Yesterday was the official first day of winter, and I don’t know about where you live, but where I live in Ohio, it’s FULL-ON COLD! Gone are the days of light jackets and hoodies—it’s officially time to bundle up.
While it’s important to shield our kids from cold temperatures, for those of us with younger kids, bulky coats can actually be dangerous in a way many of us wouldn’t think of—according to experts, they make kids’ car seats dangerously unsafe. Restraints that SEEM tight over a heavy coat aren’t actually tight at all, as you can see in the TODAY Show video above with Mark Rossen and Rossen Reports.
As the video shows, if your child is in a wreck wearing a heavy coat, the car seat straps are really NOT close to the child’s body, and they can easily fly out of the coat—and the straps, and be seriously injured, or worse.
How can parents avoid this life-or-death mistake? It’s simple, says car seat safety expert Sue Auriemma from Kids and Cars. Strap your child securely in their car seat without their coat on. “Instead of putting the coat on him, you can put the coat over him to keep him warm,” Auriemma said. “Or you can use a blanket.”
It may seem odd and inconvenient, but when it comes down to it, a little inconvenience is FAR AND AWAY worth saving your child’s life, wouldn’t you agree?
So, moms and dads of littles, be PREPARED this winter with blankets in the car. Grab your little one’s wniter coat as you head out the door, but don’t put it on until you’re safely at your destination, unless you’re laying it over top of your kiddo after he or she is snugly strapped in to the car seat.
Do YOU take your child’s coat off in the car and cover him or her up with a blanket? I’d love to know your best tips for staying safe and warm during car trips with kids in the winter.