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Chicago Personal Injury Blog

Dangers of Winter Coats and Car Seats

by Jared Staver in Auto Accidents, Personal Injury

Now that it’s winter, you will likely dress your child in bulky clothing to keep them warm before putting them in their car seat. But, surprisingly, winter coats and car seats can be a dangerous combination. Before you place your child into their car seat, you should make sure follow the safety precautions below in order to safely transport your child while still keeping them warm.

If your child does get injured in a a car accident this winter due to the fault of someone else, you should reach out to our lawyers for auto accidents right away. We can evaluate your case and discuss your legal options. For a free case consultation, call Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. today at (312) 236-2900.

Take Off Your Child’s Coat Before Placing Them in the Car Seat

Your child’s winter coat should not be worn underneath their car seat harness. If it is, the harness can become too loose to work in an accident and your child could be ejected from their car seat. Thus, the harness should always stay close to your child’s body so that it can keep them secured.

To test whether your child’s coat is too bulky to wear underneath their car seat harness, follow these steps:

  1. Put the coat on your child, sit them into their car seat, and fasten the harness. Tighten the harness until you are no longer able to pinch any of the webbing with your forefinger and thumb.

  2. Unlock the harness without loosening it and remove your child from their car seat. Take off their coat, put your child back into their car seat, and buckle the harness straps. The straps should be adjusted like they were when your child was wearing their coat. If you are now able to pinch the webbing between your thumb and forefinger, your child’s coat is too bulky and should not be worn under the harness.

Bundle Your Child Safely

If you discover that your child’s coat cannot be worn safely under the harness, there are several things you can do instead. If your child is small, you can place a blanket over them to keep them warm. If your child is older, you can place the coat on backwards like a blanket after securing them in the car seat.

Use Car Seat Covers With Caution

You should refrain from purchasing any car seat cover that threads through the harness straps of your child’s car seat. If you do choose to invest in a car seat cover, make sure it fits over your child’s car seat like a drape or shower cap and does not interfere with the function of the harness.

However, you should keep in mind that since there are no federal regulations that govern aftermarket accessories, these car seat covers could be hazardous to your child.

Keep Car Seat Safety in Mind When Shopping for a Winter Coat

Now that you are aware of the dangers of winter coats and car seats, you should keep car seat safety and thickness in mind when shopping for your child’s next winter coat. Snowsuits and polar fleece jackets are good options because they are warm but thin.

Contact a Attorney Today

Even if you take the steps to make sure your child is warm and safe in their car seat, they could still sustain an injury in an accident because of someone else’s negligence. If this occurs, contact our highly skilled attorneys at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. right away at (312) 236-2900 for a free case evaluation.