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Car Seat Safety: 5 Winter Driving Tips

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, added layers can also pose a potential danger to your child when buckling up. Follow these five tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics to keep your little ones safe and warm while traveling by car:

  1. Dress your infant in thin layers, NOT bulky clothing like winter coats or snowsuits. 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. Puffy coats are not safe in a car seat or under a seat belt for someone of any age. 
  2. Hats, mittens and socks! These accessories can help provide warmth without interfering with the car seat harness. If your child likes to suck his or her thumb, choose half-gloves with open fingers.
  3. 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.
  4. 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! If you can pinch the straps, the car seat harness needs to be tightened to fit snugly against your child's chest.
  5. 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! 

In proud partnership with Seattle Children's, Overlake offers in-person car seat checks by appointment only. Click here to register today for a free safety check with a certified car seat technician.

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