A child’s safety in all forms is primarily the parent’s responsibility. Recently, I was researching to find the answer to the question: What should a baby wear in the car seat in winter? What should baby wear in car seat in winter? – The Readers Time. However, another widely asked question kept popping up in that phase: Why can’t babies wear coats in car seats? So, I decided to go hand in hand with both the topics and find the answers.
During my research, I found that the UK rules and regulations are highly concerned about babies wearing coats in car seats. Why can’t babies wear coats in car seats?
It is a valid question asked by many parents, including my friend, who became a new mother. To help everyone find the answer, I researched this issue’s complexities and found the safety recommendation’s rationale. I went through several articles on official UK rules and regulations Websites, watched some YouTube videos, and tried some methods with my dummy kids to deliver the accurate reason.
Understanding Car Seat Safety
As we all know that car seats are essential for child safety. These seats are designed to protect kids from accidents and sudden stops. They provide extra precautions to keep your child safe from being thrown out or hurt. Car seats are the best road safety device for kids.
The Issue with Coats in Car Seats
According to an article published by ‘verywell family’ Winter Coats and Car Seat Safety (verywellfamily.com), while keeping babies warm during colder months is important, wearing bulky coats or jackets in car seats can create a significant risk of them getting hurt during any mishaps. From the gathered knowledge, I can say that the problem lies explicitly in the extra space between the child’s body and the harness straps when a coat is worn AAP Winter Safety Tips: Puffy Coats Should Not Be Worn in Car Seats. Many parents overlook this additional space, which may lead to the child not being properly secured during a collision or sudden stop.
Risks and Dangers Related to Babies Wearing Coats in Car Seats:
- As much as you would hate to agree but big coats will endanger your kids in car seats. When puffy coats hit something, they shrink, loosening the harness straps and making it harder to keep your child safe.
- An article by ‘Babygaga’ Wearing Bulky Coats In Car Seats Is Unsafe For Babies (babygaga.com), suggests avoiding bulky coats in car seats to prevent accidents. After reading the article, it seems more logical to me that loose harness straps will allow the child to slip through or partially eject from the car seat during a crash. It will ultimately increase the risk of head, neck, or spinal injuries.
- You must remove the baby’s bulky coat before securing it in the car seat in winter. According to the article by BCAA, Why winter coats and car seats don’t mix | BCAA, by doing so, you can maintain the harness system and ensure your children are optimally restrained, resulting in protecting them from any risks caused by car seats or coats.
Reasons for the UK Guidelines:
While doing my research, I found many individuals were questioning the UK Guidelines, which are enforced for the safety of the people in the nation.
I thoroughly read the guidelines Child car seats: the law: Using a child car seat or booster seat – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) and understood that UK car seat safety guidelines follow stringent car seat guidelines which are developed through multiple research to reduce risks and enhance child protection in cars.
According to the UK safety guidelines, babies are restricted from wearing coats in car seats. It is specifically added to ensure the harness straps fit securely and comfortably over the baby’s body. After going through several articles, it is evident that a bulky coat can create extra room, which in the future can loosen the harness straps and compromise the car seat safety.
However, if you are concerned about your babies getting cold, add thin layers or blankets over their harness straps. The Car Seat LadyBest Winter Gear that is Safe in the Car Seat – The Car Seat Lady
The next point that is worth mentioning is that the UK guidelines emphasise the importance of harness straps fitting snugly around a child without any additional layers. To me, it sounds reasonable as this could compress or loosen in case of an accident.
Besides, crash tests and studies have shown that bulky coats compress upon impact, increasing a child’s chances of falling from his harness or experiencing more severe injuries.
Safety for your little ones on the road is non-negotiable. I hope you are now well aware of the rules for using car seats safely and got your answer: Why can’t babies wear coats in car seats?
For you, parents, I believe following UK guidelines and best practices is the best way to keep your kids safe in the car. The goal is safer and more comfortable car rides for your little ones.