As a new parent, one of the first things you learn about is the best way to keep your child safe in a car seat. You know all the rules: Infants should ride rear-facing until they are two years old; Children should ride in car seat with a 5-point harness until they reach the highest weight and height allowed by their car seat manufacturer; Booster seats are required until your child is 80 pounds or taller than 4 feet 9 inches. But did you know that your child could still be at risk if they are wearing a heavy winter coat while riding in their car seat?
The combination of bulky winter coats and car seats can actually put your child at risk for injury or even death in a car accident. This is especially the case with the popular puffy coats that many children wear today. The problem is that the bulky coats create too much space between the straps and your child, often compressing in the event of a crash and causing the straps to become less or even completely ineffective.
To determine if your child’s coat is too bulky to wear safely in a car seat, use this simple test:
If your child's current coat is too bulky to safely wear in the car seat, don't worry-they don't have to be cold to stay safe! Here's how to keep your child safe in the car during cold weather: