Beware of jackets and car seats

By admin
15 July 2014

Bulky winter jackets and your child’s car seat could be a dangerous combination. In a recent study researchers at the American Academy of Paediatrics found children’s clothing could compromise their safety in the event of a motor vehicle accident.

Bulky winter jackets and your child’s car seat could be a dangerous combination. In a recent study researchers at the American Academy of Paediatrics found children’s clothing could compromise their safety in the event of a motor vehicle accident.

“Fastening the straps of your child’s car seat over a thick jacket increases the chance of injury during an accident because the jacket compresses during impact, increasing the room for movement inside the harness,” 1st For Women MD Robyn Farrell says.

Even if it looks as if the child is secure in their car seat wearing their thick jacket, the soft fabric creates extra space between the jacket and the child.

“Your child should therefore only wear clothes in a car that he wears at home. This ensures you can tighten the car seat straps as firmly as possible,” she advises.

The same applies to children sitting in a car on booster seats.

Use the loop test to check the straps: fasten your child wearing a jacket in the car seat as usual. Loosen the catch without adjusting the strap, remove your child’s jacket and fasten the strap again. It should be impossible to make a loop when grasping the strap where it goes over your child’s shoulder.

Tips on how to ensure kids get to their destination safely and securely:

  • Dress your baby and young children in thin layers when fastening them in a car seat. Cover them with a jacket or blanket to keep them warm.
  • Check your child is securely fastened in their car seat.
  • Use the loop test to check if the straps are tight enough.
  • Never put anything under your child’s bottom when they’re in a car seat – that includes a winter jacket or blanket.

-Shané Barnard

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