Bundling up your kids in the car could actually put them at risk

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As the temperature continues to dip, it feels intuitive to start adding layers to our wee ones before they head outdoors. But what about in the car? In a survey conducted by Leger, 41 per cent of parents felt a snowsuit or winter coat was the most optimal way to keep their child toasty in a car seat, while only 10 per cent felt that warm, thin layers was the best approach.

But in fact, it seems that when children wear bulky clothing in the car, it might actually lead to dangerous consequences.

According to AllState Canada, bulky coats and snowsuits have the potential to jeopardize a car seat’s effectiveness, which can spike your child’s chances of being injured in a collision. Here are a few tips on keeping your child cozy and safe while strapped in the car during winter months.

Examine how the coat fits

If your child’s winter wear is too bulky, it could lead to loose car seat straps, which is what you want to avoid. Loose car seat straps can result in a child being thrown out of their booster in the event of a crash.

In order to gauge if your child’s jacket or snowsuit is too cumbersome, place your precious cargo into the seat with the jacket on, and adjust the straps. Then, without adjusting the straps, unbuckle and remove your child from the seat. Remove your child’s jacket or snowsuit and then put your child back into the seat. Don’t adjust the straps. If you’re able to pinch the shoulder straps between your fingers, it means your child’s outdoor wear is too bulky.

Warming alternatives

When driving in the colder months, it’s important to think about dressing your child first for the car, then for the outdoors. If your child’s jacket proves to be too bulky, there are other ways to keep them warm when cruising.

  • You can use the jacket as a blanket to cover the child after he or she’s been strapped in

  • Keep a blanket in your car to add an extra layer of warmth

  • Layer! Dress your child in thin, snug layers, including gloves, a toque and winter boots. Leave the jacket off in the car

  • Warm up the car before your little one gets in

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