Friday, October 16, 2009

Dressing for winter and safety

The first snowflakes fell today in my town, though I know for many of you, you've had some snowfalls already. Not too sure about this global warming - brrrr!

As I secured my sons into their seats this morning, I made mental note that it was a good time to have a little virtual chat with you all about how to dress your children both warmly and safely in their child restraints.

You've probably heard from your car seat technician, or read online, that you should not secure a child in their seat while they are wearing thick bulky layers. The reason behind this is, in a crash, those puffy layers which made it difficult to secure the harness tightly, will compress in a crash and make the harness too loose to correctly secure your child. This could lead to injury or even ejection of your child from their seat. Don't believe me? Watch this YouTube Video:

My youngest son wears a Car Seat Poncho which is a wonderful, purpose designed poncho that keeps children both safe and cozy in your vehicle. The double zip function makes it easy to push aside the material in the front while you secure their harness underneath. The poncho then sits over the harness putting nothing bulky between your child, their seat and the harness. I love this product and it is my #1 child christmas/birthday gift. Donna Eng, the owner of this company, very generously gives a donation of $3 to the foundation on the purchase of these two styles of ponchos.

My oldest son wears a polar fleece jacket from LLBean which is very thin in terms of layering, but keeps him nice and warm.

When my youngest was still in his infant seat, I used a shower cap style of car seat cover to keep him warm, like this one from Lands End

PLEASE PLEASE do NOT use the JJ Cole BundleMe product in your infant car seat. This product is not safe to use in a car seat. It gives a bulky layer between your child and their seat. interferes with the harness and it is NOT crash tested (despite their claims) - there are no crash testing standards for items like these to comply to.

Other options available - use a blanket and place it over your child and their harness after they are secured into their seat. Or, secure your child into their seat and put their coat on backwards.

If you have a thin jacket that you are wondering is safe for your child to wear under the harness in their seat, there is a simple test you can do.

1) Secure your child while wearing their jacket into the seat. Check the harness passes the pinch test.
2) Without loosening the harness tightness, unbuckle the harness and remove the coat from your child.
3) Rebuckle the harness (but do not tighten in any way) and perform the pinch test once again.

If the harness passes the pinch test, the coat is fine to wear. If not, the coat is too thick.
blog comments powered by Disqus