With near zero temperatures today, my car wouldn’t start. Thankfully we were only stuck in our driveway. But I could have been anywhere. It was a great reminder to always be prepared and dressed warm in winter months.
Here are some important things to keep in mind when keeping children warm in the car:
1. NEVER strap a child in with their winter coat on, even when it is frigid. Added layers of bulk/fluff compress during a crash and can cause serious injuries and even ejection from the seat. It is never worth the risk! To test if your child’s coat or layers are safe, strap them into the seat and pull the straps snug. Without adjusting the straps, remove your child from the seat and remove the winter layers. Strap the child back into the seat. If you can pinch the strap, the layers are too thick for your child to wear safely in the car. For a great explanation on why car seats and coats don’t mix and other great car seat tips, read The Car Seat Lady’s post here.
2. When using bucket seat carrier covers buy one that goes over the car seat with an elastic not one that goes under your baby. This reduces layers of bulk that could compress during a crash.
3. Dress children in warm but not bulky layers.
4. Make sure they wear a hat that covers their ears (or at least have it in the car in case.)
5. Once strapped, wrap a blanket or two over them to keep them warm. Older children can put their coat on backwards after they are strapped in.
6. Keep blankets and an additional layer of warm clothes in the car for each child (and maybe even yourself!) You can use these if you need to keep warm while waiting for roadside assistance during an accident or breakdown.
ALWAYS dress for the weather even if you think you are just running down the street. Accidents and breakdowns can happen anywhere!
Stay safe and warm this winter!