Car Seat Safety: Winter is Coming Edition!

What is one thing that you use with your child almost daily from the time they are born until they are over eight years old?  There are not too many products that fit it that category with one exception… car seats.  Car seat safety is always on my mind every time we travel. For something that we use so much, people can still make mistakes when installing or buckling a child in a car seat.

The Allstate GOOD HANDS® Precious Cargo blog series contains information and pointers to help keep your child safe in their car seat. Allstate worked with the experts at Safety 1st to bring you tips and supporting data about all things car seat safety such as: where you can go to be sure your seat is installed properly (you can even sign up for a local car seat clinic), where to install your car seat (back seat or middle row of a van), how to properly install your car seat (they even have a helpful video, see it below) and much more!

Wintertime brings some unique challenges when it comes to keeping kids safe and comfortable in a car. You want your child to be warm, but bulky coats and car seats can be a dangerous combination for them when travelling in a car. Protecting Our Most Precious Cargo: Winter Car Seat Safety has helpful tips and diagrams to help prepare for winter car seat safety.  Which brings me to this question…

Did you know that the average thickness of a winter coat is about 3 inches? That doesn’t seem like a lot when written numerically, but when you think about sizing…it becomes a lot.  Imagine trying to put a size 3T on your one-year-old, or fitting into a shoe that is three inches too big — both scenarios would not work in your favor. Now, let’s get back to the winter coat; when you place your child/infant into a car seat with a thick coat on and tighten the straps to fit comfortably, they seem pretty secure, right?  Now, if you take off that coat and put them back into the seat with just a sweater or long sleeved shirt, the straps are likely too loose…about three inches too loose.  This amount of space could be enough to result in injury  of your child in a car collision.  Although the straps seem secure with the coat on, in a collision, all the air and padding compress, causing the straps to become too loose, which can result in injuries.

best winter car seat cover petit coulou review

How to keep your child warm in a car seat in the winter

Here are some great ways to keep your child warm in the car, without that thick coat:

  • Blankets, put over the child after they are strapped into the seat
  • Warm, thin, snug layers of clothing
  • Hats, mittens and boots
  • Car seat poncho
  • Car seat covers (for infant car seats while transporting to the car)
  • Remove their coat, buckle them in and then put their coat on backwards

And let’s face it, once the car is started and the heat is on…they get pretty warm in those seats! A blanket is much easier to throw off (or bundle up) in these situations!

 

Car Seat Safety - Winter is Coming Addition
Bee sporting her car seat poncho!

Did you know that 95% of Canadian parents believe they know how to properly buckle a child into a car seat? However, this same poll showed that 23% of Canadians feel the best way to keep children under 12 warm is to dress them in a snowsuit, with only one-in-ten saying that warm, thin layers was best.  These statistics were taken from a national Allstate Canada poll.  Not sure if your child’s coat is too thick?  Consider doing the test outlined below to help you determine if your child’s coat is too thick to be safe while riding in a car seat.  

 

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There are so many things to consider when taking your children out in the car, it’s nice to know we have somewhere to go to have our questions answered.  If you’re a first time parent, all of these regulations can be overwhelming, so just take it step by step.  Start with the installation of the car seat and go from there. You’ll soon get the hang of it!   

To help bring in this winter with safe car seat practices, we are hosting a giveaway!  A Safety 1st Grow and Go™ 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat is up for grabs.  This car seat is made to grow with your child, with a weight scale from 5-100 lbs.  It comes with baby body pillows that give a snug fit for baby, but can be easily removed when outgrown.  safety-first-car-seat

 

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74 thoughts on “Car Seat Safety: Winter is Coming Edition!”

  1. Rosanne Robinson

    A car seat safety tip that I learned about Winter car seat safety is:
    Check your car seat’s instruction manual to confirm how much space should be between the top of your child’s head and the top of the car seat — remember, every seat will be different.

  2. I learned that you should always consult both the car seat’s original instruction manual and your vehicle’s ownership manual in case of any conflicting information.

