Welcome to February. It’s cold. Very cold! And, quite rightly, in this weather we like to wrap up warm and cosy- more so when we brave the great outdoors. As ever, here at SnoozeShade HQ safety is always at the forefront of our minds. Regular readers and SnoozeShade customers will know that all of our products are subjected to very rigorous safety testing which goes above and beyond what is required according to nursery standards. But we don’t stop there. We care about sharing the right information and ensuring that parents are aware of guidelines when it comes to other aspects of their baby’s safety too, not just when using our products,. So this week we wanted to share with you why your child does NOT need a coat when you go out in the car…
Your child’s winter coat is thick
Winter coats tend to be a lot thicker and more padded than any other item of clothing; this goes for snow suits too. Winter coats are padded to keep us warm, and when you get into a cold car on a frosty morning it’s only natural that you will want to be wrapped up as much as possible. The problem with these puffy winter coats is that because they’re worn over the body and therefore under the car seat harness, they can cause that safety harness to be too loose- which makes it ineffective in a collision.
If your child’s car seat harness is too loose, your child can move around more than is safe to do whilst you’re driving. This means that if a collision occurs, your child’s coat compresses and the resulting looseness of the harness means that they may not be protected by their car seat, and could even be ejected.
How to determine if your child’s coat is too thick
If you’re not sure, it always pays to be on the side of caution and to remove the coat before you strap your child into their car seat. But if you’d like to check, you can do a trial run to see how much looser the harness is with a thick coat on. Strap your child into the car seat with their coat on, and tighten the harness until you can no longer fit two fingers between the straps and your child’s chest. Then undo the harness, and remove the coat. Strap your child back into the car seat and check how tight and secure the straps are now. If there is more than a two finger space between the harness and your child’s chest, it’s too loose and you should always remove the coat before your journey starts.
Safer car journeys
The more eco-conscious amongst us will not want to warm up the car before every journey, but we won’t want our coat-less child to freeze in the backseat either! Take a blanket with you when you leave the house, and after you’ve strapped your child into their seat securely, place it over the harness, and remove when the car warms up.