Brit parents are being warned of the risks of strapping kids into a car seat while wearing a heavy wintry coat.
The winter is definitely upon us, with a sharp chill hitting most areas of the UK this week.
But though dressing your kids up in the warmest snug coat might seem sensible, it poses a serious and potentially fatal safety risk.
In a video from Good Egg Car Safety, a woman first straps a lad in wearing his coat, before asking him to take it off.
Though the straps look like they fit snug to his body, there are several inches between the youngster and the nylon, the Daily Record reports.
That space between him and the belt reduces safety “considerably”, experts claim.
In previous simulation videos, crash test dummies dressed in heavy coats have shown just how dangerous the wardrobe choice could be.
In one clip, the dummy is sharply jerked forward before hurtling through the air in the 30mph collision.
Margaret Bolt, Good Egg Safety car seat expert, told the MEN : “Without adjusting the harness and doing the buckle back up, you can see how much movement there is in those straps and how much slack there in fact still is.
“Now if they wear a winter coat in a car seat and the car is involved in a crash, all the padding in the coat will be compressed and effectively this is how loose the straps are and the child could be ejected from the seat.”
Parents are being urged to remove their kids’ bulky coats before strapping them in and then, if they’re cold before the car warms up, they should place the coat over the child to keep them warm.
The advice also applies to adults.
Getty Images/Image Source)
Nick Lloyd, road safety manager at RoSPA, agreed, adding: “If a child is wearing a thick jacket or bodysuit the harness cannot be firmly fastened around the child meaning that it will not fit in the right place and importantly it will not be close enough to the child’s body.
“In an accident the harness will need to compress the jacket before it can restrain the child.
“This reduces the safety of the seat considerably and therefore it is not recommended that thick jackets or bodysuits are worn.”
Julie Dagnall, of Child Seat Safety Ltd, said: “As winter is approaching, it’s very tempting to wrap our children up in big warm coats in the car, but this can stop the harness or shield from fitting across the child correctly and can mean that the child could be ejected from their car seat in a collision.
“It’s always best to remember to have indoor clothes on in the car, with the harness tight and fastened as close to the skin as possible.
“If you think they’ll be cold, place a blanket or their coat on top of them. Just check it doesn’t stop the car seat from working properly and isn’t going to make them overheat especially if they are young babies.”