  3. I learned that the average thickness of a childs coat is 3 inches! I always knew there was a difference but never knew it was that much and thinking about putting a 3T on a one year old really puts it in to perspective. I also learned there are learned there are ways around keeping your children warm in the car without coats such as a car seat poncho! Now that is clever and I totally want one for my youngest

  4. One thing i have learned is not to put large snowsuits or bulky clothing on your child when putting them in the car seat .

  5. I learned that Car seats should always be installed in the back seat of a vehicle, or in the middle row if it’s a three-row van, far away from front seat air bags.

  6. I learned that Car seats should always be installed in the back seat of a vehicle and bulky clothing can be very dangerous with a car seat.

  7. I learned not to put a thick coat, sweater, snow suit etc on my little one in the car because the air can compress in an accident and make the straps too loose. Good to know that adjusting the straps to fit a bulky outfit is NOT a safe option because of this compression factor!!

  8. I have learned that you should make sure the car seat is securely installed and doesn’t move more than 2.5 cm (1 inch) at the seat belt path.

  9. michelle tremblett

    I’ve learned it is ok to ask stores to test multiple seats in the car to help find the perfect fit, as well before heading out to purchase a seat check the recalls list 🙂

  10. I learned that when tightening the seat belt or the Universal Anchorage System, try putting your knee in the seat to get a tight install! Thanks!

  11. I learned that child car seats can reduce the risk of fatal injury by 71 per cent and the risk of serious injury by 67 per cent.

  12. The tip that is really essential and that we often ignore is to read the manual before use. I do not know with other provinces but here in Alberta you can go to your local fire station and ask them to install/check your car seat.

  13. I learned that you should always consult both the car seat’s original manual and your vehicle’s manual when installing your car seat.

  14. I learned that your child should not be wearing a winter coat with strapped into a car seat. place a blanket over top of them and the belt buckle.

  15. I learnt that having a child or infant buckled into a car seat with a snow suit or bulky coat is very dangerous..I’m passing the info along to family and friends

  16. I learned that you should check if a seat has ever had a recall before which is not something I would have thought to do. Also that you should check both your cars manual as well as the seats manual because the info in the two might be different.

  17. I did not know that you were not supposed to have a winter coat on a child while in a car seat. Lots of good alternatives included in the article.

  18. I knew all of these things (I’m on my 4th baby…). I’ve been teaching my brother these things since he and his wife just had their first 🙂

  19. I learned so much. one thing is not putting on a snowsuit, before putting them in the car seat. You can not tighten the straps enough

  20. I learned about the pinch test to double check if the coat or clothing is too thick for the car seat. It’s a great tip for learning just how many layers is too thick.

  21. Chandra O'Connor

    Check the manual to see how much space there should be between the top of your kids head and the top of the seat.

  22. I learned Car seats should always be installed in the back seat of a vehicle, or in the middle row if it’s a three-row van, far away from front seat air bags.!

  23. That it’s important to read both the car manual and the car seat instruction manual to ensure we install it the right way.

  24. I know that I need to remove all bulky clothing so that the car seat is properly installed. Using a car poncho would be the perfect solution for a cold car.

    Besos Sarah
    Journeys of The Zoo

  25. After I had my second child, I learnt that snow suits and heavy, thick clothing that can be compressed are a huuuuge NO NO when it comes to children in carseats wearing those items.

  26. I learned that you should Install a car seat with the vehicle’s seat belt or the Universal Anchorage System — not both

  27. A tip is Make sure the car seat is securely installed and doesn’t move more than 2.5 cm (1 inch) at the seat belt path.

  28. I learned that a car seat’s harness should be snug against a child’s body every time they are in their seat. . The chest clip should be at the child’s armpit level .

  29. I learned that child car seats can reduce the risk of fatal injury by 71 per cent and the risk of serious injury by 67 per cent….:D

  30. Buckle your child in with the coat on, and then test it again with it off. If it’s too loose then lose the coat.

  31. One tip is •Car seats should always be installed in the back seat of a vehicle, or in the middle row if it’s a three-row van, far away from front seat air bags.

  32. Pingback: Car Insurance Allstate Canada | ---------------------

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