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An important reminder not to forget these safety issues during Winter.

We recently shared a post from InfaSecure reminding parents not to swaddle your baby in a car seat and the dangers involved. You can read it here.

It’s getting pretty cold now and we all feel the urge to rug up and get our winter jackets and clothing on to keep warm, but it is important to remember when putting your kids in their car seats with winter jackets and extra layers it can actually be very dangerous.

Infasecure are now reminding us that young infants (birth to 12 months old) lack strong bone structure, and also have not yet developed defined, strong shoulders. It is therefore critical that nothing interferes with the shoulder strap location or positioning correctly on or at the infant’s shoulders.

Large jackets, jumpers and other winter clothing can add a large amount of bulk to an infant, creating a ‘buffer’ between the child and the harness straps.

In the event of an accident, the clothing materials can compress, creating slack in the harness straps.

When this is coupled with the infant’s flexible, not yet fully-developed shoulders, it can affect the performance of the restraint, and in severe cases could potentially lead to ejection of the child from the restraint.

Infasecure recommend parents dress their child in lighter warm clothes (long sleeved shirts or thinner pull-overs, singlets and leggings), then once they are fitted correctly in their restraint, an additional blanket can be placed over the child (and thus over the harness) for more warmth.

They also recommend parents make use of vehicle air conditioners where available to take the chill out of the air, keeping in mind not to over-heat the child.

A correct, firm fit of the in-built harness is the absolute most critical part of keeping your child safe in the car, and anything that interferes with that fit should be eliminated where possible.

The Today Show America shared the below video of why you should not put a child in their car seat with a puffy jacket on. A dramatic crash test videos show why it could be a mistake – with deadly consequences.

Another danger Infasecure what parents to be aware of is using home made car seat covers, inserts or pads on child restraints.

There are a number of safety issues associated with the use of third party or home made covers, including;
•They rarely (if ever) feature shoulder height markers, which are critical for determining the suitability of a child restraint. Shoulder height marker placement is dictated by the standard, and varies from model to model significantly.
•They rarely (if ever) feature warning labels or belt path indicators, which can lead to serious cases of misuse.
•A cover that has not been specifically designed for the shape of the restraint shell can alter its performance in an accident.
•They may not have undergone anti-flammability treatments.
•They may not meet toxicity requirements.
•They may not meet colour-fastness requirements.
•Their use, which is explicitly against the manufacturer’s instructions, could have a significant impact on liability in the event of injury.

Share your comments below.

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  • A great and timely reminder as we’re now in the winter months.

    Reply

  • A very timely warning to all of us with little ones who we transport around in the car seat. Thanks for reminding us.

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  • Thank you for this information.
    I’ve heard of horrible stories of children wearing large winter coats in cAr accidents causing unnecessary loss of life with the seatbelt slipping off.
    So damn scary. I will always make sure I follow these safety tips

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  • Wow I had no idea! Now that my little man has worked out how to do up his own car seat he tends to take his jacket off anyway as it makes it easier for him to do it up. But I have always tried to rug them up especially when there’s a frost.

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  • I never put a jacket on my children before putting them in the car.

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  • Well I won’t be putting my daughter in her car seat with a jacket on again after reading this. Im glad I read this article, as a new mum I had no idea about this.

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  • thank you for the reminder. As a zealous car seat safety person, i often come across as crazy when i do these things or mention it to others.most important though, is your child properly retrained in a age appropriate correctly installed child seat.

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  • The harnesses in babyseats, capsules etc. are designed for baby’s arms to go through them to hold the baby in position. Harnesses are adjustable but many don’t bother to check them and tighten them accordingly….or check the position of them on baby’s shoulders.

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  • This is very important information, thank you. I read this somewhere a while ago & now never put my child in the seat with a jacket on.

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  • Thank you for sharing. Will ensure to keep this in mind for my littlies when in the car.

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  • An excellent article to remind us all about buckling up our kids, especially in winter.

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  • Very timely and important info. I guess to remember too, you’re probably getting into a car and putting a heater on so the need for your child to be ‘rugged’ up is less. Jackets etc should be more for putting on once you’re about to get out of the car.

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  • Thank you. Very wise and important points to consider.

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  • This is a timely important reminder. Thank you.

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  • So many things you just don\’t think about.

    Reply

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