As the weather is getting colder we all want to make sure our kids are cozy warm when we leave the house. Something to keep in mind, however, is that puffy coats and car seats don’t mix! Car seat straps are intended to lay against your child’s body with little space between the strap and the child. Any extra bulk or padding will compress a great deal from the extreme forces of a car crash, leaving extra space under the harness a child can then slip through the straps and be thrown from the seat.
These tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) will help parents strike that perfect balance between keeping little ones warm as well as safely buckled in their car seats.
- Store the carrier portion of infant seats inside the house when not in use.
- Get an early start
- Dress your child in thin layers
- Don’t forget hats, mittens, and socks or booties
- Use a coat or blanket over the straps
- Use a car seat cover ONLY if it does not have a layer under the baby
- Remember, if the item did not come with the car seat, it has not been crash tested and may interfere with the protection provided in a crash
- Pack an emergency bag for your car