Winter Car Seat Safety

winter car seat safetyKeeping warm shouldn’t risk their safety…so let’s learn more about winter car seat safety. We can all feel it coming. Winter is in the air! The mornings are chilly, and we’re starting to bundle up the kiddos for the morning drives and drop offs. It is clear that the snow will be flying soon, but there are some important reminders as winter approaches for your children in car seats. Regardless if it’s an infant seat or booster seat, much of our Montana winter gear is unsafe for the car.

In short, those warm, cozy fabrics and materials that keep out the cold add bulk and risk when in the car. In an accident, down jackets and bulky snow gear compresses. This creates a slack harness – leaving room for substantially more movement from impact and even potential ejection. Scary stuff, right? Here’s a video showing the change in crash testing with just 4 inches of slack.

What to Avoid:

  • Bulky snow suits and snow pants
  • Oversized jackets and hoods
  • Any car seat blanket or cover that goes BEHIND your child or attaches to the seat/straps.

This is true all year long. You should never add additional after market head supports, strap covers, or accessories to your child’s seat unless it specifically came in your original car seat box. A cute seat is not worth their safety.

Safe Alternatives for Winter Car Seat Safety:

  • Leave the snow gear off your child until you’ve reached your destination.
  • Aim for a thinner fleece jacket or infant suit. Our local shops have tons of options!
  • Use a beanie and/or gloves and thin layers for additional warmth.
  • Harness your child, and put their coat sleeves on backwards.
  • Snuggle them in a blanket over the top of their harness.
  • Look into a crash tested car seat coat. These help with those quick trips in and out of the car, such as the front door to the seat or the seat to the door of daycare etc and can be used out and about as well as in the car.

To find coats that are safe for use in car seats, Buckle Me Baby and onekid have lots of great options.

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Also, you can check out more information about winter safety and all things car seat at The Car Seat Lady and Safe in the Seat.