-shirt over another shirt or a thin fleece jacket, fitted hat, socks/booties, and gloves.

If your child’s winter coat doesn’t fit well under their car seat harness, you can lay the coat over them to help them stay warm after they’re safely buckled in. You can also use a blanket or car seat poncho that is draped over the child after they’re buckled.

If your child is in an infant seat, store the carrier portion inside your home when it’s not in use. This keeps the seat at room temperature and reduces the amount of body heat your child loses in the car.

There are coats that have been designed specifically to be worn safely under a car seat harness if you’re prepared to invest in a new coat.

Don’t Warm Your Car in the Garage

Carbon monoxide poisoning can happen even if your garage doors are open or partially open. Don’t leave your car running in the garage. If you’d like to get the heat going before putting your kids in the car, back into your driveway to let the engine run instead of leaving the car in the garage.

If you or a loved one has been injured, contact the Schuerman Law office today. Schuerman Law has been working with personal injury claims for over 40 years. John Schuerman will compassionately advocate for injured individuals as well as their families while fighting for full compensation of their claims. Schuerman Law offers evening and weekend appointments in addition to home and hospital visits. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 1-800-274-0045.