Bulky Coats Are A Safety Hazard

The weather is cooling off for much of the US, so you’ll be thinking about adding some warmth to your baby’s outfit before going out. But did you know that a bulky coat is a car seat hazard?

Happy baby in her car seat

When the weather turns colder, your sweaters and coats start to come out of the closet. But if you’re thinking about using a fluffy winter coat with a child young enough for a car seat, you’ll have to rethink exactly how to do that.

What are the hazards?

Fluffy or bulky coats and car seats don’t mix. Why? There are a few reasons. For starters, the bulk of the outerwear itself can lead to improper belt fastening and chest clip placement -- both of which are extremely important.

And also, the fluff of the coat itself can and will compress in a car accident. Imagine if the bulk of the coat was replaced by that much open space -- like if you reworked the straps to fit around the coat, and then took her coat off and put her back in the seat. You wouldn’t put your kiddo in a car seat with straps that loose, but that’s what will ultimately happen in an accident.

Other options

If your baby is still in a bucket-style car seat, you can buy car seat covers that will keep the chill out, or simply cover her well with blankets while traveling to and from your vehicle.

For kids in a convertible car seat that stays in your car, one option is to dress your baby or toddler in warm layers under her coat, and use the coat as a blanket of sorts after placing her in the car. Older kids can even place their arms in the coat backwards if they’re cold enough.

Car seat ponchos are another option. Made of fleece or another warm fabric, there is a hood constructed in the center for your child’s head to poke through and the fabric can fan out around the car seat without impeding the straps.

More on car seats

Top 10 car seat safety tips
Keep your child entertained in his car seat
Car seat crying

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