Car Seats & Winter, Important Info

Car Seats & Winter, Important Info

Have you been hearing about no jackets and car seats? How can that be safe or possible when we can get -42 degrees Celsius?! It absolutely is possible.

When we put our children in Child Restraints that have extra bulk or are puffy we subject them to the risk of ejection in the event of a collision. How do we know this? Bench tests have proven that what might appear to be a tight harness over your child with a jacket on is actually very lose with force of impact.

The best way to test if an outfit is safe we suggest;
Step 1; dressing your child in the outfit, buckling them into their seats passing the pinch test.
Step 2; Without loosening the harness system take the child out.
Step 3; Undress the child and out them back in the seat. Buckle them up without touching the harness from before.

Is the harness still tight? Can it still pass the pinch test? Most (with a few exemptions) do not pass the test resulting in an extremely loose harness. What this test shows is in the event of a collision the force of impact will mimic that looseness by forcing out any air in the outfit.

If the suit or jacket you have chosen passes this test! Fantastic! If it does not luckily there are many other SAFE options.

When we talk about newborns and keeping them warm, we suggest one of the options below. It is very important to remember that babies over heat very quickly. Many parents tend to comment on how well their newborn sleeps in the car, and unfortunately this can be caused by an overheated baby.

Option 1: Layers

We suggest socks over the feet, a shirt or onesie, then a thicker cotton or fleece sleeper. Following that if you would like another pair of socks or warm booties. A thin sweater or knitted sweater. Hats and mitts over those adorable little hands. When you use this method you can also use a blanket over top the harness until the vehicle is warm enough which we then suggest removing.

Option 2: Shower Cap Car Seat cover

There are many different shower cap
covers that will go over a rear facing only seat (bucket) These are safe and very effective of keeping babies warm. Have you ever gotten
into a cold bed and gotten completely under the blankets and before long you are very warm? This is the same idea with a shower cap cover. In the vehicle it is strongly suggested that you unzip or remove the cover once you enter the vehicle.

Option 3: Fleece suits, Down Jackets

This is more so an option of older children. The basic is that if the suit is the same thickness as the zipper it is LIKELY safe.  If in doubt, ask a Child Passenger Safety Technician.

Option 4: Car seat Poncho’s

This again is an older child option. This allows them to stay warm and keep them safely buckled. The idea behind this is when they sit in their seats you lift the poncho from behind their backs and off their chests. Buckle them safely and lay the poncho down over the harness to keep them warm.

If you have any questions, please never hesitate to contact me for further assistance.

Jessie Morrison
Child Passenger Safety Technician