Car seat safety is an important topic for new and experienced parents to understand. Learn easy winter car seat safety tips you can follow to keep your kid safer this snowy season.
The temperatures are dropping fast and it’s that time of year where you will probably need to take your baby out and about in the cold. You will want to keep your baby as warm as possible, but you also want to keep them safe in their car seats.
That may seem like a worrisome prospect to some new parents, but winter car seat safety is much simpler than it sounds. Follow these three tips for car seat safety this winter and feel assured you’re making safer choices for your child.
Here are 3 tips to help keep your kid safer in their car seat this winter
1. No jackets in car seats and always a snug fit
Your baby’s car seat should be a snug fit, which means you shouldn’t be able to pinch any of the webbing on the straps. If you can, the straps are too loose and need to be adjusted.
The American Academy of Pediatrics says that you can adjust the straps for bulkier clothing, but you should always readjust when your child is in the seat and their clothing isn’t as bulky. You should never put large jackets, thick coats or snowsuits under the straps, though, because the material could compress if you are in a collision.
How to determine if the coat is too thick for the car seat
- Bring your car seat inside and have your child sit in it while wearing the coat or suit you wish to test.
- Buckle the seat as you normally would and adjust the straps to be snug.
Take your child out of the car seat without loosening the straps and take the coat or suit off of them.
- Put your child back in the seat and buckle it again without tightening the straps.
- Perform the pinch test. If it doesn’t pass the test, the coat or suit is too large and shouldn’t be worn in the seat.
2. Put your baby in the car seat inside the warm house
Instead of bringing your child to the seat in the car, bring the seat to your child in the house where it’s warm(if they are small enough to carry in the seat).
Have your child wear the clothes they normally would inside to keep them warm (no jacket). Place them in the car seat and buckle them in. Then place their jacket over the harness or use a blanket over the harness.
If you want them to keep the coat on, turn the coat around and put his or her arms through the sleeves after the car seat is buckled.
3. No extra stuff in, on or under the car seat
The National Highway Safety Administration says that you should never place anything underneath the baby in the sarseat, or on the carseat straps or under the carseat on your seat unless it came with the car seat, which means it was tested by the manufacturer to be used safely with the car seat.
Perform the Safety Checklist:
- Clothing or anything else that interferes with the proper placement or tightening of the harness system shouldn’t be used in the seat.
- Read your instruction manual for proper harness placement.
- It’s important for the shoulder straps to be placed properly on your child’s shoulders, not their clothing. Check the manual for the proper placement per the seat you use.
- The chest clip should always be positioned at arm pit level.
- Clothing without individual leg openings prevents the harness from being placed between your child’s legs as it is should be used. Don’t place these on your child if you are to use a car seat.
As you can see, it’s easier than you might think to follow winter car seat safety guidelines. Following these simple tips should help keep your child safer in their car seat this winter.