As winter weather is approaching for some of our readers, I am once again reminded of the dangers of car seats. Yes, that’s right, dangerous car seats. Now I hear you going, wait a minute! Your car seat isn’t going to be safe if you’re not using it properly. I was hanging out with one of my mommy friends who is a first time mommy and she brought a question to my attention: “What did you do in the winter to keep your son warm (he was an October baby)? Did you get one of those snow suits for him?”
First and foremost even though those have slits in them to be used with a car seat, please DO NOT use them in a car seat. You will never be able to get the belts tight enough to safely hold baby, if you don’t believe me, try. Put a jacket/snow suit on baby and buckle baby in the seat. Tighten the straps and then unbuckle. Now take the jacket off, rebuckle baby in the seat and tell me how tight those straps are. When using an infant carrier car seat, it’s best to use blankets on the outside of the car seat. Warm the car before baby gets in and spend as little time outside as possible. If you want to take baby outside to play absolutely enjoy those ever so cute snowsuits.
These same rules apply to older kids in car seats, again don’t believe me, do the jacket trick. For older kids they make car seat poncho’s which can help against the elements. Light jackets and sweatshirts are okay under buckles, but when in doubt check.
If you’ve never had your car seat inspected to make sure it’s installed properly you might want to consider that. With slick roads in the near future for some of us it’s the best time to make sure that we’re doing all we can to ensure our children’s safety!
Please when in doubt about if you’re using your car seat properly consult a professional. Many fire stations or police stations will have certified car seat installers and will be able to help you. If your local department does not, chances are they can direct you to your nearest one.