We are in the midst of record-setting frigid temps. All I want to do is pile on some layers and crawl under a blanket. When the time comes that I have to go outside, a coat, mittens, scarf, and hat are a must. We take all of these precautions to keep us safe and warm, so it would only make sense that we need to do the same for our kids. The more layers the better, right? If going out involves a car seat, the answer is actually LESS IS MORE.
I just assumed that using puffy coats and snow suits in a car seat was a well-known safety hazard. I have read it on social media, heard it on the news, and seen an article in a magazine. One link I saw even showed a crash test where the dummy was wearing a puffy coat in the car seat and, as a result, flew right out of the seat on impact. Scary stuff!
Sadly, I’m realizing that many parents either choose to ignore this recommendation or have not heard that car seats and winter coats don’t mesh. The other day I saw a baby at daycare put into her snow suit before being put in the car seat. I work with children, and I have seen kiddos be strapped in with a nice, big puffy coat when leaving a session. I have also spotted tots in parking lots around Iowa City, waiting patiently for their parents to take them out of their car seats that they are stuffed into, coats and all.
No matter how snuggly you think you have the straps, it IS NOT tight enough. I did read that a thin fleece is OK, but all other coats are a no-no. We follow this rule every day. So, how does Jessa stay warm enough? Here’s our routine when going to daycare:
We always start the car a few minutes before we leave, and when going from the house to the car (housed in our attached garage), she has on a hat, mittens, and boots along with a blanket over her whole body. She is then securely strapped in, and the blanket is put over her lap while keeping the other accessories on. When we pull into daycare, I hop in the back seat, get her out of her car seat, and put on her coat before heading in. Granted, it takes a couple more minutes on either end of a trip to get her coat on and off in the car…but don’t you suppose it is worth it?
I hope that this advice is something you have already heard a million times and that you already avoid coats in the car. However, if this is new to you, please implement this rule! In case you don’t believe me, here are some links that may sway you.