Why You Should Never Put A Child Wearing A Winter Coat In A Car Seat

Publish Date
Wednesday, 8 June 2016, 8:49AM

It seems logical to have our kids wrapped up this Winter, but even with good intentions, a bulky coat and a car seat is a dangerous combination.

TODAY national investigative correspondent Jeff Rossen delivered this report late last year, and we decided to share it with you as we enter our New Zealand Winter.

As a general rule, winter coats should not be worn underneath the harness of a car seat. A bulky coat under a child seat harness can result in the harness being too loose to be effective in a crash.

Here is a simple way to check if your child's coat is too big and bulky to wear under their harness:

  • Put the coat on your child, sit them in the child seat and fasten the harness. Tighten the harness until you can no longer pinch any of the harness webbing with your thumb and forefinger.
  • Without loosening the harness, remove your child from the child seat.
  • Take the coat off, and put your child back in the child seat and buckle the harness straps, which are still adjusted as they were when he was wearing the coat.
  • If you can now pinch the webbing between your thumb and forefinger, then the coat is too bulky to be worn under the harness.

The best way to beat the cold is with either a blanket over the top, or putting their arms into the backwards jacket when they're already sitting secure.

One of the most common misuse conditions seen in child seats is that the harness is too loose and wearing a big winter coat under the harness is just one of the potential causes.

Watch more above.