10 Tips That Can Ensure Car Seat Safety In Winter

Sunny days of summer are long gone. Temperature has started to drop everywhere and the winter is coming. You might be thinking that covering your child with thick jackets and blankets is the best option. Yes, you are right but not when your child is in a vehicle. When you are carrying your child in your car in the wintry weather, obviously it is important to keep him warm but safety comes first! You have to understand the risk that winter coats and other unnoticed things can create when your child is in a car seat. Therefore, here are some options that can keep your child both warm and safe in a vehicle in the winter season.

What is the most common and dangerous mistake that people do?

Most of the parents do a common mistake and that is bundling up the child before buckling up! You have no idea what risk winter coats pose in a car seat. You might be thinking what is wrong with covering your child with thick blankets, coats or jackets? Well, think of it like this, what is wrong with using a 5 size diaper for your just born baby or what is wrong if your waist is 32 but you want to wear a 36 size pant without a belt! If thinking these things are making you feel uncomfortable and insecure then I think I am close to making you understand what is wrong.

When your child is wearing a thick coat or jacket under the straps of the car seat it will cause a great risk because in an accident straps of the car seat are supposed to hold your child securely but if there is a thick jacket or coat between the straps and your child, it will create 3-4 inches of slack as the fluffy padding of the jacket will flatten out from force which will make the straps loose. As a result, the loose straps won’t be able to keep the child attached to the seat tightly anymore and your child may face serious injury.

What should you do?

The things that can be done as safety precautions to be prepared in such situation mentioned above are suggested here.

Using fleece jackets

Fleece jackets for baby
Fleece jackets can be used to keep your child warm. Fleece jacket can be really soft, warm and comfortable. These are safe to wear in a car because these jackets or coats are not that much bulky or thick. Fleece jackets such as performance fleece or polar fleece are found to be more preferable.

Fleece jackets are not thick or fluffy but it provides enough warmth and comfort along with reducing the risk of compression that happens when your child is wearing a thick jacket or blanket under the straps. Therefore it is safe to wear fleece jackets in a car.

Using socks, mittens, hats, baby booties

baby socks, mittens, hats and booties
This can be the best option to keep your child warm and safe, how? Well, socks, mittens, booties, these things keep the child warm without interfering with the car seat in any way! What can be safer than that when the main concern is the car seat?

Therefore, never hesitate about using socks, mittens or winter hats to save your child from the cold wintry chill.

Dressing your child in thin layers

Dressing the child in layers is important. Children should be dressed in a layer in such a way that the dresses are close fitted with his body. Therefore, it will reduce the risk of loosened straps in a car crash.
baby long-sleeved bodysuits
Close-fitting bottoms like tights, leggings, and long-sleeved bodysuits are more preferable. Then you can add tops to warm like thermal knit shirts and sweater. If the temperature is extremely cold outside you can cover your child with a fleece jacket.

Long underwear is also one of the best warm and safe layering options. There is a fact about your infant baby that is they always need at least one or two extra warm dress than you.

Using warm ponchos

Ponchos are originally worn in South America. It is a type of garment made with a woolen cloth which has a slit in the middle for head to put it on.
baby ponchos
The main concept is your child can keep the warm ponchos on and the child is sitting in the car seat this poncho can be worn over the car seat and the straps. This feature makes this dress safer as it is keeping your child warm and cozy from head to toe and it does not interfere with the car seat straps at all!

Using blankets over the straps

For reasons unknown, blankets are often neglected while it can be incredibly effective but simple solution for traveling in winter. To be prepared well it is suggested not to rely on the car heat. Always try to ensure the safety and comfort by yourself which includes taking a blanket when you are heading outside in the shivery cold winter.
baby blanket
To make your child warm you can simply put on a blanket over him. However, keep in mind that never put the blanket on your child before buckling him up in the car seat. Cover him after your child is snuggly bundled up in the car seat.

Putting the coat on backward

Putting the coat or jacket on backward is another simple but effective trick to keep the child warm and secured in a car seat.

After your child is held tightly by harness straps of the car seat you can put the coat on him backward by simply flipping over the coat and putting his hands inside the sleeves of the coat. This option is considered best when your child is already well covered with warm clothes underneath the coat.

Heating up the car

car heater
While in some countries leaving your car unattended and keeping the engine on is illegal, it can be an option to fight the cold winter. When your child is exposed outside of the house it might take a little bit to adjust to the weather and temperature inside the car. Therefore, it can be helpful if your car is heated up already when you keep your child in it just after leaving the house.

Heating up the car can be considered if you have that kind of situation where you won’t have to end up in jail or pay any fine.

Checking if the car seat straps are pinchable

Even if your child looks tightly buckled up in a car seat, in winter multiple layers of clothing can make it risky. It is important to keep the harness straps tightened up.

How to check if the harness straps are tight enough? If you can pinch the straps easily, then the straps are loose and you need to tighten it up. If you cannot pinch the straps then you are good to go.
Harness straps pinch test

Using a car seat cover without any layers

If you want to use a car seat make sure there is no layer under the baby. The main focus here is that nothing is allowed underneath your child’s body or between the harness straps and the child. As long as the seat cover does not interfere with the straps of the car seat it is safe to use. It is preferable to use the car seat provided by the car just to support the spine because things come with the car are crash tested.

Do not cover your child’s face

Yes, in winter you can cover your child’s head with ponchos or winter hats to keep him comfy but it is dangerous to cover his face. In any critical situation, breathing is very important as it raises the question of life and death. If your child’s face is covered it can cause suffocation.

Always make sure the child’s face is uncovered to avoid re-breathing and trapped air.

Related Article
10 Tips That Can Ensure Car Seat Safety In Winter
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