Thick winter coat in a car seat? Really not a good idea!

As a parent, you want your child to be as safe as possible in your car, that goes without saying. A sturdy car seat is a great start, but did you know that a good car seat alone is not always enough? It can, for example, be very dangerous to put your child in a safe car seat while wearing a thick winter coat. The danger in that situation is that you, due to that bulky winter coat, unknowingly fail to tighten the seat harness sufficiently. And this can have grave consequences in the event of an accident, or even when you brake abruptly. 

But why exactly can it be dangerous for children to wear a winter coat while seated in a car seat?

Thick winter coats are made to protect your child against the cold, which is why they often have a down, feather, or another filling. This layer of filling creates a thick air buffer that keeps your child warm.

Great for the outdoors, because as long as your child is wearing one of those bulky coats, you don’t have to worry about your child’s body temperature. But in your car... always take off that coat, because the thickness of the material makes it harder to make sure your child is strapped in properly.

In the extreme event that you are in a crash, your child would come loose from its seat and be pushed against the harness. The force of the collision would compress the layer of air in the coat and your child would suddenly have far too much room to move in the harness. This could lead to your child (partly) slipping through the harness straps, which is very unsafe. So coats off!

But what about when it’s freezing out and you're afraid your child might be too cold without its coat? No need to panic, we have 4 ideal tips to take care of that problem:

1 – In a group 0 car seat, use a footmuff or wrap blanket

Footmuffs or nesting blankets for group 0 car seats have slots in the back through which you can loop the seat harness straps. Given that these footmuffs close over the straps, you are not inserting a thick layer between your child and the harness.
The advantage of a wrap blanket is that you can open it as soon as it is nice and warm inside the car.

2 – put on the coat back to front

Put your child in the car seat without the coat and fasten the straps. They should be so tight that you can fit no more than 1 finger between your child’s shoulder and the strap. Next, put the coat on your child the ‘wrong way round’. So, arms in the sleeves and the back of the coat loosely over your child’s upper body. This way, the coat can still protect your little one against the cold, without being in between your child and the seat harness. And kids often find it hilarious!

3 - poncho time!

Put a poncho on your child! You can drape the back of the poncho OVER the car seat and the front ON TOP OF the straps, on your child’s tummy. This will create a warm bubble under the poncho and avoid any thick layers of fabric under the straps. 

4 - keep an extra blanket handy in your car

Super simple solution, but very effective. Your child will be warm under the blanket, and still safe, because the straps are tight enough. Turn the heating to max when you get into the car, and it will be cosy and warm in no time.

With these tips and a BeSafe car seat, you and your offspring can hit the road safely!

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