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Be wary of dressing your children in bulky winter clothes in the car

Date: 02/02/2015
Source: FICC

In the winter months, in addition to taking the classic precautions such as fitting winter tyres on your vehicle and protecting against frost damage, you need to make sure that your small offspring are still safe when they are belted into their car seats.
Bulky winter clothes for example can affect the efficacity of a child’s seatbelt because they inhibit the close contact of a seatbelt that should fit snugly across the body. An accident or sudden braking could produce a gap between the belt and the child’s body and this slackness could result in the child slipping out of its seat.
To avoid this happening no-one should wear bulky clothing when travelling in a vehicle, not even adult passengers in the front seats. One sensible solution is to dress children in a thin, but warm jacket, like a fleece, and only put on their padded jackets when they leave the car. That way the child’s seatbelt is always in close contact with its body. You might want to cover a child with a thick, warm jacket when you set off until the inside of the vehicle has warmed up enough.

This is how you check that the child’s safety belt is properly adjusted:
° Take the child’s car seat into your home and dress your kiddo in a thick jacket or snow suit.
° Put your offspring in the car seat and pull the seatbelt across so that it sits properly. Next try to take your child out of the seat without readjusting the belt.
° Now take the thick jacket off again, put the child back in the car seat and strap him/her back in. If you can easily insert two fingers or more between the child’s shoulder blade and the belt, the thick jacket that your child was wearing initially is not suitable for travelling in.