Is Your Child’s Winter Coat Putting Them in Danger?
Every parent wants the best for their child and wants to keep them as safe as possible. In the winter, this means bundling up with warm winter clothes that will keep them cozy no matter what. While we here in central Florida don’t get too many cold days, it’s still understandable to want to make your child toasty warm and comfortable.
But what many parents don’t realize is that when a child is in a car seat, wearing those thick winter coats that keep them warm and cozy may do more harm than good. Studies suggest that up to 80% of children’s car seats are installed or used incorrectly, and that puffy coats can make it worse. Knowing the right way to fasten your child in can mean the difference between life and death.
Puffy Coats and Car Seats are the Worst Combinations
Puffy coats are still all the rage, and it’s easy to see why. They’re super cute for the little ones, the bigger kids want the current styles, and a puffy coat just seems like it would be warmer than a thinner, streamlined coat. But puffy coats can be the worst to use in combination with a child’s car seat.
When a child is put into a car seat while wearing a puffy coat, the inclination is to loosen the straps of the car seat belt because the puffiness of the coat makes it seem like the straps may be too tight. However, if a crash happened, the puffiness of the coat could flatten out immediately, and at that point, the straps may have been loosened too much. In these instances, your child may slip between the straps and be thrown from the car seat, or — in extreme situations — even be thrown from the car.
Puffy coats, or even extra layers in general, also have the possibility of causing ineffective clasps between car seat belt fasteners. If even a small part of the coat becomes trapped when the car seat belt is buckled together, it may seem as if the car seat belt is securely fastened when in fact it is not. In the case of a crash, the force against the seat belt could cause it to come loose, leaving the child insecure in the seat.
How Can You Make Sure Your Child is Safe?
The best tip for ensuring the safety of all children is to remove any kind of winter coat before the child is put in a car seat. For extra warmth, keeping blankets in the car and putting them over top of the child once they are buckled in is perfectly safe, as long as the blanket would not cover their face and cause suffocation. Blankets should also not be used if the child is younger than a year or can’t move the blanket off of their face. The car seat belt should fit snug against the child with only one layer of clothing on.
Are You Worried About Your Child’s Safety?
Nobody likes to think about the terrifying risk of their child being harmed in a car accident, but it’s a scary reality that all parents need to understand. If you have been involved in any kind of accident involving your child in a car seat, having an experienced lawyer on your side can help you navigate this difficult situation. Our team of Orlando personal injury attorneys at Payer Law is here to help you. To learn more, please do not hesitate to contact us today.