Winter is here and it's the perfect time to learn about the do's and don'ts of car seats and coats. See why puffy winter coats are a big no-no for your little child's safety.
When the temperatures dip, it's inevitable that we want to bundle up our little ones to keep them warm and cozy. Unfortunately, being a little overzealous in this department can put our children in danger when they're buckled into their car seats. In the midst of a chilly winter, now is the perfect time to educate ourselves about the car seats dangers of children wearing puffy winter coats. That's why I've teamed up with Diono to bring you these do's and don'ts for car seats and coats.
Allana Pinkerton, Certified Child Passenger Safety Instructor and Global Safety Advocate for Diono, has a list of tips for us and a great infographic to help you how to figure out how to dress your child on cold days to keep them safe (and warm!) while riding in the car.
The Dos and Don'ts of Car Seats and Coats
Tips by: Allana Pinkerton, Global Safety Advocate for Diono
BIG DON'T: Never place a child in a car seat with a thick, bulky winter coat because the harness might not be snug enough to perform as it should during a crash.
WHY? If they are wearing a thick coat, the padding in the coat will not allow you to snug up the harness correctly and the harness will actually be loose on the child. The padding in the coat will compress during a crash until it gets to the body which doesn't allow the child to ride the crash down appropriately.
Important to note: Car seat manufacturers cannot determine if it is safe to use a thick winter coat because they do not crash test with coats on the test dummies. They do test for misuse and they can determine if a loose harness causes injury.
DO: Follow the car seat manual for proper harness fit, installation and use. The manuals are written based on crash test data.
DO: Use an appropriate car seat no matter what the weather conditions are outside.
DO: If there are no safety issues in doing so, heat up the car ahead of time.
DO: Put a thin fleece jacket on your baby, toddler or older child.
DO: Put a toboggan hat and gloves on your child. This definitely helps retain some internal warmth.
DO: For a newborn baby, many infant carrier car seats come with a "warming boot" to put over the baby. If not, one may be purchased from the manufacturer of the car seat or they may have approved the use of one manufactured by another company.
DO: Throw a blanket around your child when carrying them out to the car to keep them warm. (If you are super nice, you might have even warmed it up in the dryer first.)
DO: Place them in the harness and snug it up. Then you can place the blanket over them so it doesn't interfere with the harness and tuck it in around the child's sides. To avoid the possibility of suffocation do not put the blanket near their head.
So, what does this look like in action? I did a little demonstration with my little lady. I put her in a puffy winter jacket then followed Allana's tips and placed her in her Diono Radian RXT (shown below with the Diono Angle Adjuster) without the coat and sure enough, the harness fit totally different and there was a lot of extra slack when I compressed the coat.
I'm so passionate about car seat safety and I really appreciate Diono for sharing these safety tips. I've been fortunate enough to review the Diono Radian RXT and travel across the country with the Diono Rainier and could not be more pleased with their amazing car seats. I have such peace of mind knowing my kids are in car seats made from premium materials and that have thoughtful safety features like a steel alloy frame, aluminum reinforced side walls, and energy absorbing EPS foam. I also love that Diono car seats allow for extended rear-facing.
Disclosure: I received a Diono Radian RXT to facilitate this post. All opinions are my own. Amazon links are affiliate links and contribute to the cost of running this website.