Car seats in winter

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ftmom's picture
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Car seats in winter

So, there was a big debate on one of my facebook boards the other day around this video about winter coats in car seats. Wondering what you ladies think.

Do you put winter coats under the straps in the carseat? What is your reasoning?

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Hell to the no. Even when we lived in Nebraska, it was worth the extra trouble to put a blanket and the coat on top of the carseat or deal with a whiny kid to me to not have to worry about the seat not fitting the way it's supposed to.

eta-Why doesn't she explain why loose straps aren't safe? Did I miss it?

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I had no idea it wasn't safe. We always kept the kids in their coats and either buckled around for a thin coat or undid the coat once in the car and buckled underneath, sort of.

Look I am a fan of car seats and safety and we always use them, but I'm not extreme about it. I've been attacked on message boards for my attitude about it, like I think it's okay to get into a taxi in NYC with a toddler on your lap. (My kids aren't toddlers anymore, so that time has come and gone.) I also didn't keep my kids rear-facing past the legal limit, once that hit, they got turned around as soon as we were allowed.

So. . .I don't think it's a big deal to keep coats on. (Now feel free to yell at me.)

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I kept coats off the kids in seats, it just worries me that they are not safety rated with the coats on. But living in Oregon they are not wear heavy coats on a regular basis.

The one thing people do on a regular basis that bothers me is leaving the handle on the infant seat up in a carry position, very scary

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We take her coat off as her carset doesn't fit anymore with a thick coat on. She is just about ready for a booster seat and we are running out of strap for the 5 point harness. If she is just wearing a hoodie we leave it be.

When she was smaller it depended on the coat. Her warm fleece coats were fine, but if she was wearing the fluffy ones we took them off as the straps didn't fit right.

eta - we are lucky to live on the west coast which has lots of rain and little snow or really cold temperatures. So we don't have to deal with parkas or anything.

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I will admit that we keep the fluffy winter coats on. Where we live it is regularly -20c in the winter, and frequently colder. I know all the safety reasons, and have made a conscious, informed choice to do this, for a number of reasons. One is obviously convenience, it is just easier to get geared up and walk to the vehicle. Another is cost, we dont have a garage, so to bring our vehicle up to a comfortable temperature every time before we start driving would cost us a fortune on gas for idling. However, the biggest, most compelling reason I leave their coats on is safety. If we were to be in an accident, or for some reason the heat stops working, it doesn't take long for the temperature in the vehicle to drop to a dangerous low when the temperature is so cold outside. Also, being aware of the danger of keeping the coats on, I do try to cinch the straps down as tight as they will go, compressing the jacket as much as I can manually.

Having said that, I only keep the jackets on when we are driving around town. If we are going for a longer drive, at highway speeds, I take the time to warm up the car and give the kids a ton of blankets.

I think that all parents need to make their own 'risk assessment' when it comes to things like this. For me, it is worth the risk at low speeds, but not at higher highways speeds, maybe others feel differently than me. I just couldn't believe some of the name calling and finger pointing I was seeing on facebook about this subject!

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We live in TN where there are only a few days a year that we wear big heavy winter coats. We do buckle the kids in with the coat on if it is really cold.

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infant car seat I use a cover and blankets with no coats. I've done that below -40. Once they transition to the next seat, I keep the coats on. I hate to sound like I don't care about safety but the idea of going to the store, putting on 2 coats, going through the store, taking coats off and buckling them in during cold weather makes me cringe. God forbid I have to go to 2 different places like when I do daycare drop offs. '

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No, Jace is not strapped in with thick winter jackets. I used to be uninformed and nonchalant about carseat safety in the beginning but facts and research was presented to me. He will be 6 in December and still sits in the middle of the back seat in a 5-point-harness. Call me crazy but if something ever happened, I want to know that I did my part to the best of my ability to keep him safe. I would not want to live with the guilt if there was more that I could have done but consciously decided not to.

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"mommytoMR.FACE" wrote:

No, Jace is not strapped in with thick winter jackets. I used to be uninformed and nonchalant about carseat safety in the beginning but facts and research was presented to me. He will be 6 in December and still sits in the middle of the back seat in a 5-point-harness. Call me crazy but if something ever happened, I want to know that I did my part to the best of my ability to keep him safe. I would not want to live with the guilt if there was more that I could have done but consciously decided not to.

