I was offered product sample in order to facilitate an honest review for our car seat safety with winter coats article. No other compensation was received and all opinions are my own.
How many of you are aware of the dangers of letting your kids wear a coat in their car seat? Shocking; I didn’t discover this danger until my daughter was born four years ago. And that is when I came across the warnings and dangers of coat compression should you get into an accident. I never really thought about it before. But if you were to have an accident, the force compresses your child’s coat and what you once thought was a tight fit of the seat belt is no longer secure and can cause injury to your child. That’s when I started searching for car seat safety options for winter coats.
Winter coats and car seat safety
There is a very simple test to see if your child’s coat violates safety standards to be worn in your car seat.
- Put the child into the coat.
- Put the child into their car seat and secure with their car seat harness.
- Without loosening the harness at all; remove your child from the car seat.
- Remove the coat.
- Without a coat on; put your child back into their car seat and secure without adjusting the harness at all.
- Measure the space between your child’s chest and the harness at the chest. If there is more than 2 finger spaces between the child’s chest and harness; then your child’s coat is not safe to be worn in their car seat.
This is especially crucial to keep in mind during the winter months. Especially since most warm coats are so fluffy. It is so tempting to just have your kids jump into their car seat; as it is so cold outside. I mean what parent wants their kids to freeze while driving around?
I have had the same struggle. In our winter months; it is quite common for temperatures to linger at -30 degrees and colder. There is no way I want my kid out without their coat on. It’s not always plausible to warm up the car before putting kids into the car. And with our bitter wind, I hate having to take Miss Jade’s coat off to have her jump into her car seat.
Infant winter car seat safety
For your infant there is a simple means to help keep your baby warm and protected from the elements, but also safe in their car seat.
- Dress your child in normal warmer clothing such as a sweater, long pants and a hat.
- Secure them into the car seat as normal. Ensuring the harness is secure and appropriate tautness.
- Lightly wrap a blanket around the infant tucked in on the sides.
- Ensure there is nothing behind the baby’s back.
- For more protection you can use the amazing infant car seat covers. I used a car seat cover with Miss Jade when she was an infant. And I loved it. It didn’t interfere with or even touch the harness; so she was kept completely safe. But it was such a brilliant barrier between the bitter weather. Often it kept her so warm she didn’t even need more than a very light swaddling blanket. I highly recommend them for infants in colder climates.
Toddler winter car seat safety
Now for toddlers the case is quite different. We don’t have car seat covers for toddler car seats. And frankly, what toddler would put up with one? Mine wouldn’t. And you still have to deal with getting the toddler from the house to the car. For toddlers I highly recommend the new Cozywoggle coat.
The Cozywoggle is a brilliant Mom designed coat that is safe to be used while in the car seat. It comes in sizes 12 months, 18 months, 2T, 3T, 4, 5 and 6. So you can keep your child safe and warm from the time they graduate from the infant car seat until they graduate from the car seats!
The Cozywoggle comes in 1 unisex style but in four colors: red, navy blue, purple, and pink. It is made of water and wind resistant polyester, and is lined with cozy fleece. It is super soft and very warm for Miss Jade. The hood can be removed for those that like to wear hats. But I quite adore the attached hood.
So how can the Cozywoggle be safe for use in a car seat? Because of it’s unique design. It features two zippers on the sides, which can unzip thus allowing the car seat harness to be buckled directly around the child and not around the coat.
Thus the coat is merely draped around the outside of the child with the harness directly against your child. And it doesn’t wrap around or hook around the harness at all; so it doesn’t hinder the harness efficiency. And all this without having to take the coat off! Not to mention the Cozywoggle has undergone crash testing at a lab and was proven safe in both forward-facing and rear-facing car seats!
Even more exciting, inventor Cherlyn Jenkins and the Cozywoggle won the 2013 American Women Inventorz award. Watch this brilliant video by creator Cherlyn Jenkins that shows you how to use the Cozywoggle to ensure car seat safety in the winter months!
To be blunt, I needed a Cozywoggle YEARS ago to use with all of my kids! It has completely simplified getting Miss Jade to the car, into her car seat and wrapped up warm. She no longer freezes when we have to put on her harness. She is a much happier little girl. And I am a much happier Mama! Not to mention that Miss Jade just loves her new coat and so do I! We all especially love the cute little penguins!
Then when we reach our destination; after Jade gets out of her car seat, she just raises her arms and I re-zip the sides. And her coat now works as a regular winter coat! It is so versatile! I don’t have to carry multiple coats and blankets around any more. Just one beautiful Cozywoggle. And it is so easy to use!
I also have to mention how much I love the zippers! They are a high quality zipper that has not snagged or fussed one bit. Her cozywoggle is so much easier to zip up and down than any other jacket or coat she has ever had. Her Cozywoggle is even easier to zip than my coats, all because of the quality zipper they use. I just thought that was worth mentioning.
As parents, we all just want what is best for our kids. We go through a lot to make sure our homes and environments are safe and protective for our children. So naturally we care about keeping the kids safe in the car as well. By following the car seat safety tips laid out by the consumer reports; and using a Cozywoggle for your toddler, you can ensure your little one is safe while still remaining warm in these cold winter months!
Want to win your own Cozywoggle Toddler Coat? Come enter our Cozywoggle Coat Giveaway from 11/20/2013- 12/10/2013. The giveaway will be open to USA and Canada! And a quick hint; the first entry is to comment on this post, so be sure to leave a comment before heading over there so you don’t have to return. (Saying, “thanks for the giveaway” is not a valid comment entry for the giveaway).
What are your top tips for managing car seat safety with winter coats?
What do you love most about the Cozywoggle?