winter car seat safetyWith rain, ice, sleet and snow, winter can bring with it many unpredictable weather changes and road conditions. There are a few things to remember when driving with your little ones this season that can help to keep you both safe.

Winter Coats Winter coats and bulky clothing should never be worn in the car seat. The fluffy material will immediately flatten in a crash, leaving extra space between the harness and child. The extra space it creates can leave your child more susceptible to injury in the event of a crash.

Pinch Test The “pinch test” is the best way to determine whether or not the car seat harness fits properly. The harness straps should be at, or just below, the child’s shoulders when rear facing or slightly above the shoulders when forward facing. The car seat should now be buckled, straps tightened and the clip should be at armpit level. After completing these steps, if you are unable to pinch any excess strap, the harness is on properly.

Mother Nature Mother Nature can be very unpredictable, especially during winter months. Keep a bag in your car filled with the necessities, should an emergency occur. Be sure to include the essentials like food, formula, diapers, blankets and extra clothes.

Bundle Up While it isn’t safe to wear a coat while in a car seat, there are other means of staying warm. Make sure your child’s feet, head and hands are covered. A blanket can also be used to cover up the child after the car seat harness has been secured. Keeping the car seat in the house when not in use will also help to keep the child warmer.

Plan Ahead There is more prep time and driving time needed during the winter months. Be sure to plan ahead and leave the house with plenty of time to safely arrive at your destination.

Keep your child safe and comfortable in their car seat this winter with these winter car seat safety tips.