Car seats and winter coats

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Car seats and winter coats

What do you do? I know this subject has been brought up before, but honestly, I lived in FL...it didn't apply to me. We were able to get away with a fleece coat on the coldest of days there. But since moving to MD, winters will be just a tad colder. Wink

I know that big, puffy coats and car seats don't really go well together. So what do you do? Both Tyler and Lana are now in Britax Blvd carseats. I read that the best thing is to forgo the coat all together - put them in their seats and then cover with a blanket or coat on backwards, once they are strapped in. Warm the car up beforehand, etc. For those of you in colder climates, do you just take their coat off in the car, put it back on before getting out? For Tyler, I don't think it will be a big deal - he can follow instructions, get in his seat, I can get his coat off and on him in about 2 seconds. Lana is going to be a bit more difficult b/c of her age and the fact that she fights getting dressed like that.

Suggestions welcome!

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i just make sure the straps are nice and snug.........if we are going for a long ride.....i will take their coats off, or at least unzip them and pull them off to the sides........but if it is cold and we are running errands......i just strap em in with their coats on.....

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Well, I know the correct answer is to take the coats off and have them only in their clothes and put the coats back on, etc. But I do the same as Colleen, for errands around town, the coat stays on and the straps are tight. If we are in a store for an hour, coming out to a cold car when it's 25 or less degrees out and taking off the coats just isn't what I want to do. If we are going to be in the car for a while, I'll warm up the car at home and go coatless to the destination. Like I said I know what the correct safety answer is, but I know what's best for us in our situation, and that's coats in the car seat.

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I am a stickler about this...many "discussions" with my mom-daycare provider. I have a thicker zip up sweatershirt he wears for car rides along with a hat. I also keep two fleece blankets in the car to cover him. I have a remote start so I can always warm the car, even if we are at the store.

PS- I do bring the winter coat with us-or leave it in the car-in case the car were to break down or if we were going to be outside later (playing, etc) and he would need it.

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Anything thicker than say a cardigan sweater or a sweatshirt hoody type of jacket should never be left on a child secured in a carseat. You can't get the straps tight enough over the bulk of the coat, to withstand the the force in which an accident would compact that coat.

Yep, it's a royal pain in the behind, especially running him to and from school since his school is 7 minutes away, but both kids wear their coat backwards in the car, and then once they are unstrapped their coat goes on for the trek into the school.

Can't find the site that covered this, but this page will do.
http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=154159913600&topic=13262

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I do the same as Colleen and Julie. My kids wear sweats in the car if its going to be a long ride, but for errands they go in their coats. I don't use the parka's, they just come for a ride, but they do wear fleece lined waterproof jackets. I also keep blankets in the car because their legs get cold, and their pants tend to ride up, so I keep a fleece blanket for each of them in the car that gets tossed over after they are buckled in.

Nicole

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Long trips I take his coat off completely or just have him wear a fleece then put his heavy coat on in the car before we get out. Running around in town I put him in his coat. His coat is not very thick - (yes I'm sure it's thicker than what's recommended) but it really isn't puffy at all and I can get the straps tight and there isn't anything in his coat to 'compress' on impact, it's tight to his body so I feel ok about it. I wouldn't put him in there in a big puffy coat though.

When he was a baby I put him in a one piece Columbia fleece. I know Lands End, North Face and other companies make them too but that worked great. It was very warm and not thick at all.

It is a pain for sure! Good luck!

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It rarely comes up here for us (and I'm in NY). For running errands it's usually just a fleece and hat because he wouldn't want anything in the store anyway.

It will, for the first time, come up this year because at school they take them outside in all weather so I could have to pick him up not only in a warm coat but maybe even a snow suit. I guess we will be doing a quick strip tease in the car, lol.

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I put the kids in their coats if were ruining errands, but I pull the coats to tge side,.buckle, then zip over the buckles.... Does that make sense? That way there isn't much coat between then and the car seat.... lemme take a pic..

mist1006's picture
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Maybe this will help...

