Do you know about this simple mistake parents make with car seats? It could save your child’s life! This is a must-read for any parent!!
There’s one crucial mistake I see moms make during the winter that could cost them their children’s lives. And as someone who has made it through three brutally cold Iowa winters with babies, I know it can be hard not to do it.
I’m sure you’ve seen this scenario played out before:
You look outside and see your snow-covered car. Shivering, you pull up your weather app to see that it’s a blistering 15 degrees out. Yikes. But your 6-month-old has his well-baby check today, so you don’t really have a choice but to go outside.
You look back down at your phone and realize you’re going to be late. You quickly grab your baby’s puffy winter coat and stuff him in it, briefly admiring your chubby marshmallow before scooping him up and heading out the door.
You get to your car, pull open the door, and instead of taking your son’s coat off (he’ll freeze if you do!), you start buckling him into his car seat, loosening the straps about 4 inches so he can fit in. It takes too much time to take his coat off and put it back on before getting out of the car, and I’m sure you will be fine on the 10 minute drive to the pediatrician.
WRONG. Did you know how dangerous it is to buckle your child into their car seat with their coat on?
Last month this video from The Today Show went viral on Facebook, and it’s a great demonstration of how dangerous it is to let your kids wear coats under their car seat straps. “At an official crash test lab in Michigan, a child dummy that appeared to be securely strapped into a car seat came hurtling out of it in a simulated 30-mph crash.”(source)
Even when your child is strapped in tight over their coat, they aren’t as safe and snug as you might think. Your child can whip forward, or even fly out of the car seat. And in a real accident, that could mean serious injury or death.
Do an experiment for me. Buckle your child into the car seat with their puffy coat on and tighten the straps. Then take them out, take their coat off, and buckle them back up. See how loose those straps actually are?! Ah, it’s so scary!
DON’T buckle your kids in with their puffy coats! If you’re worried about them getting cold, put a thin, snug-fitting jacket on them and make sure the straps are tight, tight, TIGHT! Or, you can even keep a special blanket in the car to tuck around them once they are already buckled up. This site has tons of great tips about keeping your kids warm in their car seat with different products that go over the buckles instead of under them.
I know you may be thinking “but it takes so much more time to get them in the car and take their coat off and buckle them up, and then when you get places to unbuckle them and put their coat on before getting out of the car. Yes, it does. But isn’t that extra 5 minutes worth your child’s life? Seriously, please just don’t buckle your child into their car seat with their coat on.
I see this way too often, and I really just wanted to make a point of telling people not to buckle their kids into car seats with coats on! I’m working on setting up a car seat safety awareness campaign, and since it’s winter right now, I wanted to get this out there! If you see someone with their kids buckled with a coat on, please tell them how dangerous it is! I know a lot of times it’s hard to tell other moms this kind of thing, but they honestly might not even know what they’re doing, and you could save their baby’s life!
Katie clark says
This is so important. I see so many people saying “oh, my baby has just been fine. I grew up sitting on the floor” blah blah. I just don’t get why people get so stubborn about car seat safety after they see the facts. I’ve brought things up to people, and they honestly get offended! It’s not a matter of parenting style. It’s safety, and there are plenty of stats to back it up. We got a cozy cover for Oliver’s car seat and love it. It was recommended on the crazy car seat lady, and people are always asking about it. Keeps Oliver nice and warm but still safe. I am so glad you are dong a car seat awareness campaign! I’m so passionate about car seat safety, even if people think I’m crazy (my almost four year old is still rear facing. Haha. His car seat goes up to 40 rear facing and he is only 31!) if you need help spreading the word, count me in! Glad you posted this.
Chelsea Johnson says
I KNOW! Thank you so much! People want to keep their child safe, but they just don’t know or they don’t understand. It really breaks my heart because I know all moms want what is best for their children. Thanks for sharing my support and passion!!