Car seats were designed with a very specific purpose in mind: To keep our children as safe as possible when riding in the car. As parents I think we are all doing the best we can with the information we have. My son was almost 2 before I learned that car seat safety is a little different in the Winter.
Children should not be placed in a 5-point harness while wearing a winter coat or snow suit. A University of Michigan Study shows that thick Winter clothing can prevent parents from being able to get the straps tight enough to safely secure their child. Miriam Manary in an interview with WREX explained that “A child in a car seat with loose straps is at greater risk of being ejected from the seat, which could lead to serious injury or death.”
So how do you keep your kids warm in the car? Layers are key! consider one or two thin layers, and maybe a thin fleece jacket on top, this could all safely be buckled under the straps. Then layer a blanket or two. While it’s a hassle, overall this is better too because kids easily overheat and winter clothes, under a winter coat with the heater going can get toasty quickly once that warm air kicks in. With using blankets you can remove a layer or two as the car warms up to prevent over heating.
As a Chiropractor I am particularly concerned for spinal health and safety. As a Pediatric Chiropractor this is especially true for children. Trauma to a developing spine can have long term detrimental effects. I absolutely love treating children, but I to never have a young patient brought into my Fort Worth Express Chiropractic office with an injury like this that could be avoided with a few extra steps.
Stay Safe and Warm this Winter!
For even more information I encourage you to check out The Car Seat Lady‘s page.