December 1, 2010

Winter Carseat Safety!

Winter Carseat Safety!

As winter has arrived, I feel the need to remind or inform some parents of some winter no-nos for carseat safety!

1. Winter Coats: Thick winter coats or snowsuits can compromise your child's safety. In order for a childs carseat to function properly, the straps need to remain tight against the child's chest. It is unsafe to put a thick coat, snowsuit, or blanket on under the harness of a car seat because in a crash the coat would compress, making the straps too loose and possibly allowing the child to be ejected from the seat. Also when compressed the straps are not tight against the child making the child lurch forward more in a crash, not keeping the child in the safe position they should.

2. Bundle Me Bags - A big No-no, but sadly sold regularly at local stores as a great winter alternative. Again they are unsafe to have in an infant carseat as they have too much padding between the baby and the back of the seat. This padding would also compress in a collision, causing the fit of the straps to not be tight enough to safely protect a child.

Check out this video to see more info

1. Put your child's coat on backwards while driving. No need to zip up, place your child in their seat without a coat and simply put their coat on backwards, left open.
2. Purchase a nice warm, fleece jacket. A good quality fleece jacket is good in temperatures of up to -40c. (Great ones available at LLBean!)
3. Put a blanket over your child, as long as its not interfering with the straps.
4. Make, or purchase a carseat poncho, or even use a snuggy!
5. For infants, a safe alternative to the Bundle Bags are simply using the kind which goes OVER the seat known as a Cozy Cover, in which nothing is placed inside the seat (pictured below). So you can dress your baby in something warm, then put a blanket over them if you wish to keep them warm, then stretch this over their seat, has a small flap to lift up to see your baby!

So overview:

No-Nos = Big Bulky Coats & Bundle Me Bags:

Winter Alternatives that work!! Covers, Light Fleece Jackets and car seat ponchos!!

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