Cold Weather Car Seat Safety Tips You Need to Know Now (IMAGE)

Ultimate guide to cold weather car seat safetyScary but true: Car seat safety mistakes are easy to make, especially during the winter. Something as simple as buckling your baby in the car seat still wearing a coat or snowsuit can have tragic consequences, as thick, puffy outerwear prevents the straps from tightening against your child's body in the event of a crash. Plus, most of the products designed to keep babies warm in the car seat are dangerous, even if they're advertised as "safe" -- any kind of fleece-lined sleeping bag, for example, adds a layer, which, again, stops straps from functioning properly.

But don't worry, we've drawn out exactly what you need to do! Board-certified pediatrician Dr. Alisa Baer, better known as the The Car Seat Lady, helped The Stir develop these drawings and examined them from start to finish to ensure accuracy and safety.

Following in the footsteps of her mother, Debbi Baer, RN -- the original "car seat lady" -- Dr. Baer has spent the past 15 years trying to change the statistic that car crashes remain the leading cause of death and injury to children.

More from The Stir: The Important Winter Car Seat Safety Rule You're Probably Breaking & Why You Must Stop Now (PHOTOS)


Did this teach you anything new about car seat safety during the winter?

 Also see: Cold Weather Car Seat Safety Tips (For Toddlers)

baby gear, car seat safety, safety


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Snake... Snakecharmer76

At this point I think I'll keep my children indoors all winter long until May-ish. Sure we're hermits but my kids will know how to build one wicked pillow fort!

Bridg... Bridget1981

That's all fine and dandy, but when you live somewhere where the temperature can hit -45C with the windchill (which it here last week, all week) going outside without proper outdoor clothing is not an option and would quite frankly be idotic. 

MamaM... MamaMandee

I knew this and it is good info!

Craft... CraftyJenna

Seriously, Bridget1981. I'm all for car seat safety, but we live in the north where it can get to -35 and frostbite in min or sec is a real fear. There is no way I'm leaving the house without a coat, and I sure and hell am not taking my baby outside without one. 

peanu... peanutsmommy1

You dont need to take the baby outside without a coat, just dont strap them into their carseat with it on

lalab... lalaboosh

Why can't a child be carried out in their coat and then have their coat removed before strapping them into their seat? It doesn't get very cold here, but that's what we do when it's too cold for a hoodie and blanket between the house and car. Then we tuck the blanket over baby's legs after securing the straps and tightening them. It's not hard.

Craft... CraftyJenna

When it's dangerusly cold, the car is dangerusly cold too. Not everyone has the luxuary of remote starters and even with them, when the windchill is -40, I'm not going to hang my car door open, fight my kid's coat off so she can be exposed to severe cold, force her into a cold carseat, then fight her coat back on, and since it can't be zipped, let her just pull it off? When the cold can be deadly, that's not a real option. It's easy to say "just take their coat off" when it doesn't get truely and bitterly cold where you live. When my daughter was a baby I dressed her warm and used blankets and car seat covers, but now that she is a toddler that's not an option. 

Bridg... Bridget1981

That's the point lalaboosh.  You've just said that it doesn't get that cold where you are. So you saying it's not hard is an irrelevant comment to the situation the 2 of us are describing.  In this cold it actually is that hard (and dangerous) to remove your child's coat before strapping them into their seat.  As I'm typing this it's -35C with the windchill outside. I'm in Manitoba where it gets bitterly cold at times and have to agree completely with CraftyJenna's comment just above.

SaphireH SaphireH

are blankets that diffucult to come by? i understand cold weather expecially dangerous cold but its not that difficult to bring a blanket or two with, all 3 of my children have them for the car, they wear their heavy coats to the car, it gets started as soon as i can and my kids get their jackets removed as they are being put into the car and after being strapped in they are wrapped up in their heavy fleece blankets plus i mak sure they are in clothing thats warm plus hats and gloves if needed

easun... easunshine

I don't have a remote starter, but I've got legs, and coats of my own. So I turn my car on and heat it up well before it's time to go. The old fashioned running out to it in the cold. Because when all is said and done, it's not worth my child's LIFE to buckle them in that carseat with their coat on. And there's a good chance that's what it will cost if I do that, and then get in a serious accident (whether my fault, or someone else's). Other options include layers, thermal, blankets, snug fleece sweatshirts... just not thick, squishy coats.

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