As you bundle up the kiddos for outdoor fun this winter, be mindful that if you’re placing them in a car seat then dressing them in layers – not a bulky coat – is the best way to keep them safe and warm.
“The way we bundle our kids for a car ride and a sled ride should look different,” said Heather Trnka, injury prevention supervisor at Akron Children’s Hospital. “Kids in car seats should wear layers, including a well-fitted fleece, not a puffy or thick winter coat, because it interferes with the secure fit of harnesses and buckles. Thick coats create extra space between the child and straps, which can increase the risk of injury in an accident.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, buckling children in age- and size-appropriate car seats, booster seats and seat belts reduces the risk of serious and fatal injuries by 71-82% for children, when compared with seat belt use alone. But, it’s estimated that 46% of car seats and booster seats are misused in a way that could reduce their effectiveness.
Don’t let a winter coat get in the way of properly securing your child in a car seat this winter. For more tips on how to keep kids safe and warm during winter travel, visit the American Academy of Pediatrics. For more information on how to install, use or size a car seat for your child, visit www.safemobilityproject.com