I was reminded a few days ago about why I became a Child Passenger Safety Technician. I was driving my kids home and a deer literally ran into the driver's side of my car, side air curtains deployed, my car went into crash mode, and next thing I knew a 911 dispatcher was talking to me through my Ford Sync bluetooth. My kids and I are all ok, no injuries.
The crazy thing is..20 minutes earlier as my kids were getting into the car, my 3.5 year old daughter sat in her car seat with her winter coat on, and I thought for a spilt second about leaving her winter coat on. I am a certified technician and I know better than to let my kids wear winter coats while in their car seats- so I took the time and took her coat off. I am SO glad I did. (My 5.5 year old son automatically takes his winter coat off).
You might be wondering why your baby, infant, or older child should not be wearing a winter coat in their car seat??
The answer is simple: the harness cannot be tightened enough. Your child's winter coat prevents you from being able to tighten the harness enough to prevent them from moving or getting jostled in a car crash. Had I left my daughter's winter coat on her that night during the crash we were in, she would have jostled around in her car seat and most likely would have sustained injuries. Even minor injuries to my children are something I want to avoid- I am sure you feel the same! There have even been a few incidents in which a child has been ejected from the car seat during a crash while wearing a winter coat. Sounds impossible and crazy, but it has happened. Just thinking about my children ejecting from their car seats makes me cringe. That is not a chance I am willing to take.
Distracted drivers, driving under the influence, medical emergencies, bad road conditions..... a deer!! Keep your babies (they are always gonna be our babies) safe while riding in the car. Take the time...get those winter coats off before your kids get in their car seats!
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Stay safe xo,