Parents have been reminded that they should never strap their child into a car seat with a thick winter coat on as it may cost them their life.
As temperatures plummet around the UK, the parenting forum Netmums shared a stark reminder to mums and dads that strapping a child into a car seat while wearing a bulky coat can mean the harness is not sufficiently secure – because of the distance created between the straps on the surface of the fabric and the child’s body beneath.
Although our natural instinct is to keep kids as warm as possible as the temperature drops, a thick winter coat can pose a serious risk, the site pointed out. In the case of a crash, the force of the impact would cause a thick coat to compress, leaving the harness hanging loose around the child.
You can check if a coat is too bulky by strapping your child into the harness while they are wearing the jacket, then taking them out without loosening or adjusting it.
Strap your child back in without their coat on, and see if you can fit more than two fingers between the harness and their chest. If you can, the jacket is too bulky.
Parents are being reminded that they should not strap their children into car seats while wearing puffy winter coats as it can leave the harness too loose (file photos)
Instead of wearing a jacket, parents can place a blanket over the top of the car seat once they are strapped in to keep little ones snug.
Alternatively, you can strap the child in and let them wear their coat backwards over the top.
Jan James, CEO of Good Egg Safety told the Sun: ‘We are the leading child seat specialist in the UK and since January 2017, we’ve checked nearly 5,500 car seats for parents and carers at free community check events.
Instead, a blanket should be placed over the top, or the child should wear their jacket on backwards over the harness
‘We found that 65 per cent of child seats or children were either incorrectly fitted or the seats were incompatible with the car.
‘We’ve been tirelessly campaigning for the safer transport of children since 2001 and have made safe over 33,500 child seats and the children within them during this time.
‘It’s an ongoing struggle as parents can understandably get confused by the different seat legislation and are not always getting the safest advice when buying them.’