Madi is 5 1/2 and I still have her in a 5-point harness too (though not in the middle). My family has started giving me a hard time and telling me she's ready for a booster. I agree, that the older I get, the more research I read, the more careful I am when it comes to my kids and their safety.

We are fortunate that we only wear our heavy winter coats a few times a year. When we do Madi has to take hers off before she can buckle up.

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I had no idea because it has never been an issue. It doesn't get cold enough for coats that heavy here. In addition to the safety factor, the temperature in the car can also get uncomfortable if you are wearing a heavy coat. So I don't think I would bundle them up until we got to our destination.

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What exactly is the issue with wearing the coat?

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It's different if you're talking about a few times a year. We have long cold winters here and there's no way the kids are going to take off their jackets before getting into the car in this weather. Juliet is 5 and still in a 5-point harness and it fits fine over her winter coat and gets nice and snug. The temperature of the car isn't a problem as we regulate it for people wearing coats! We're all wearing our coats.

When the kids were babies and still in the snap & go type car seat (rear-facing) they didn't need the coats. We'd buckle them in while we were still inside and we had that cozy cover thingy that is like a big sack made for the seat that goes over the top and gets zipped up, and they'd be warm on the way to the car inside that thing. But older kids can't be expected to remove their coats in winter to get into the car, or take them off inside a freezing cold car.

We also don't drive all that much, to be honest. Most things are walkable in our town and a lot of our outings are on the train to Manhattan. But it doesn't matter, in winter they keep their coats on.

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"mom3girls" wrote:

The one thing people do on a regular basis that bothers me is leaving the handle on the infant seat up in a carry position, very scary

Not to get side tracked, but it depends on the seat. Our seat (on the side in pictures) said that handle up was one position, or handle all the way down, but not in-between when riding in the car.

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"cristancanoe" wrote:

What exactly is the issue with wearing the coat?

Because the fill inside thick winter jackets is so compressible, the reasoning is that in a car accident it will act like air and the straps like they are loose (not sure I am making sense). The force of the accident will compress the coat and it will be like the straps are loose. I have also heard that a child can come right out of their coat, ie. slip out of the straps and everything, which seems ridiculous to me, since in that kind of weather the jacket is zipped right to the top.

The biggest thing, I think, is that they are not safety tested with jackets on underneath, so every car seat says not to do it.

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As someone else mentioned, everyone in the car is wearing a coat, so you adjust the heat for the winter jacket. Honestly, it is only -20 here right now, and I cant drive without gloves on because the steering wheel is so friggin cold to touch! I have to take my gloves off to do up carseat buckles, and my fingers are freezing by the time I am done 2 seats. I couldnt imagine asking them to sit in those seats without something warm between them and the freezing plastic.

We also do a lot of short drives as DD goes to school and DS to preschool across town, but it is a small town, so about a 10 minute drive. That is not long enough for the interior of the car to warm up much Smile

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I don't. My kids are bundled right up in the winter when we leave the house at 7:00. I can start my van remotely several times but as soon as the van opens the cold air rushes in. There's no way I'd take my kids out of their coats at -30 or -40. We have very high windchills and we always have warning about how little time it takes skin to freeze. Seriously, our weather forecast always predicts, based on the windchill factors, how many minutes exposed skin takes to freeze. Yeah, that wouldn't happen just taking them out of their coats for a few minutes, but that's just an indicator of how bloody cold it can get here.

If we had a winter climate where it wouldn't be a big deal or they could handle a sweater and a blanket then yeah, I'd probably consider leaving the coats off for the ride.

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When my sister lived in Germany, she had her kids put their coats on backwards to walk out to the van. They'd all get in and close the door, and then she'd unzip the back & strap each kid into their carseat. Enough of the coat covered them to stay warm but it wasn't so bulky that the straps didn't fit right. And she didn't readjust the straps to fit over the coat, she made the coat fit under the straps. Her van didn't heat up well enough to be safe for the kids without their coats on. She would put an extra blanket over them if they needed it, but she worried about it falling off so she never relied on that being their only warmth.

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I am in the "leave the coat on when it's freezing cold" club. I understand the theory behind taking them out, but just cannot fathom taking my kid's coats off when it's freezing cold/snowing/sleeting outside. I don't think I know anyone who actually makes their kids take off their winter coats in the car in Colorado in the winter IRL.

