REMSA’s Vickie Fisher, J.D., CPST-I, offers tips about winter car seat safety.
Winter weather is here in norther Nevada!
With the colder weather, please remember to avoid placing children in bulky winter clothes. Yes, it’s cold outside, but resist the temptation to bundle your child up before strapping him/her into his/her car seat. A bulky coat can compress in a crash, creating a loose car seat harness and putting your child at a greater risk of injury in a crash. Instead, strap your child in the car seat and then cover him/her with a blanket or put the coat on backwards. Strap, then wrap!
Make sure your child’s harness is adjusted correctly year-round by using the “pinch test”—the best way to make sure the harness straps are snug. First, remove bulky clothing and blankets. Make sure the harness straps are adjusted to the correct height – they should be at or below the child’s shoulders when the child rides rear-facing, and at or above the child’s shoulders when a child is forward-facing. Buckle and tighten the harness straps. Place the chest clip at armpit level. Now pinch the strap at your child’s shoulder. If you are unable to pinch any excess webbing, the straps are snug and you can be on your way!
Another great all-weather tip: Buckle Up! Studies show that adults who are properly restrained also have children who are restrained. Also, when adults wear seat belts, kids wear seat belts. Be a good example for your kids and buckle up on every trip, even short ones. All of us are safer in a crash when everyone in the vehicle is buckled up.
To learn more about car seat safety or to make an appointment to be sure your child’s car seat is installed correctly, visit the Car Seat Safety Station.