Snowsuits and seat belts

snowsuitThe temperature has dropped, snow is falling and we have bundled up the kids in winter wear making them look like the Pillsbury Dough Boy. That’s great for keeping them toasty while running around outside, but it’s often not so safe when traveling in a car.

A bulky coat under a child seat harness can result in the harness being too loose to be effective in a crash. A too loose harness may lead to injury from severe jarring or even being tossed from the car during an accident.

Consumer Reports offers this simple way to check if your child’s coat is too big to wear under their harness, as well as what you can do test if it’s too big:
• Put the coat on your child, sit them in the child seat and fasten the harness. Tighten the harness until you can no longer pinch any of the harness webbing with your thumb and forefinger.

• Without loosening the harness, remove your child from the child seat,

• Take the coat off, and put your child back in the child seat and buckle the harness straps, which are still adjusted as they were when he was wearing the coat.

• If you can now pinch the webbing between your thumb and forefinger, then the coat is too bulky to be worn under the harness.

So, preheat your car, take your child’s coat off and buckle him snuggly into his harness. You can then use his coat as a blanket, or tuck a baby blanket around him.  He’ll be warm and you’ll know that he’s good and safe.

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