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"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

I am in the "leave the coat on when it's freezing cold" club. I understand the theory behind taking them out, but just cannot fathom taking my kid's coats off when it's freezing cold/snowing/sleeting outside. I don't think I know anyone who actually makes their kids take off their winter coats in the car in Colorado in the winter IRL.

Ya I think any of my friends/family that still live in Montana would laugh at anyone who told them they needed to take their kids coats off and think they were crazy.

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*lurker*

We compromise - temps are typically from -10 to 35 during the winter (Fahrenheit). Cold enough that they won't "freeze" but not warm enough for no coat. So I do keep coats on but will only buy a coat that is not puffy. If the coat compresses at all I won't let them wear it in a car seat, just in the yard. So i have a coat for them for the car which isn't as warm and a coat for playing in the snow which is puffy and really warm.

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"GloriaInTX" wrote:

Ya I think any of my friends/family that still live in Montana would laugh at anyone who told them they needed to take their kids coats off and think they were crazy.

Exactly. I've lived in Toronto and New York and I've never seen anyone put their kids in the car without a winter coat on.

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Kind of a tangent....Know what I had on DD underneath her Halloween costume? Long johns (top and bottom), long sleeve tee, turtleneck, black tights, black leggings, 2 pairs of socks, thinsulate gloves, neck warmer. All that UNDER the costume. We only got half way around the loop and she goes "Mommy, my face is frozen." I asked her if she wanted to go to our neighbours right across the street on our way home and she said "No. I'm freezing and I just want to go home." Boo. Boo for crazy stupid climates.

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Really? Nebraska gets pretty cold and we definitely weren't the only people taking our kid's coat off after getting in the car and then just putting it on top of the straps like a blanket.

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I did this for a bit with dd1 and I"ll admit that I stopped. If it is a long ride I typically take all our coats off anyway as I'm not comfortable riding for long periods in a coat and I just assume the same for my kids. I heat up the car on full blast though.

I also have never seen anyone around here do that.

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Lillie, I seriously have never seen anyone do that in real life. Honestly it just seems like such a logistical nightmare to me. I picture an average evening when I am picking T up from daycare.

Put on coat to walk to the car. Take off coat once at the car. Get in car.

A few minutes later, put on coat to walk from car to the library. Spend a few minutes at the library, walk back to car. Take off coat, get in car.

A few minutes later, put on coat to walk from car to the grocery store. Take off coat while in grocery store because he's too hot. Put coat back on to walk from grocery store to car. Take off coat, get in the car.

And that's just with one kid! I think about my cousin who has two under two doing that, and the mind reels.

I don't know. I believe that you guys are doing it, I just can't make myself get on board with it. I admit that I don't always do The Very Safest Thing Possible.

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"wlillie" wrote:

Really? Nebraska gets pretty cold and we definitely weren't the only people taking our kid's coat off after getting in the car and then just putting it on top of the straps like a blanket.

Just looked it up, and Nebraska doesnt get nearly as cold as it does here. There is no way I would put my kids in those seats without a good insulator in between, cause the seat itself gets so cold. Not to mention any metal pieces!

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It takes forever for the car to heat up, too, and it's now illegal where we live to leave it running, so you can't warm it up in advance for more than a minute or two, which isn't enough.

I'm with Alissa, I can't imagine actually doing this in a practical sense. It would be awful for the kids. "Okay, now take off your coat in the cold car..."

I don't take off my own coat in the car, isn't that the same thing?

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I left the car warming while I went inside for daycare, heated it up in the morning and did errands without the kid when we were in Nebraska or just dealt with it. I honestly don't care what ya'll do with your coat/seatbelt/harness situation, I'm just saying it was important to *me.* I'm sure I do tons of things others wouldn't do. Carseats are just one of my I'd rather be safe (read: anal) than sorry buttons. Taking off the coat for the 45 seconds it takes to put them in the harness just isn't enough of a reason to take the chance that the seat doesn't work properly. You put it right back on them as soon as they are in the seat, just in front instead of in back.

ftmom-do you put something in between you and the seats? That just doesn't make sense to me. I also take off my coat since it's safer. I don't know exactly where you are, but I'm from Louisiana, so anything below 40 is cold to me. Wink

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"wlillie" wrote:

I left the car warming while I went inside for daycare, heated it up in the morning and did errands without the kid when we were in Nebraska or just dealt with it. I honestly don't care what ya'll do with your coat/seatbelt/harness situation, I'm just saying it was important to *me.* I'm sure I do tons of things others wouldn't do. Carseats are just one of my I'd rather be safe (read: anal) than sorry buttons. Taking off the coat for the 45 seconds it takes to put them in the harness just isn't enough of a reason to take the chance that the seat doesn't work properly. You put it right back on them as soon as they are in the seat, just in front instead of in back.

