Bulky Coats and Kids Car Seats can be a Dangerous Combination

January 26, 2017 Published by

Winter weather conditions pose additional problems for parents when it comes to securing their kids into car seats. The warm, but bulky, winter coats that keep kids warm can pose a life-threatening hazard if you try to buckle your child into their car seat while wearing those coats. The problem is that bulky coats can compress and allow the child to be ejected from their safety harness during an accident.

Indianapolis Personal Injury AttorneyWhen parents adjust the child safety seat harness to allow more room to accommodate the bulky winter coats, it can endanger their child. The webbing must fit snugly against the child to be most effective, with no extra room. If you increase the webbing fit to cover the bulkiness of a child who is wearing a puffy winter coat, any impact may cause that coat to compress and thus allow the child to slip out of the harness.

Child safety experts recommend that parents keep the webbing harness set to fit snugly over the child, but remove the coat and place it on the child backwards, blanket style, with their arms in the sleeves. The child is still warm, but also safer than if they were strapped in wearing the oversized coat. Another option is to cover the child with a blanket and put the coat on when they leave the car.

There is no substitute for child safety, especially in winter when weather conditions increase the incidence of traffic accidents. A simple test for snugness can be easily performed:

·         Buckle the child into their car seat wearing the coat.

·         You should not be able to pinch the webbing between your thumb and forefinger.

·         Remove the child without loosening the harness setting.

·         Take the coat off and again buckle up the child in the seat, but do not adjust the harness setting. If you can now pinch the webbing, it means the coat is too bulky to be worn in the harness.

Even though the kids love their puffy winter coats, put safety first. In this case, an ounce of prevention is found by removing coats that are too bulky to be safely buckled in with your child.

If you have any questions about child safety issues, or other legal questions, please contact Young and Young. We are also concerned about child safety issues and want to help you keep your family safe. Call us now, at 317-639-5161.

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