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A Parent’s Dilemma: Winter Coat Yes or No?

This is a topic that we had not been introduced to as an organization until recently. A consideration one needs to explore and decide for themselves. What could be problematic about placing a coat on our children and then setting them in an approved car seat safely? We want to make sure our children are warm, safe and secure. Yet many sources now believe we may inadvertently be placing them in harms way.

            According to numerous sources such as Consumer Reports we learn of  these inherent dangers. Emily A. Thomas, Ph.D. recommends a “Puffy Coat” check when placing a child in a car seat. “As a general rule, winter coats should not be worn underneath a car seat harness because that can leave the harness too loose to be effective in a crash.” (Thomas, E. 2018) According to Healthychildren.org if we are involved In a car crash, fluffy padding immediately flattens out from the force, leaving extra space under the harness. A child can then slip through the straps and be thrown from the seat. (Staff, 2019)

            These are scary thoughts while we travel this holiday season and one can always use good information to prevent such tragedies. Although so many sources agree with the inherent dangers of not checking our children. The Creative Director, Amie Durocher, of Safe Ride 4 Kids gives us some compelling information to check our most treasured gifts we transport.

            Some additional resources that we also consider valuable and trust worthy also agree with these new findings such as, Motherly, Kids and Cars and Parents.com .  


For infants:

The harness straps are too loose if you can pinch them like this.

  • Dress the infant as if they were going to be indoors.
  • Put them in their infant carrier.
  • Secure on the harness straps nice and snug (remember if you can pinch the material together between your thumb and finger it’s too loose, as seen in the picture).
  • Top them off with a hat and some blankets over the top of the harness straps and carry baby out to the car.
  • As the car warms up you can remove blankets and replace them over baby when you arrive at your destination. This also helps ensure baby doesn’t get overheated.

For toddlers and preschoolers:

  • Dress the child comfortably and put on their coat and hat for their walk out to the car.
  • Take off the coat and buckle the child snugly in the harness straps.
  • Put the coat on over the child. They can put their arms in the sleeves backwards. Or use blankets.
    • Some new car seat friendly coats and infant covers are now available (you can see some in our Car Seat Gift Guide).
  • The child can remove the layer(s) as the car warms up. (Durocher,2018)

We at Kountry Cuties wish everyone a safe, secure and happy holiday season. Most especially during the trying commute to and from our friends and relatives. We offer many styles of outerwear (i.e. scarves, gloves, beanies) and swaddles to choose from to assist with and reduce one more stressor in our traveling lives. Never hesitate to reach out to us and allow us the honor of serving you and yours! Have a safe and happy holiday season!


Thomas, Emily A. “The Dangers of Winter Coats and Car Seats.” The Dangers of Winter Coats and Car Seats, 19 Oct. 2018, www.consumerreports.org/car-seats/the-dangers-of-winter-coats-and-car-seats/.

Staff Writer. “Winter Car Seat Safety Tips from the AAP.” Winter Car Seat Safety Tips from the AAP, Healthychildren.org, 12 Nov. 2019, healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/on-the-go/Pages/Winter-Car-Seat-Safety-Tips.aspx.

Amie, Durocher. “Winter Coats and Car Seats.” Safe Ride 4 Kids, 21 Dec. 2018, saferide4kids.com/blog/winter-coats-and-car-seats/.