ftmom-do you put something in between you and the seats? That just doesn't make sense to me. I also take off my coat since it's safer. I don't know exactly where you are, but I'm from Louisiana, so anything below 40 is cold to me. Wink

I think you don't know what REAL cold is. Taking my coat off in winter in a cold car is my nightmare. I am Canadian and still have no resistance to low temperatures. In the depths of winter, when thick coats are needed, it's a pretty big deal to make a kid remove it. Putting it on top is not the same and doesn't keep them as warm.

I get a chill in my bones in October that doesn't depart until July....my husband sometimes thinks I'm lying about being Canadian.

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yeah 40 is nothing here. When it's in the teens to single digits and wind chill is -4 it is a much different story.

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"wlillie" wrote:

I don't know exactly where you are, but I'm from Louisiana, so anything below 40 is cold to me. Wink

Side bar, but this made me giggle. According to my car, it was about 40 this morning when I was taking T to daycare and going to work, and it felt positively balmy to me after yesterday's cold front. I'm wearing a long cotton peasant skirt, no tights or hose, Mary Janes, a t shirt, and a loose weave sweater. No coat. I actually thought about you guys this morning when I put T in the car because he's wearing his hoodie instead of his parka. I didn't know if that counts as safe or if he needs to be stripped to his skin...:p Biggrin 40 feels lovely to me.

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"freddieflounder101" wrote:

I think you don't know what REAL cold is. Taking my coat off in winter in a cold car is my nightmare. I am Canadian and still have no resistance to low temperatures. In the depths of winter, when thick coats are needed, it's a pretty big deal to make a kid remove it. Putting it on top is not the same and doesn't keep them as warm.

I get a chill in my bones in October that doesn't depart until July....my husband sometimes thinks I'm lying about being Canadian.

I do though. We rode together to work right after a blizzard/ice storm and Michael made a minor bad decision that ended up with me having to walk holding the baby a quarter of a mile in -degree weather and I have no clue what the windshield was. That, I needed a coat for; inside my car with no wind hitting me (because windshield temperature doesn't matter in the slightest when you are inside the vehicle), there may be a want for a coat, but to me, I would take it off no matter the temperature because if it's that cold then the conditions on the road are probably pretty bad too. I've left the jeep running for a half hour in the morning (turned on as soon as I woke up and we don't have remote start) before to make sure it was warm enough to not have a coat. I just can't handle knowing it isn't safe and choosing the convenience of leaving it on but I do lots of things that I know others wouldn't so am definitely not judging.

Jessica, it gets colder than 40, I was simply saying that where I'm from and how I'm acclimated means that I"m cold a lot faster than most people. So if I take my coat off and didn't for my kid, it would be neglectful. I choose to be uncomfortable until/if the car warms up (can't put a coat on backwards and drive safely), so I choose that my child may be uncomfortable while I get him settled.

We've been blessed with a nanny this time around so I don't have to deal with cold as much, but I would still make the same choice if there were two and I had daycare to deal with and it was in the negative temperatures. I may be the only one on this debate that feels that way, but I do know I'm not the only person who does in general. We may be going to Alaska instead of Germany and I'm 100% sure the kids' coats will come off before they get strapped in. It's just one of my hangups.

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Where I grew up in Montana sometimes it got to -20 with a -40 wind chill with the wind coming down from Canada. It hurts even to breathe at those temps no way would I take off my coat. If you take off your coat and get chilled it takes forever to warm back up, I can remember plenty of times going places that the car didn't even get warm by the time we got to whatever location we were going to. Sometimes the windows didn't even clear by that time and we would be looking out the little circles in the windshield that we scraped off.

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"wlillie" wrote:

I left the car warming while I went inside for daycare, heated it up in the morning and did errands without the kid when we were in Nebraska or just dealt with it. I honestly don't care what ya'll do with your coat/seatbelt/harness situation, I'm just saying it was important to *me.* I'm sure I do tons of things others wouldn't do. Carseats are just one of my I'd rather be safe (read: anal) than sorry buttons. Taking off the coat for the 45 seconds it takes to put them in the harness just isn't enough of a reason to take the chance that the seat doesn't work properly. You put it right back on them as soon as they are in the seat, just in front instead of in back.

ftmom-do you put something in between you and the seats? That just doesn't make sense to me. I also take off my coat since it's safer. I don't know exactly where you are, but I'm from Louisiana, so anything below 40 is cold to me. Wink

Yes, my jacket Smile I wouldnt even dream of taking my jacket off in the car, and I generally let it warm up for 10-20 minutes before hand in the morning. I even wear gloves to drive because it is too cold to touch the steering wheel.

