Puffy Coat Carseat PSA
***Disclaimer: If you have questions about a proper carseat installation, you should always ask a certified technician (CPST). ***
Over half of all car seats are used incorrectly! Did you know it’s considered incorrect when you secure a child in a carseat while they wear a puffy coat? Puffy coats and carseats don’t mix! They are great when kids are out running around in the yard or playgrounds, can be super cute but are NOT carseat friendly. In fact, they’re doing more harm than you think!
The main concern about using a puffy or bulky coat is with the fit in the shoulder straps. A puffy coat prevents the straps from being snug and close against the body of a child. To show this, if you left the straps fitted to a puffy coat, but removed the coat from the child, it would show how much extra space is created and NOT securing a child. The shoulder straps keep a child from moving around in their seat and remaining safe in the event of a crash. For the harness to do its job, the shoulder straps should be snug on a child, but not too tight!
What if you’re not sure if there’s too much “fluff” in a coat? It’s better to be cautious and secure your child in the carseat without the coat under the straps. Secure them while wearing thin layered clothing and then place the coat or jacket over a properly secured child’s lap (read more about car seat reminders here!).
For more information on carseat guidance visit some of the below links:
Winter Car Seat Safety Tips from AAP
Guide to Right Fit from Safekids.org
Child Passenger Safety Board