Winter coats and car seats don’t mix when it comes to safety, so read this before you judge other parents
When it comes to car seat safety, you cannot be too careful or adhere too strongly to safety guidelines. Which is why many parents find themselves in a bit of a frustrating pickle when it comes to winter coats and car seats. One mom shared a good reminder for everyone when it comes to kids who are seen in public without winter coats — don’t judge them or their parents.
The bulkiness of many winter coats prevents car seat straps from being fully effective in protecting children since the straps aren’t at their tightest or most secure under a puffy winter coat. In case of impact, those coats will compress — which leaves your child virtually unprotected.
So many parents just forgo having their kid wear them all together. Some of us use the coat as a blanket, or make them wear it backward. Some give their kids a cozy blanket and call it a day. Reddit user MindyS1719 recently shared a viral post on Reddit every parent and non-parent should read.
“If you’re out and about and see a parent with a baby/toddler who isn’t wearing a coat, pleeeeease don’t assume that parent is some kinda monster who doesn’t care if their kids freeze,” the post says. “New guidelines avidly warn against children wearing coats in car seats — and this makes it really challenging for caregivers to get kids out of the house then in the car then out of the car again and into the destination.”
As the mother of a three-year-old, I wholly co-sign on the chaos that is the Winter Coat Carseat Shuffle. It’s a pain in the ass. Especially if you have multiple destinations.
“And since there’s not a great commercial product to solve this issue yet, everyone comes up with their own solutions,” the post continues. “Some do the coat-shuffle at every stop and some decided their kid would survive the 12-second walk from the car into Best Buy without the bubble coat.”
If you’re skeptical about the dangers of puffy coats and car seats, watch this video by renowned car seat safety expert The Car Seat Lady and be prepared to shut your trap.
Many parents shared how they’ve been shamed in public for having their kids walk around sans coat in cold weather and how they respond to it.
Let this serve as a reminder for everyone about winter coats and car seats: don’t judge parents whose kids aren’t wearing coats for three seconds in a parking lot, and don’t buckle any child into a car seat while wearing a heavy winter coat. Layers, blankets, or ponchos go a long way.
So does not being an asshole.