It’s the beginning of the new year, and everyone is dusting off their yearly winter wardrobe to keep warm during the chilly season. Young children especially need protection from the cold, being susceptible to viruses and colds. Surely, there’s no harm in keeping your children’s heavy winter coats and jackets on them while they’re riding in their car seats, right? Well, not exactly. It turns out a jacket may be an impediment to your child’s safety while riding in the car seat. Here’s why:
Generally speaking, car seat belts are designed to hold the passenger in the car seat securely in place. The problem with winter coats is that–if worn underneath the car seat belt–it may loosen the grip on the belt until is it no longer effective in a crash. This defeats the purpose of the seat belt and can pose a health risk to your child. Thicker winter jackets and coats are more likely to result in a loose seat belt.
You can check to see if the child’s coat is too thick by first placing them in the car seat with the jacket on and tightening the straps until there are no gaps between the straps and your fingers. Remove the jacket and place your child in the car seat again to test the tightness. If the harness needs to be adjusted again, it’s too loose.
Alternatives to Winter Coats and Jackets
If a jacket or coat your child is wearing is too thick for use in the car seat, it is best that you do not risk them wearing it during transportation. Instead, try these other alternatives:
Bring a Blanket
A simple fix for keeping your children warm while in the car is to bring a blanket. A blanket is soft enough not to risk becoming a projectile and is also a better alternative to wearing a thick jacket under a car seat. Bring your child’s winter coat and jacket to dress them outside the vehicle once you have safely arrived at your destination.
Use Custom Car Seat Covers
If you’re willing to invest in an aftermarket cover, you can purchase one from the manufacturer that will be custom fit for your car seat and won’t compromise your child’s safety. Many custom car seat covers are designed to provide warmth by covering the car seat, as opposed to compromising the seat belt beneath it.
Turn up the Heat
If you don’t have any blankets or covers on hand, a temporary solution to reach your destination safely is simply to turn up the heat in your vehicle. Adjusting the temperature setting in your car will help you and your children ride comfortably and securely without the need of blankets or a thick jacket that may compromise their safety.
The attorneys at Warner & Warner have years of experience handling automotive injury cases in the state of Florida, and it is our number one goal to make sure that you are safe and legally protected should an accident occur. If you have been injured in an automotive accident and are in need of legal representation, contact our law office for a free consultation at (321) 972-1889.