Story by: Joe Hall on December 10, 2018
As the temperatures continue to drop, many parents are making a potentially fatal mistake by putting their kids in winter coats while they are in car seats.
When a child is wearing a winter coat, it may feel like they are strapped snugly into the car seat, but the straps actually are dangerously loose against the squishy coat.
Kinzie Evrard, a child safety seat expert with Norton Children’s Prevention & Wellness, which is funded through the Children’s Hospital Foundation, said the coat keeps the child from being restrained in the event of a crash.
“A child may appear snug in their harness when they are wearing a jacket, but in reality the padding of the jacket will compress during a crash or a sudden stop,” Kinzie said. “The car seat harness will become looser than the caregiver thought, and the child will no longer be snug in the car seat. They can even be ejected.”
Instead, Kinzie suggests taking off the winter coat before putting the child in the car seat. She recommends either keeping a blanket handy in the car or laying the jacket over the child once the child is in the car seat.
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