Winter tips for bundling baby in the car seat

Car seat winterBefore you bundle up your baby in a winter coat and buckle him into a car seat, check over these do's and don'ts from Allana Pinkerton, who has been a certified child passenger safety technician for over 10 years and is currently the global safety advocate for Diono, a car seat manufacturer.

Don't: Place a child in a car seat wearing a thick, bulky winter coat because the harness might not be snug enough to perform as it should during a crash. The padding in the coat will not allow you to tighten the harness correctly and the harness will actually be loose on the child. The padding in the coat will compress during a crash until it gets to the body, which doesn’t allow the car seat to do its job properly.

Do: Follow the car seat manual for proper harness fit, installation and use.

Do: Heat up the car ahead of time if it is safe to do so.

Do: Put a thin fleece jacket on your baby, toddler or older child.

Do: Put a hat and gloves on your child to help retain some internal warmth.

Do: Use a “warming boot” or cover to put over a newborn baby in a car seat. Many infant carrier car seats come with them. If not, the car seat manufacturer may sell one or recommend one made by another company.

Do: Throw a blanket around your child when carrying him or her to the car to keep your baby warm. First place your baby in the harness and tighten it, then place the blanket over the baby so it doesn’t interfere with the harness. Tuck the blanket around the child’s sides. To avoid the possibility of suffocation, do not put the blanket near the baby's head.

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