Winter is right around the bend, which means it’s time to gear up for snowy drives and carpools with the kiddos! As a parent, you might have a few winter car safety concerns: Can my child wear a snow coat while in the car seat? What do I do to make freezing morning drives easier for my little ones? Is there anything I should double check before or after my winter car trip?
Not to worry! Below are great tips for winter car safety. They are sure to help you make all of your upcoming cold weather car treks easier and safer for your family!
Winter Car Safety Tips
Winter Coats and Car Seats
1. Put the child’s coat on backwards over the straps after fastening the car seat, and ensure that it does not have a hood to prevent suffocation. Wearing a snowsuit under the straps of a car seat allow for too much give in the straps, which interferes with the car seat’s job of keeping him/her in the safest seating position to avoid injury in the event of a crash.
2. Consider getting a lightweight coat for the car seat. There are a number of tighter-fitting lightweight coats that you can get for the car seat, which will not affect the straps and will keep the child in the correct positioning for optimum protection.
Making Cold Winter Morning Drives More Bearable for the Little Ones
1. Warm up the car before getting the kids in to prevent the “sudden fright” of the winter weather.
2. Warm the baby car coat with a hot water bottle before taking it out to the car.
3. If you have an infant, put him/her in the car seat in the house and carry the seat to the vehicle to keep your little one warm.
4. Have your kids bring a hot water bottle with them in the car for very early morning trips. Hot cocoa will also help!
5. With bigger kids, do “The Shiverer Game” on cold winter days: Shiver and see who makes the funniest shiver noises until the car warms up. Shivering, of course, will warm them all up and provide a distraction from the cold.
What Should All Parents Double-Check This Winter?
1. NEVER leave a child alone in a vehicle, even for a short time. Temperatures can plummet in winter and hypothermia is becoming more of a reality.
2. Check whether your child is at the right height and weight to move on to the next car seat stage. In the same way that parents want to move their children to the next development stage, sometimes that is confused with moving the child to the next car seat. Always wait until your child has reached the upper weight limit of the seat before the transition.
3. Always check that your child cannot open the seatbelt while the vehicle is in motion. Some cars now have a warning light to let you know if little hands have opened the seatbelt.
4. Make sure that your car seat is with within the validity date and has not expired.
5. When renting a car seat from a car rental company, ensure that they are qualified to fit it for you, that it has the instruction booklet, and that it is has not expired.
Grainne Kelly’s tips on winter car safety will ensure safer and more enjoyable cold weather carpools and snowy drives for you and your family. Happy travels!
About author Grainne Kelly & BubbleBum As a certified CPST and Family Travel Expert, Grainne Kelly helps educate parents on child passenger safety, carpooling, family vacation organization, car safety essentials, great destinations for kids, and more. Grainne Kelly is a former travel agent who revolutionized the child travel industry by inventing BubbleBum: the world’s FIRST inflatable booster seat that weighs less than one pound and can deflate in minutes, making it simple to throw in a backpack or purse. www.bubblebum.us