As Temperatures Drop, Remember Take Coats off Kids in Car Seats

Here's how to make sure they stay warm!

November 25, 2018
By: Amanda Mushro


Mother and baby daughter bask in the car after a walk in a winter park. Happy family. Childhood and parenthood happiness. (Mother and baby daughter bask in the car after a walk in a winter park. Happy family. Childhood and parenthood happiness., ASCII

Photo by: iStock


Winter months brings colder temperatures that make us all want to stay inside. However, we still have places to go and our kids have to come with us. While we want to bundle up our little ones to keep them toasty and warm, experts agree—kids are safer in car seats without their puffy winter coats.

So why should we put coats on our kids only to take them off as soon as we reach the car? Safety experts say, winter coats can leave the car set harness too loose. So if you are in a crash, the harness will not be effective.

"When you have a child in a bulkier, heavy coat, you are not going to be able to harness them as snuggly as you should," Laura Dunn with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration tells USA Today. "In the event of a crash, if there is a risk of ejection."

If you still aren’t sold on this extra step, I get it. The cold winter months make everyone move slower and the layering of clothes on your kids can be a real pain. However, this video of a crash test lab from the Today Show might change your opinion. The video shows a child dummy wearing a puffy winter coat flying out of a car seat in a simulated crash that happens at just 30 miles per hour.

Of course we want our babies to be warm. When the frigid temperatures strike, here’s how you can keep you kiddos safe and toasty while in the car.

  • For babies, wrap a warm blanket around them once they are buckled into the car seat. For infants, make sure the blanket doesn’t go over their face.
  • For older kids, once secured in their seat, have them put their coat on backwards. So arms through the arm holes and the back of the coat is on their chest and stomach.
  • Break out the gloves, hats and warm socks or booties. You can even leave these in your car so you never forget to have these extras on hand.
  • Dress your child in a warm fleece coat that is form fitting for the car and put their puffy coat on when they get out of the car
  • If you are home, give your car a few minutes to warm up before piling your kids into the car.

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