According to a report fromNBC News heavy coats may cause car seats to be less effective.
Our personal injury attorneys in Spartanburg know that colder weather will mean parents want to keep their children warm with plenty of winter clothing. Unfortunately, the heavy winter clothing can make car seats less effective.
The problem with winter coats is they create a situation where the harness straps are not tight enough because of the extra padding around the child’s chest.
The key to car seat safety is to ensure the tightness of the harness is based on fitting the child and not fitting the jacket.
It is recommended that parents utilize the “pinch test.” This test is conducted by placing your child in a car seat without a jacket on; then checking to see if you can pinch an inch of strap between your index finger and thumb. If you can successfully pinch one inch then the straps are too loose and you should tighten them.
Car Seat Safety is a major concern at all times and there are some general safety guidelines that need to be followed regardless of the season.
A series of installation tips can drastically improve safety of any car seat.
First, the straps should be above or at your child’s shoulders. On a convertible seat the top harness sometimes must be used when facing forward. It is important to check the car seat’s instructions before placing your child in the seat.
Next, the recline angle of the seat is important. If you are unsure what angle to use it is recommended that you check the car seats owner’s instructions.
If you are using a seat belt to fasten the car seat in then you should be sure the belt runs through the belt path as indicated by the instructions. If the car seat utilizes a LATCH system it is especially important to check the owner’s manual to ensure you are using the product correctly.
Finally, it is important to use a tether strap if possible. The tether strap connects to the top portion of the child’s seat and keeps the seat stable by attaching to a stationary point inside your vehicle.
A tether may provide extra protection by ensuring the car seat and the child’s head do not move too far forward in the case of a sudden stop or crash.
All cars manufactured after September 2000 are required to have anchor points to attach a tether to. As long as your child has not reached the weight limit for the tether strap every car seat should utilize the tether strap for extra safety.
You should check the instruction manual to see what the weight limit is for your car seat.
If you or someone you love has suffered an injury, contact Lee Law Offices, P.A. for a free and confidential consultation with our North and South Carolina attorneys. Call 1-800-887-1965.
More Blog Posts:
Rubbernecking on Carolina Roads Causes Additional Traffic Accidents, North Carolina Personal Injury Blog, October 25, 2013.
Cribs and Infant Injury Risks in North Carolina, North Carolina Personal Injury Blog, October 14, 2013.