Car Seat Safety - Winter Driving Tips

By Erin Ledden, MS, PA-C

During the winter season, keeping your newborn infant warm is vitally important. As a general rule, infants should be dressed in one more layer than adults. However, depending on the weather, this can make driving a tricky time. Outlined below are tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics for proper and safe usage of car seats during the winter season:

  • Dress your infant in thin layers, NOT bulky clothing like winter coats or snowsuits. While warm, bulky or fluffy clothing easily flattens with force leaving space between your infant and the harness. This increases the chance of your infant slipping out and being thrown from the car seat.
  • Hats, mittens and socks! These accessories can help provide warmth without interfering with the car seat harness.
  • Place coats or blankets over the harness straps if needing more layers. Once strapped in, blankets are a safe option to place over the straps to provide your infant with extra warmth. Additionally, this top layer can be easily removed once the car warms up.
  • Be sure to tighten the straps of the harness appropriately. Multiple clothing layers can give a false appearance that the infant is snug in the car seat. Always double check!
  • Keep the carrier portion of the car seat inside your home if possible. This reduces the chance of your infant losing body heat once all strapped in.

Stay warm, drive safe and enjoy the winter season with the new addition to your family!

Tags: Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, NICU, tips & advice

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