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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tiffany July 05, 2013
that is great, but when you live in frigid temperatures in the winter, you have to bundle them up in the car seat. it is either the baby gets cold and frost bite and could potentially die from freezing and is safe in their seat OR the baby is warm and comfy and is some what but not really in fact barely at all unsafe in their seat. you have to decide what is more important... your baby freezing to death or your baby being warm??? over something that really doesn't make that big of a difference??? in fact, i would say if a mom didn't bundle up their baby in below freezing weather and put their baby in a car seat, i would be really worried about child abuse and think that mom should not have their baby. i would feel very very very bad for the poor freezing baby. who would do that to their baby??? and why would you advocate people freezing their babies??? my car doesn't get warm in the winter. winters here are usually below zero for months on end. i am sorry, my kid is going to be warm!! to spread something so crazy to people when a lot of people don't practice common sense when it comes to their kids is scary. there are people out there who will take this literally and not bundle their kids in freezing cold or not take any measures to protect their baby from the freezing elements because some article tells them it is okay not to. i get that it is car seat safety guidelines, but sometimes car seat safety guidelines go a bit too far and are stupid. i don't know anyone where i live who would not bundle their baby up from the freezing cold in their car seat.