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.
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