Coat off, Seatbelt on!

Have you ever heard that you should take off children’s coats before buckling them into car seats, because winter coats can lead to increased injuries?

  1. When a child wears a puffy jacket, the straps in the safety harness are not tight enough. In this case children can move around too much and hit their heads in a crash.
  1. The layer of bulky padding between the child and the car seat straps, this padding can compress in the force of the crash, making the straps suddenly too loose. If there’s anything thick between straps and your child the car seat stops working like it was designed to.
  1. The heavy winter gear can also change a child’s position in the car seat, so the straps might not sit properly on their shoulders or kid’s might be sitting taller than they actually are. If the bulky coat is underneath the belt, the lap belt will ride up onto the child’s soft abdomen and puts him or her at risk of severe injuries in a crash.
  1. Another point which it is worthwhile for young and old: the freedom of movement is significantly greater without a jacket, so the side-view horizon is bigger.

What are the solution against cold – but for safety? After the child is safely buckled:

  • cover him with a blanket — as long as it is over the straps.
  • he/she can wear the coat backwards over the arms
  • fleece often works very well under harnesses
  • in a backless booster seat open the coat of the child, fasten the seatbelt and close the jacket over the belt
  • actually you can buy car seat ponchos on the internet

As you see there are many ways to transport children safe and warm in the car.

Taking off the winter coat clearly needs a change of previous habits but the gain in security worth it!