UK winter: Children should not wear winter coats when in a car for safety reasons

Winter weather may also mean your car is freezing cold and keeping a coat on seems like the sensible solution to avoid getting a chill. However, new research has revealed children are not safe if they keep their coat on and could be at risk of serious injury.

Margaret Bolt, an expert from the Good Egg Safety company said: “Without adjusting the harness and doing the buckle back up, you can see how much movement there is in those straps and how much slack there in fact still is.

“Now if they wear a winter coat in a car seat and the car is involved in a crash, all the padding in the coat will be compressed and effectively this is how loose the straps are and the child could be ejected for the seat.”

Parents can avoid a dramatic incident by making sure the harness is right around a child before setting off on a journey.

Road users are also encouraged to take a coat off a child before setting off and placing a blanket over them instead to keep them warm.

“In an accident, the harness will need to compress the jacket before it can restrain the child.

“This reduces the safety of the seat considerably and therefore it is not recommended that thick jackets or bodysuits are worn.”

The Good Egg Car Safety group also warns placing a coat on a baby or child could cause them to overheat as the car warms up.

They also suggest coats or jackets should not completely cover the harness either as this could delay removing a child from a car in an emergency situation.

Car seats can be a danger to some younger children and RoSPA recommended travel is kept to a minimum.

They claim research by Swindon’s Great Western Hospital shows babies under four weeks old should not use car seats for more than 30 minutes.

Sitting in a car seat for longer than this can lead to breathing problems and parents should check with the hospital to confirm whether it is safe for a newborn infant to use a seat. 

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