Winter Wonders: Coats Off for Car Seat Safety

Nov 21, 2023 | Children's Health

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As temps fall, we all experience the instinct to bundle up. Not so fast for our littlest passengers.

Rachel Dewey, DO, family medicine physician with Our Lady of the Lake Physician Group, shares why parents should remember to remove children’s coats before buckling them into a car seat in this ParentingU Extra Credit episode.

The Coat Conundrum

Keeping our children warm in their coats is a normal instinct, but it can compromise their safety in the car. The extra layer of a puffy winter coat can compress during a crash, creating a safety hazard. Take this simple yet crucial step when buckling up: remove the winter coat before securing your child in their car seat.

Layer Up Safely

While it’s essential to shield your child from the chill, there are safer alternatives to bulky coats. Dress them in thinner layers to let them stay warmer without sacrificing the car seat harness’ effectiveness.

Once your child is securely buckled in, toss their coat or a cozy blanket on top of their harness for a warmer ride. This approach will maintain the snug fit of the straps without compromising safety in the event of a collision.

Warm Up In Advance

Strike a balance between warmth and safety during cold-weather travels. Consider pre-warming your car before everyone loads up, which will make it easier to slip out of the coat before heading out.

Find more holiday safety advice for families from ParentingU. Stay warm, stay safe and enjoy winter wonders on the road!

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