Car seat safety experts have warned parents to avoid strapping their child into a car seat if they're wearing a thick coat or jacket.
With the arrival of a cold snap, childen should not be wearing thick coats in their car seats, the advice states. The Good Egg Car Safety website reminds parents and caregivers that thick coats should be taken off before strapping your child into their car seat in the winter. BeSafe car seat and product manufacturer have also mirrored this important safety information over on their website.
Why is it important to remove coats when using a car seat?
The reason is something that many parents are surprised to learn - the coat creates too big a gap between the safety harness strap and the child’s body due to the padding creating a 'buffer', even if the belt feels like it has been tightened enough. In the event of a collision, the harness is then not close enough to the child to safely restrain your child from the impact.
Good Egg Safety have shared a demonstration of this on their Facebook page...
What is the ideal distance between the harness straps and my child?
Good Egg Car Safety advises that you remove all thick layers of clothing from your child, strap your child in and then tighten the straps to the point that you can only fit two fingers between your child and the strap. In really cold weather, some parents pop their children in the car, turn the heating on, and once the car is warmed up they remove all coats before finally buckling their children in to start their journey.
How can I keep my child warm in the car, then?
Good Egg Car Safety advises dressing your baby in several thin layers for car journeys in the winter, and also advises using a cosy toes or a thin blanket that has been folded over and tucked around baby over the car seat harness AFTER you have properly strapped them into their car seat, not before as this will impede the straps.
For children, hats and gloves can stay on, but remember to remove thick coats and jackets, and instead use a blanket tucked in over the car seat harness AFTER they are strapped in correctly. Tuck it in under their arm pits.
Overall, this information is so useful and important! Please make sure to share this with your parent and caregiver friends, and stay safe.
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