It’s been several years since I’ve had to put my girls in their car seats; however, I do remember that during the winter months, they were usually wearing winter coats and snow pants. My wife and I wanted to make sure they were warm when we transported them between our house and daycare. We also wanted them dressed appropriately in case our car broke down. This meant I had to loosen up the safety straps so they’d fit in the seat.
Today, safety experts recommend putting children in their car seats without their winter coats. Doesn’t this seem counter intuitive? After all, it is winter.
Recently on the “Today” show, Jeff Rossen did a segment on car seat dangers during the winter. He visited a crash test lab in Michigan. His segment shows the dramatic results of a car crash at 30 mph with a crash dummy inappropriately strapped in because of a puffy winter coat. Miriam Manary, who operates the lab, explains the proper way to strap in a child during the winter months. She recommends strapping them in without a coat. To keep them warm she suggests using a blanket or putting on their jacket backwards.
If you’re expecting your first child and haven’t picked out your car seat, check out the information at safercar.gov. Their website provides information on:
- How to select the right car seat;
- What safety ratings mean;
- How to install your car seat; and
- How to register your car seat and how to get recall notifications.
Consider ordering a TIKE (Toddler Info Kept for Emergencies) sticker to attach to your car seat. TIKE is a bright neon green sticker that includes a child’s emergency and medical contact information that goes on the car seat. This information in critical if you have an accident and you’re unable to help the first responders with the care of your child. To learn more, check out my blog titled, “Will your child get the right care if you’re both injured in an auto accident?”
Do you have any tips you’d like to share? I’d love to hear your thoughts; please share them in the box below.