Waushara County Health News By Waushara County Health Department
Dressed for the Ride
When the leaves start falling so does the temperature; it’s time to bundle up and keep warm. This can be a tricky time for parents, because they have to pay attention to how they dress their children so they can safely ride in a car seat. Many parents wonder how they can keep their children warm, yet allow the car seat to protect them.
As a general rule, bulky clothing, including winter coats and snow suites, should not be worn under the harnesses of car seats. When you put your child and their warm winter coat in the car seat and snug up the harnesses you may feel you have gotten it tight. You check to see if you can pinch the straps and yes it seems tight but in a car accident the bulky material will flatten out due to the force of the crash and your child is then at risk to slip through the straps and be thrown from the seat.
Here are some tips
Store the infant car seat carrier portion in the home to keep it warm until you need to use it.
Dress your child in thin layers, two to four depending on weather; this should include a thin fleece jacket as an outer layer. As a general rule, infants should wear one more added layer than adults.
Make sure your child has a hat, mittens, socks, or booties on to keep head, hands, and feet warm.
Use a blanket to cover your child in their car seat or for infant seats you can purchase a cover for the seat with a flap to open so you can see your child. If you are looking at purchasing a cover for your infant seat, please remember that no part of the cover should go underneath your child’s body or between the harness and their body; it should simply cover the seat. Also, open the flap, when not outside, so your child can get fresh air and not overheat.
Remember, if a product did not come with your child’s car seat then it was not crash tested with that seat and could cause problems in a crash. Just because it is sold in a store does not mean it is safe.
For older children they can wear their coats out to the car and remove them before getting buckled into their car seats. Once buckled, they can put their coats on backwards over their arms so the coat covers their bodies and the harness or they can simply cover up with a special blanket you keep for them to use in the car.
Just remember there are many products on the market to keep you child safe and warm in their car seat during the winter months. Look carefully to make sure that no part of the product goes between your child and the seat and nothing goes between your child and their harness.
If you have any questions on keeping your child warm and safe in their car seat or any questions on putting your child’s car seat in your car, please call Waushara County Health Department at 920-787-6590 and ask to speak with a certified car seat tech. The Waushara County Health Department is here to help. Also, make sure to ask about their car seat program.