You’ve already heard everything you need to know about car seat safety thanks to Child Safety Protection Month in November: types of car seats, which one is best for you, and how to install it. What else could there be to discuss?
As with everything, winter makes a big difference.
Our instinct in the cold season is to wrap our young children in the biggest, puffiest winter coats to keep them warm. While that may be useful outdoors, inside the car a bulky coat can be dangerous when paired with a car seat. If it makes the harness too loose, and there won’t be enough constraint during a crash, which could result in ejection.
First, check to see if the coat is too big to wear under the harness. Consumer Reports explains how to do this: put your coat on your child, place him/her in the car seat, and tighten the harness until you can’t pinch any more of the strap. Remove your child from the seat without loosening the harness. Remove the coat, and then put your child back in the seat. Once he’s buckled, if you can now pinch webbing from the harness strap, the coat is too bulky.
If you find the coat is too bulky for proper safety, you can still keep your child warm. After securing your child (minus the coat) in the safety seat, put the coat on backward so it acts like a blanket with arms. Or take the coat off the child and lay a blanket snugly across the seat.
We at Nissan of Clifton want to keep our children warm as much as you do, so remember our instructions when putting winter coats in child safety seats