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:
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.
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 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.
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.
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.