Winter Car Seat Tips
January 9, 2019
It is always crucial to make sure little ones are buckled in safely – but during the winter this task can be especially difficult when it comes to car and booster seats. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has a general rule to make it simple for parents and caretakers: kids should not wear any bulky clothing (e.g. winter coats and snow jackets) under the harness of a car seat…ever. Enjoy the list of simple car seat tips to help keep your little ones safe.
Tips from the AAP
We know it is cold out there, but there are plenty of ways to make sure that an infant or young child is warm AND safe in the car. We have compiled some of the AAP’s tips for keeping children safe – and toasty – in his or her car seat.
- Keep the carrier portion of the car seat in the house or apartment, instead of in the vehicle. This will keep the seat at room temperature;
- Dress the child in thin layers, such as tights, leggings, or long sleeved body suits topped by thermals or a sweater. Children can safely wear thin fleece jackets under car seat harnesses;
- Ensure that the child is fully dressed with a hat, gloves, socks, and/or boots;
- Always tighten the car seat harness straps. When children wear more layers, the harness sometimes appears tight enough when it is not. Double check and go by the “pinch” rule – if you can pinch the straps together, the harness needs to be tightened;
- Remember that if an item did not come with the car seat, it is not tested for being safely used with one. This means things like sleeping bags and other sorts of stroller accessories, and:
- If you are worried that your child is still cold, use blankets or coats over the straps of the car seat (**only after the child is buckled in)
During the wintertime, there is a greater chance for inclement-weather related car accidents and collisions. Please be sure to buckle your young ones in safely, and to always wear your seatbelt.
If you were in an accident and your child’s car or booster seat was in the car, it may need to be replaced – in fact, most car and booster seats need to replaced after being involved in motor vehicle collisions. Here are a few tips on replacing car seats after a crash:
- If the seat was in a major crash – even if no child was inside it – it must be replaced;
- Check the vehicle manual to ensure that the collision meets the NHTSA’s “crash criteria” for it being a minor one in order to reuse the car or booster seat, and:
- Think of a car seat like a bicycle helmet: it is meant to take on one major hit. After doing that, it needs to be replaced.
If you have any questions or concerns about a defective or dangerous car or booster seat, we can help. Contact a representative at our firm directly.
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If you were injured by a defective or unsafe product, please contact the Philadelphia products liability lawyers at Galfand Berger. With offices located in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Lancaster, and Reading, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. To schedule a consultation, call us at 800-222-8792 or complete our online contact form.