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.
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.
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[…] So the weather has turned cold and we’re all wanting to keep our little ones nice and warm – especially the ones who haven’t experienced a British winter before! So how is best to keep them snuggly and safe at the same time? There’s an article and video that gets shared around a lot at this time of year, and it’s and important message – it’s called ‘Winter coats and car seats don’t mix‘ […]
[…] On the website, it states: “For babies, use a cosy toes (foot muff) 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. […]
Great article and wish more was done to spread car seat safety as being seem completely ignorant of what is safe for their kids. Whether it is the wrong type of seat or the wearing of coats. Shame you have used a picture of a baby wearing a coat to illustrate the straps need to be two fingers tight. After the article saying don't your picture is saying its ok.
Thanks for your comment! We're glad you like the article
The sleeveless jacket the little girl is wearing is very thin, and does not affect the way the harness fits her, a thin fleece, cardigan or jumper is safe to wear in the car seat.
The best way to check if a jacket is safe is to strap little one in with it on, and pull the straps tight, then take the child out of the seat and remove the jacket, then strap them back in. If the harness still fits them safely, the jacket can be worn.
The Good Egg Team
This is great information and it's presented clearly and easily. I have shared this as much as possible, as both myself and my partner have heard this from many sources. It makes a lot of sense, but until I heard this information I would have carried on using a coat in the car seat as usual. My 3 1/2 year old daughter now has a designated car blanket, which she loves, plus is the car gets too warm she can easily remove the blanket.
One thing though, I've found when the child wears no coat the belt is more likely to irritate the neck, so I would recommend using a belt cover, we got ours off Amazon and it helps her a lot, unless we have the belt all wrong and it shouldn't do that anyway, who knows.
In the supermarket baby and toddler parking bays yesterday, I was removing my child from the seat and putting her coat back on, and saw most other parents in the visible bays doing the same. Word spreads fast I guess. For the few seconds it takes to put a coat on and off, it's worth it for possibly my child's life. Thanks for the information.
Thanks for your comment! We're really pleased that you have found the post helpful, and thanks for sharing!
It's great that you saw lots of other parents doing the same, the word is spreading!
If you are concerned about the fitment of your little one's seat in the car, please e-mail our experts on firstname.lastname@example.org who will be happy to help.
The Good Egg Team
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