Finding the balance between keeping small children warm and safely buckled in their car seats can be challenging.
Snowsuits, winter coats, and other bulky clothing is dangerous in a car crash. It flattens from the force, leaving extra space under the harness. This can cause a child to slip through the straps and be thrown from the car seat.
In this article, we’re sharing winter car seat safety tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics. These tips are appropriate for all ages.
Before You Get in the Car
Keep the carrier portion of infant car seats inside the house when not in use. Then your child will be sitting in a room temperature car seat, which can reduce the loss of body heat in the car. This is especially helpful on cold winter mornings!
Build in extra time for loading the car and reaching your destination in the winter months. It takes time to get an infant or toddler into their car seat, and wintry conditions may require you to slow down.
Dress for Winter Car Seat Safety
Dress your child in thin layers, starting with close-fitting layers like tights, leggings, or long-sleeved bodysuits. Then add pants and a warm top. If needed, you can add a thin fleece jacket over the top. Long underwear can also be a smart layering option if it’s very cold.
Hats, mittens, and socks/booties can help also keep children warm without affecting car seat straps. You can add a blanket over the top of the car seat harness or put your child’s coat on backward (over the buckled straps) after they are buckled in.
After buckling your child into the car seat, tighten the straps of the harness. If you can pinch the straps, they need to be tightened for a snug fit against your child’s chest.
Just because an item is sold at a store or online doesn’t mean it is safe. If an item was not included with the car seat, it has not been crash-tested. Don’t use sleeping bag inserts or similar stroller accessories in the car seat. Car seat covers should only be used if they don’t have a layer under the baby. Make sure the baby’s face is uncovered to prevent suffocation.
Taking a few extra minutes to make sure your child is properly seated in their car seat can help both of you have a better experience on the road.
If you or a loved one has been injured due to an automobile accident or a defective product, 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.