Car Seat Safety During the Winter Months

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Car Seat Safety During the Winter Months

November 8, 2011

It’s that time of year again to begin thinking about the cold weather that’s just around the corner.  As parents we don’t just dwell on plugging in the vehicle, shovelling sidewalks and icy road conditions, we also need to consider the safety of our wee ones.  It seems ludicrous that our babies shouldn’t wear jackets when temperatures sometimes dip to -40°C (didn’t our moms always tell US to wear our jacket?), but there are serious implications for children that wear heavy sweaters and/or winter jackets in car seats.  Problem: “When a child is placed in a car seat with a bulky jacket the harness straps are loosened to accommo-date the thick material. Even though the straps appear to be tight, in the event of a collision, the bulky jacket or snowsuit can become compressed, causing the child to be ejected from the car seat or incur inju-ries from the slack in the harness straps.” Miller, 2011.  Solution: Transfer your child to the vehicle in their winter clothes, but remove the bulky clothing before securing your child in the car seat. A blanket over the child will keep them cozy until the next stop.  For infants, strap the child into a bucket seat in the house and cover them with a blanket to transport them to the vehicle.  Another concerning issue is the use of after-market car seat bags. Although they appear to be a great solution, they too can pose a risk in a collision.Problem: “Any additional padding behind the child can induce both slack in the harness and additional compressibility. The Standard only allows for a certain amount of compressibility in the foam and material used.  By increasing this amount with a car seat bag, during a collision the additional foam/material can compress to the point that the harness system becomes very loose and therefore no longer is capable of restraining the child.” Miller, 2011.Solution:  Again, strap the child into its seat in the house and cover with a blanket for transport to the vehicle.  Another option is a car seat canopy that is elasticized and maintains a secure fit around the shell of the seat.  These products can be found at Cuddle Me Boutique in Lloydminster, AB. Canada. Be safe and enjoy the cold weather!

 

Guest Blog by Miller, Cara. Winter Car Seat Safety as featured in Canadian Parents 30 Sept 2011.

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