So I push her coat through the straps and then buckle her in. I'd do a better job of this than this pic, but really, its like 55 out, she wasn't impressed

Then zip her coat over her buckles

ETA: I didnt have to loosen her straps hardly at all. I got her buckled without loosening it, but I did loosen a bit, but no more than if she might have a heavy outfit on.

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I just buckle B in over her coat. I just make sure the straps are tight. If we are going on a long trip, I will have her take off her coat and use a blanket.

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Not that it is close to as cold as some of you.. but it does get cold here .. and I always try to buckle them in with jackets.. never thought much of it till now...
I have so many fleece blankets .. today I put one with each seat and told Owen "it's a special car blankie for when it's cold" he said "COOL MOM"

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I've been trying to figure this out for some time. becuase with how cold it gets her (-50 sometimes) taking a coat off or even unzipping is not an option. I've been wracking my brain trying to find a suitable option for us. when it gets that cold, even to get to the car, they're in snow suits, -50 is beyond freakin' cold. :/
Now that I am able to park in a garage, it might look differently this year. I'll have to see how it goes I guess. I like the unzipping and zipping back up option.

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-50 holy hell for reals I would NOT leave the house for nearly anything!

And here I complain today that it's damp and wet and in the low +50's this morning.. :rolleyes:
I just can't even imagine!

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I have never worried about this. Sometimes we go down to -50 here too. They just get in the car in whatever they are wearing and we strap them in per usual. If the straps have to be loosened a smidge, so be it. End of problem.

Seriously, when I was growing up car seats did not exist. It is good to have them and all, and I totally agree everyone needs to wear a seatbelt, but I don't think all the extra gymnastics are really necessary. As long as your coat is not too thick, it should be OK.

Here are the guidelines for determining if your child's winter clothing should is too bulky for safe car rides:

Take the car seat into the house.
Put the winter coat or snowsuit on the child.
Put the child in the car seat and buckle the harnesses as you normally would before car travel. Adjust the straps to the appropriate fit for your child.
Take the child out of the car seat without loosening the straps at all.
Take the coat off your child.
Put the child back in the car seat and buckle the harnesses again, but do not tighten the straps.
If you can fit more than two fingers under the harness at the child's shoulder bone, the coat is too thick and is not safe for use with the car seat.

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I'm a stickler too. I'd never forgive myself. It's in the car seat manual. If anything were to happen I'd have an injured/dead child plus no legal recourse. We get cold here, but it's a short walk for us to the car and we warm it up first, so it's not that big of a deal to us. Second nature by now.

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A good resource: http://thestir.cafemom.com/baby/109699/6_tips_for_winter_car

When we lived in the cold, we always went without the coat and used blankets. You can always throw the coat on them backwards after buckling.

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I do what Kerri does. Unzip the coat, and take it out of the straps so only the back of the coat is still "in" the seats. I got that tip from someone who claimed to be a carseat tech. I don't loosen the straps when taking him in or out, so there isn't a discernible difference between having no coat or having an unzipped coat.

But honestly, for even short trips, I would never, never buckle the straps over his coat. Most car accidents occur close to home so saying it's only a short trip doesn't make it any safer. Just not worth the risk, IMO when it only takes an extra minute to put them in safely and properly.

eta: Hm...after reading that article Wendy posted I guess even unzipping isn't safe. Well, just as easy to whip off the coat and put in on backwards overtop.

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:lurk:

"MamaArty_RMT" wrote:

But honestly, for even short trips, I would never, never buckle the straps over his coat. Most car accidents occur close to home so saying it's only a short trip doesn't make it any safer. Just not worth the risk, IMO when it only takes an extra minute to put them in safely and properly.

The only car accident I have ever been in (which totaled my car) was on a short 5 minute trip to my Mom's house.

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I always take Aidan's coat off. I just wish Bill would do the same. He won't, I've told him time and time again. He calls me a carseat ****, he doesn't pull the straps tight enough either, I get really mad! I fix it when i'm with him, but when I'm not there's not much I can do I guess Sad Even when I tell him and get mad at him he rolls his eyes.