Children wearing puffy coats in car seats can lead to serious injury

Coats & car seats don't mix

Your kids are your bundle of joy, but you don't want to bundle them up too much in their car seats.

In order for car seats to work properly, the harness needs to fit snugly to the child. When the belts are loosened due to the size of the child's coat, it may seem like it's still snug, but that extra slack could prove to be dangerous.

"If there is a crash or sudden stop, the child could slip out," says Rachael Zubick, the Community Safety Officer in Vernon. "When children are wearing those puffy coats, it may seem like the belts are tight. But when an impact occurs, the harness compresses those jackets completely, leaving all that room for a potential slip."

Children slipping out of their car seat could lead to serious injuries in the spine and neck, which is why there is an advisory on winter car seat safety.

There are safe alternatives to winter travel with your young ones, even if you have already purchased a puffy coat.

"If you have an undershirt and a fleece that isn't too puffy that will work, even a blanket over top of the child would do," says Zubick. "I would recommend keeping them right in your car so that you don't forget to use them."

It may be a hassle to be constantly changing your child in and out of their winter clothing, but it is necessary to keep your children safe.

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