The Good Egg Car Safety Blog

Winter coats and car seats – the winter facts every parent needs to know.

 

The danger you may be putting your child in when travelling in the car this winter.


The temperature is beginning to drop outside, and children are being bundled up in thick winter coats and snowsuits to keep them snug and warm in the cold weather.  But did you know that you are supposed to remove your child’s coat before you strap them into their car seat, and not doing so may put them in danger?

This video demonstrates why winter coats and car seats don't mix:

 


Winter Jacket sequence

 

Leaving your child’s coat on in the car is a problem because it creates a gap between your child and their safety harness. In a collision, the harness isn’t as close to your child’s body as it needs to be to allow it to properly restrain them.

To keep your children safe in the car this winter, remove their coats and jackets and pull the harness tight enough that you can just get two fingers between your child and the straps.


Pic6

 

 

How to keep your child warm:

Despite puffy and thick coats being dangerous, children will still feel a chill when they first get in the car!

There are several ways you can safely keep your child warm.

 

Babies

 

Keep your newborn warm OL

maxi-cosi-pebble-footmuff-confetti

 

 

Babies should be dressed in thin layers when in the car seat, and thick or puffy snowsuits will cause the harness to fit incorrectly.  Instead, use  a cosy toes approved by the child seat manufacturer, or fold a thin blanket in half and tuck it tightly around your baby over the harness, once they are strapped in correctly.  Make sure any blankets do not come up higher than arm pit level.

 

Children 

 

harness toddler

 

Remove children's coats and jackets, and strap them into their car seat properly - then tuck a blanket around them.  Your child will be able to remove the blanket if they get too hot, which they cannot do when they have their coat on, this can lead to them overheating.


Winter_clothes_-_children.png

 

Some parents may place the jacket over both their child and harness, however Good Egg Safety do not recommend doing this as it may delay removing a child from their car seat in an emergency.

 

Winterclothing 3 reasons

 

 

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What should you do if you breakdown this winter?

Breaking down is inconvenient, potentially dangerous and expensive. It’s the last thing you need to happen on a cold winter trip, but breakdowns do still happen. They’re also more likely to occur in winter – so what should you do if you do break down?  Below are our top tips for dealing with a break down!



Tip1



Have a break down kit in the car! This should contain:


Breaking down kit

Tip2



When you begin having difficulties: pull over as soon as it is safe to do so. On motorways, try and drive your car off the motorway, but if this is not possible, pull as far over to the left on the hard shoulder as possible and turn your wheels to the left. On other roads, try and get your car off the road, if you can’t, pull as far over to the left as possible.



Tip3



Let other road users know you are having difficulties: put your hazard lights on, and when you have pulled over, apply your side lights. On motorways, you should not attempt to put a warning triangle out. On other roads, place a warning triangle 45 meters behind your car on the same side of the road, if it is safe to do so.



Tip4



Exit the vehicle from the left: On motorways it is extremely dangerous to exit on the side of the car nearest to the carriageway.

Take your children out of the car, but leave any pets in the car unless they are in danger - excited or scared pets on a motorway can be an extreme hazard to themselves and other road users.  Even if you have to climb over or find it difficult to get the children out of the car, it is vital you do so from passenger side.

On other roads, exit your car if you have any fear it may be hit by other vehicles.  You may exit your car normally if you are off the road, or it is safe to do so.

Keep the warm and waterproof clothing available, you may have a wait before the breakdown service arrives.



Tip5



Staying safe: Move away from your vehicle, and if you’re on the motorway stand behind the barrier. Put your hi visibility jacket on and  ensure your passengers wear theirs too.  Do not stand between oncoming traffic and your vehicle.

If you are on the motorway do not attempt roadside repairs.

On other roads, only make repairs if it is safe to do so.



Tip6



Phone for help: Use your mobile to call your breakdown cover provider.  If you don't have breakdown cover, most providers will provide cover on the spot (for an additional fee).  There are also breakdown companies who will collect on a one off basis, however this normally works out to be very expensive.

If you’re on the motorway, look out for the driver location sign which will help you pinpoint your location to the operator.


driver-location-sign

 

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