EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- To protect our little ones when it's cold out, we bundle them up, but winter coats and car seats can be a dangerous combination. Texas Department of Transportation Spokesperson, Jennifer Wright, weighs in on how to keep your children safe.
Wright said to check whether your child's coat is too bulky to wear under a car seat harness you just need to follow two simple steps:
With the coat on the child, sit him or her in the car seat and fasten the harness, tightening it until you can no longer pinch any webbing with your thumb and forefinger. Without loosening the harness, unfasten it and remove your child. Take the coat off, put baby back in the seat, and buckle the straps without adjusting them. She said, if you can now pinch the webbing between your thumb and forefinger, the coat is too bulky to be worn under the harness in the car seat.
Wright adds that if the coat doesn't pass the test, you can try a couple of different alternatives like putting a cozy-warm blanket over them, or, after securing him or her in the car seat, you can put a coat on backward, arms through the armholes, resting on top of the harness.
"Leaving a harness too loose is a common problem with car seat use, and a too-puffy coat can be one of the causes. That extra slack can allow so much movement that the child is no longer protected by the car seat and could even be ejected during a crash," she said.