I hear you on the cold is relative thing (I am from Vancouver Island. Before I moved here I thought -5c was cold). I just think that people who have never lived in extreme cold temperatures really have no idea what it is like. Your skin can literally freeze in a very short time.

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It's 60 here and I'm in a long sleeved shirt with jeans and real shoes!! So when I say it's important enough for me to take my coat off in - temperatures, you know it's serious. Wink I literally sobbed for half an hour because someone stole my coat out of the Kohls dressing room when most people weren't wearing one!!! And I'm very very very honest and seriously had to make myself give up the parka the Air Force issues in Nebraska because I knew there was a slight chance we'd be going somewhere cold after Mississippi. Knowing I could get into trouble and it would be stealing!!!!

Anyway, I hate extreme temperatures either way, but definitely feel the cold long before I feel the heat.

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"wlillie" wrote:

I do though. We rode together to work right after a blizzard/ice storm and Michael made a minor bad decision that ended up with me having to walk holding the baby a quarter of a mile in -degree weather and I have no clue what the windshield was. That, I needed a coat for; inside my car with no wind hitting me (because windshield temperature doesn't matter in the slightest when you are inside the vehicle), there may be a want for a coat, but to me, I would take it off no matter the temperature because if it's that cold then the conditions on the road are probably pretty bad too. I've left the jeep running for a half hour in the morning (turned on as soon as I woke up and we don't have remote start) before to make sure it was warm enough to not have a coat. I just can't handle knowing it isn't safe and choosing the convenience of leaving it on but I do lots of things that I know others wouldn't so am definitely not judging.

Jessica, it gets colder than 40, I was simply saying that where I'm from and how I'm acclimated means that I"m cold a lot faster than most people. So if I take my coat off and didn't for my kid, it would be neglectful. I choose to be uncomfortable until/if the car warms up (can't put a coat on backwards and drive safely), so I choose that my child may be uncomfortable while I get him settled.

We've been blessed with a nanny this time around so I don't have to deal with cold as much, but I would still make the same choice if there were two and I had daycare to deal with and it was in the negative temperatures. I may be the only one on this debate that feels that way, but I do know I'm not the only person who does in general. We may be going to Alaska instead of Germany and I'm 100% sure the kids' coats will come off before they get strapped in. It's just one of my hangups.

The bolded is what I have an issue with in everything you have said, and it is that attitude that gets to me in debates on this. Although it is more convenient to leave the jackets on, that is not my main reason for doing so. When you live where I do the cold can kill. Not only does it freeze skin, but it can shut down a body, especially a little one, in a very short period of time. I have chosen to not risk this with my children. Sure I can warm the car up before we go anywhere, but in the event of an accident, I refuse to rely on a blanket, or backwards jacket to stay on my child and keep them warm enough. For me, a jacket is very much a safety consideration, and a very important one at that. While for you it may be a black and white 'jacket off safe, jacket on not safe', for me it is more about playing the odds and weighing one type of safety against another. I suspect if you move to Alaska it will not be such an easy choice for you either, though you may still choose to remove coats.

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"ftmom" wrote:

Yes, my jacket Smile I wouldnt even dream of taking my jacket off in the car, and I generally let it warm up for 10-20 minutes before hand in the morning. I even wear gloves to drive because it is too cold to touch the steering wheel.

I hear you on the cold is relative thing (I am from Vancouver Island. Before I moved here I thought -5c was cold). I just think that people who have never lived in extreme cold temperatures really have no idea what it is like. Your skin can literally freeze in a very short time.

Where I live, it's illegal to warm up the car for more than 3 minutes. You're simply not allowed to leave it idling.

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"freddieflounder101" wrote:

I think you don't know what REAL cold is. Taking my coat off in winter in a cold car is my nightmare. I am Canadian and still have no resistance to low temperatures. In the depths of winter, when thick coats are needed, it's a pretty big deal to make a kid remove it. Putting it on top is not the same and doesn't keep them as warm.

