How Winter Coats Can Be Dangerous for Baby

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By Anisa Arsenault, Associate Editor
Updated February 26, 2017
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Bundling up baby is one of the few precautions you can take against winter temperatures. But under certain circumstances, a big puffy coat can actually become hazardous.

It has to do with car seat safety. And as we know, car seats are already fickle enough, since they’re not designed for universal use in every car and often not intuitive to install. Now, Kids And Cars is demonstrating car seat safety gets even trickier in colder climates.

When your child’s wearing a winter coat, it’s harder to properly buckle him or her into a car seat. Straps may feel nice and tight, but they could actually be dangerously loose.

The padding of the coat is deceptive, getting in the way of a secure strap adjustment. And the proof is in crash test videos: TODAY Parents shared this GIF image of what happened to a child test dummy that appeared to be securely buckled after a simulated 30-mph crash.

How can you make sure your child is safe? Strap baby into the car seat without a jacket on, using it to cover him up after he’s buckled.

The advice applies to mom and dad too. Experts say adults shouldn’t be wearing coats beneath their seat belts either, whether they’re driving or riding as passengers.

Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.

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