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Coats and Snowsuits – Travel Safely with your Baby this Winter

babycarseat.jpgMy family have just moved from California to the Midwest, and we are enjoying our first proper winter. Soon after the first wintery day, I took my son out in the car. I dressed him in his coat, hat, boots and mittens. We got out to the car, I tried to put him in his carseat and guess what? The straps are too short to fit over his coat. His carseat is a pain to adjust the straps so I took his coat off, strapped him in, tucked his coat around him over the straps (which he threw off as soon as we got going) and set off with the heater on full blast.

I felt very mean, letting him get cold. But it turns out we did the right thing. A baby or small child wearing a winter coat, or a snowsuit in a carseat is much less safe than a baby dressed in regular clothes. In the event of an accident, the padding on the coat or snowsuit will compress with the force of the impact and there’s a real danger of the baby being thrown out of the seat.

Even worse, coats and snowsuits are usually made from a waterproof, shiny material, which makes it even easier for the coat and baby to slip out from under the harness in a crash.

Here’s an excellent article about car seats and snowsuits, including some great tips on how to travel safely with your baby in cold weather.

Car seat safety this winter

From the article, this quote from a car seat installation technician made my blood run cold.

” When I took my tech class we were shown a picture of an infant seat with a snowsuit under the harness,” she says. “The seat was pulled out of a car that had just been in a crash. The infant was ejected from the seat and the car and was found some feet away from the car, but the snowsuit was left in the seat just as the baby was wearing it.” ”

So I’ve realised that even if my son does get a little chilly while the car warms up, that’s very much the lesser of two evils.

What do you do with your baby when you go out in the wintertime? Do you have any more tips or tricks for staying warm in the car?

Wishing you all happy travels this winter. Stay warm, and be safe!

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