Saturday, October 2, 2010

How to wear a winter coat in the carseat

With winter around the corner, I imagine most parents are looking for a warm winter coat for their children. Something to keep in mind, is carseat safety. Many winter coats are not safe to use when your child is riding in a carseat. Below is a demo of how to keep your child warm and safe in the car.

Here is a child, properly buckled into his carseat.

You can see it's properly tightened. The harness should be tight enough that when you try to pinch a horizontal line at the shoulders, you can't pinch any.

Here is a child wearing an average winter coat, buckled into his carseat.

He unbuckled, without loosening the harness, and removed his coat. Now you can clearly see how much slack that coat allowed in the harness. In a crash, the puffy coat would compress, and this his how loose he would be.

One option is to buy a polar fleece. It is plenty warm, but not thick and bulky.

A second option is to do the "carseat trick". You unzip the coat, and pull the sides out of the harness

Next, buckle the child, and tighten properly. This is often enough to keep the children warm, especially once the heater gets going.

Another optional step, is to rezip the coat over the harness.

I'm currently shopping for Sofi's winter coat. I'm ordering a fleece from Lands End, overstocks. I've had to order a few to find the coat I like, in the right size. Once her coat arrives, I will post some pictures of her in it.


Anonymous said...

I like another option, which is to buckle the child in, and then have them slip the coat on backwards. i do this myself, actually! DD never complains, even when she wears the coat with a hat. it just lays down against her chest.

Anonymous said...

There would still be slack created by using the unzipped coat trick. I notice you didn't show that picture, but I'm confident it's not safe either. I would use the thin fleece, backwards jacket or blankets.

notsoblond said...

When doing the "carseat trick" it's important to do the same test as if your child is wearing a puffy/zipped up jacket or parka.
Do the trick, tighten the harness, then remove the child without loosening. Take the jacket off and put the child back into the carseat and check if there's any slack in the harness. If there's no slack, you can safely do this trick.

Anonymous said...

Wow, my apologies. I commented this morning and I do not know what I was thinking of. Slack at the hips I guess. Anyway, I do think my personal preference is fleece, backwards or blanket but this make it a more streamlined operation getting everyone in and buckled. :)