I get a chill in my bones in October that doesn't depart until July....my husband sometimes thinks I'm lying about being Canadian.

I got frostbite once when I tried to start my car without my gloves on. Seriously. Smile The ignition was frozen solid, as was the engine. Part of my finger turned purple and I lost feeling in it. Ask most Canadians if they have a block heater in their car and the answer will be a resounding hell ya.

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"freddieflounder101" wrote:

Where I live, it's illegal to warm up the car for more than 3 minutes. You're simply not allowed to leave it idling.

I guess the remote car starter business isn't exactly booming where you live. I have one because we don't have a garage. I couldn't get through a winter without it.

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"ClairesMommy" wrote:

I got frostbite once when I tried to start my car without my gloves on. Seriously. Smile The ignition was frozen solid, as was the engine. Part of my finger turned purple and I lost feeling in it. Ask most Canadians if they have a block heater in their car and the answer will be a resounding hell ya.

Funny story about that when I went from Montana to Texas to go to college my car had a heater in it and when some of my friends asked why there was a plug hanging out of the car I told them it was an electric car. Had them believing me for awhile. When I tell people down here that up there we plug our cars in at night they look at you like you are crazy.

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"ftmom" wrote:

The bolded is what I have an issue with in everything you have said, and it is that attitude that gets to me in debates on this. Although it is more convenient to leave the jackets on, that is not my main reason for doing so. When you live where I do the cold can kill. Not only does it freeze skin, but it can shut down a body, especially a little one, in a very short period of time. I have chosen to not risk this with my children. Sure I can warm the car up before we go anywhere, but in the event of an accident, I refuse to rely on a blanket, or backwards jacket to stay on my child and keep them warm enough. For me, a jacket is very much a safety consideration, and a very important one at that. While for you it may be a black and white 'jacket off safe, jacket on not safe', for me it is more about playing the odds and weighing one type of safety against another. I suspect if you move to Alaska it will not be such an easy choice for you either, though you may still choose to remove coats.

This is what I was thinking as well. I do not have any statistics, but I would think you would have a greater chance of dying from freezing to death, than of your car seat malfunctioning due to wearing a coat. Here in TN, not a big deal at all to go without a coat and just have a blanket. In NY right on Lake Erie, you could freeze to death in a short amount of time. What if you run out of gas or get stuck in a long traffic jam? It is no safer to leave a child in a car (with or without you) in a freezing car than it would be to leave a child in a car on a hot day. Both are deadly.

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If you stop the vehicle (wreck/gas), you take them out of the straps and put the coat back on. Wink That's what we did and wonder of all wonder; it worked.

Here's the stats.

Death among children and adolescents: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia

Were any of the other people on the take em off side in the facebook debate not from your area?

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Sure, in a fender bender that works. I am thinking of a more serious accident, where the adults in the car are not able to help the child. Also, you should not remove a child from their seat in a bad wreck, but wait and let a paramedic do it if you can. The seat will help to immobilize their back in case of spinal injury. I dont think anyone in the debate was from my immediate area. It was on a nursing support board. I'm not sure I know anyone who takes them off who live near me. At least no one I have asked in the last week or so.

Those stats only tell that most kids die from accidents. I would love to see stats about kids injured or killed because they were wearing a jacket in a car seat. Truth is, we dont even know how dangerous it really is, just that the testing has not been done. Now I am not saying that makes it safe. As I said before, I do make a judgement call, and take the jackets off when we are going to be driving at highway speeds, and the kids only wear their jackets around town, although, even in the course of this debate I am starting to question myself about taking the jackets off, as at highway speeds is where we are most likely to have a more serious accident, which is why I make them take the jackets off so their seats are more effective. Like I said, it is more of a weighing one danger against another for me and one of those subjects that I am constantly second guessing myself on, which is maybe why these debates bother me. I can truly see it from both sides.....I just dont think it is a black and white issue.

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When I'm home, I'm going to find the youtube video of what happens when the harness is too loose. I know I'm not going to change people's minds, but if it comes to taking a chance my child *may* be in an accident so severe that we shouldn't remove him from the car, I'd like the option of doing so instead of searching for him because he slid out of the straps because the coat won't help him if it stays in the seat and the kid doesn't. So it really is black and white to me. There is very very very little gray area and all of it involves a trip to the emergency room wiht not enough time to take my kid out of his coat after he was already in it when the er situation began.