The temperature has dropped and the snow has fallen, which leaves many parents with the challenge of dressing kids for the car.
Traditional bulky winter jackets are not a good idea when it comes to the safety of your little ones. The bulkiness make it incredibly hard to tighten the harness. In the case of a collision, the jacket would compress leaving too much room between your child and the harness.
So what do you dress the kids in? We reached out to Jessica Joyner, a certified car seat technician in Barrie who has lots of ideas on how to keep the kids cozy, warm, and most importantly, safe.
For babies in an infant seat; a long sleeve onesie and thin clothing works best. You can then put a fleece blanket over them once they’re securely fastened.
There is also something called a car seat poncho that can be placed over the car seat so it doesn’t interfere with the harness. Anything that goes over the car seat is fine, Joyner says.
Our main concern is not having anything that comes between your child and the car seat. Often we will see sleeping bags where the insert comes between the child and the seat. This, Joyner says is not safe practice.
Some other ideas for apparel includes jackets made with primaloft, a thinner material that allows you to fasten the straps snuggly against your child. Tight fitting, thin fleece jackets are also a great option.
These rules also apply to older kids who have graduated to convertible and booster seats. Joyner adds, If you have a no back booster for your older kid, you still want to make sure they are wearing something car seat appropriate.
You can also give kids a fleece blanket to cozy up with once they are properly secured.
As for snow pants, it depends on how bulky they are. Some have thinner material while others are very bulky. It all comes down to how bulky they are and how much they compress.
Personally with my children, Joyner says, I put them in their regular clothes in the car; once I drop them off at school I dress them in their heavy duty winter gear. I know it seems like a lot of effort but I feel this is the safest way.
It’s extremely important to read through your car seat manual Joyner stresses. She encourages parents to get their seat inspected and professionally installed.
Having it safely installed is a huge deal as 70 percent of car seats are installed improperly.