Dressing Baby for a Safe Winter Drive

Avoid Bulky Clothing

Image of Baby Dressed warm in a car seat.Winter can present challenges for parents trying to dress their children properly for the weather. This is especially true when the outing involves placing kids in car seats.

Children should not wear bulky clothing underneath the harness of a car seat. The force of a crash would flatten out the fluffy padding in winter coats or other clothing. This leaves extra space under the harness, putting the child at risk of slipping through the straps and being thrown from the seat.

Be sure to tighten the straps of the car seat harness, which can be difficult to do if your child is wearing multiple layers of clothing. If you can pinch the straps of the car seat harness together, you need to continue tightening them until they fit snugly against your child's chest.

The general rule is that infants should wear one more layer than adults. If you have a hat and coat on, your baby should have a hat, coat, and blanket. Just be sure to add the blanket over the top of the harness straps, not under.

Dress your child in thin layers. Start with close-fitting layers, such as long underwear, tights, leggings and long-sleeved bodysuits. Then add pants and a warm top, such as a sweater or thermal-knit shirt. A thin fleece jacket can then be put on top.

Keep the carrier part of the car seat inside the house when not in use. This will keep the seat at room temperature, reducing the loss of your child's body heat in the car. It's also important to leave the baby's face uncovered to avoid trapped air and re-breathing.

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