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by Katie Hodgkins

The Danger of Coats in Car Seats

When temperatures drop, we naturally want to keep our babies and children warm when they’re travelling in the car.

We see many bundled up in thick winter coats and snowsuits to help keep them snug, however this can be really dangerous.

Most winter coats are filled with materials like feathers or down and designed to keep your child warm by creating a thick “air buffer” in between your child and the cold air outside.

When placing your child in the car seat with this kind of coat on, the coat’s thickness can prevent you from tightening the harness close enough to your child’s upper body.

In a collision, the coat padding is compressed, and the harness can become too loose to hold them securely. In extreme cases, the child can be fully ejected from their seat!

So, when travelling with children in cold weather, we strongly encourage you to avoid having them wear thick winter coats.

Watch our video to understand why winter coats and car seats don’t mix

To keep your children safe in the car, remove their coats and jackets and pull the harness tight enough that you can just get two fingers between your child and the straps and use safer ways to keep your child warm, instead.

Top tips:

  • Put a hot water bottle on the seat a few minutes before departure to warm it up and, ideally, heat up your car before putting them into it.
  • Have a warm blanket to put over the child and harness once their harness has been tightened. Make sure these don’t come up higher than their arm pit level (use thin blanket for babies so they don’t overheat)
  • Hats and gloves keep children warm without interfering with car seat straps. Just remember to remove them on babies when the car heats up, so they don’t overheat.
  • Consider buying a pocho. It’s not bulky and fits over their heads for easy access. It keeps them warm on the way to the car and they can keep it on because it goes over the seat belt straps. 
  • Alternatively, simply put their winter coat on back to front over the harness.

Happy safe and warm travels!

Image credit: Good Egg Safety

Thank you to Good Egg Safety for providing this information!

Follow them on Facebook here, and Youtube here.

Katie Hodgkins Image
I'm Katie, and I'm a mama, wife, and freelance content creator for Bump, Baby & You. I also help to run our thriving online community over in our Facebook support group, as well as volunteering for my local branch of the National Childbirth Trust. I'm a busy bee and enjoy keeping active, cooking, writing, and fun days out with my little family. My special topics of interest are... autism (as me and my son are both autistic), science, all things parenting and pregnancy related, and The Handmaids Tale!
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