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How bad is it to leave coats on in car seats? - Page 2

post #21 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momily View Post
Do you have a garage or driveway close to your house?
Yes, this year we do. Last year, we did not.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Momily View Post
Do you have a remote car start,
No.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Momily View Post
and/or live in an area where allowing your car to idle an warm up is legal?
Yes, it is legal to idle here. Personally, I don't do it, because my car warms up much faster when I'm driving, so sitting and waiting for it to warm up is counter-productive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Momily View Post
Do you have a mini van or other vehicle that's big enough for you to close the door and keep the wind out while you buckle your kids in?
Yes, we have two minivans, but no we cannot and do not climb inside while we buckle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Momily View Post
What exactly are they wearing in their carseats?
My two older kids (2.5 and 4 years old) wear a "base" layer of tights and a long-sleeved top. Over this, they wear a long-sleeved shirt and a pair of legging-type pants, and a pair of socks. Then a hat, mittens, a good-quality fleece pullover, and their boots. They go in the car, with a warm blanket over them.

DS (5 months) will wear a cotton jammie, with socks under it. Over that I will put a fleece one-piece like this, and his shoes and hat and his little mitten-type things (without the thumbs). He has his blanket tucked around him as well.

When we get to our destination, as I unbuckle each child I slip their thick coats on. It only takes an additional few seconds to get them on for each child. DS I just pick him up and carry him wrapped in his blanket, or carry his carseat in, depending on whether he's in his infant seat or his convertible. My older kids carry their blankets into the store.

When we leave the store, we stop inside the doors and get everyone bundled again. I'll load DS back into his bucket, tuck his blanket around him and carry him out like that. I'll unlock the car, start it, and load the kids into their seats --not buckled, just setting in their seat. While I load the groceries and put the cart back they sit like that, then I take coats off, buckle, and tuck their blankets around them.

Some people forgo the blankets and instead tuck the child's coat over the top of them.

Also, I've never tried this but it's a good idea: instead of removing the coat altogether, you can unzip the coat, buckle the child into the seat, and then re-zip the coat around the harness. That reduces much of the bulk but I've never tried it since it takes quite a bit of extra time for me to fumble with the zippers.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Momily View Post
I'd still like to see someone post statistics as well.
If I had some I would definitely share, but I don't know what kind of statistics you are looking for I will try to find something relevant, but I don't know if ejections were rated as to cause; usually if there is a thick coat, the ejection would probably be attributed to loose straps.
post #22 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by an_aurora View Post
]
If I had some I would definitely share, but I don't know what kind of statistics you are looking for I will try to find something relevant, but I don't know if ejections were rated as to cause; usually if there is a thick coat, the ejection would probably be attributed to loose straps.
Statistics that show that there are more ejections (taking into account that accident rates and types probably vary in the snow) in the winter, or in colder climates than in the summer in, say, Florida.

I think that the PP's suggestion that if not wearing coats contributed significantly to safety, we'd see different ejection or injury rates in Florida vs. Alaska, or the U.S. vs. Canada.
post #23 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by an_aurora View Post
Anthing that requires you let the straps out is too thick and not safe, period.
That's only true if you assume all the extra thickness will be compressed to nothing in an accident. And surely that's not a realistic assumption for every coat?

I can see how a thick coat might fool parents into thinking the straps are tighter than they really are. But if a coat is made of a material that will compress a lot in an accident, it also ought to be possible for the parent to compress the coat quite a bit by pulling the straps good and tight. I wonder if the message ought to be not "Don't put a coat on your kid," but "If your kid is wearing a coat, make sure you pull the carseat straps as tight as you can."
post #24 of 157
Quote:
Also, I've never tried this but it's a good idea: instead of removing the coat altogether, you can unzip the coat, buckle the child into the seat, and then re-zip the coat around the harness. That reduces much of the bulk but I've never tried it since it takes quite a bit of extra time for me to fumble with the zippers.
I don't understand this at all. If the child is wearing the coat the zippers are UNDER the harness, you can't have them outside it again. The only way to do that would be to have slits/gaps in the sides and shoulders of the coat to feed the straps through. You could remove the coat, buckle the child and then put the coat on back to front over the straps, but you couldn't both buckle the child in the coat into the straps AND have the zippers still be on the outside of those straps.
post #25 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoBecGo View Post
I don't understand this at all. If the child is wearing the coat the zippers are UNDER the harness, you can't have them outside it again. The only way to do that would be to have slits/gaps in the sides and shoulders of the coat to feed the straps through. You could remove the coat, buckle the child and then put the coat on back to front over the straps, but you couldn't both buckle the child in the coat into the straps AND have the zippers still be on the outside of those straps.
You put the child in the seat, unzip the coat, and pull the zippers out from under the harness before you do up the strap. so the coat is no longer between the child and the harness, but now sticks out through the arm holes. Then zip up over the harness after you do it up. It's called the coat trick... Here's a video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLTVPqn0aR8
post #26 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daffodil View Post
That's only true if you assume all the extra thickness will be compressed to nothing in an accident. And surely that's not a realistic assumption for every coat?

I can see how a thick coat might fool parents into thinking the straps are tighter than they really are. But if a coat is made of a material that will compress a lot in an accident, it also ought to be possible for the parent to compress the coat quite a bit by pulling the straps good and tight. I wonder if the message ought to be not "Don't put a coat on your kid," but "If your kid is wearing a coat, make sure you pull the carseat straps as tight as you can."
No, it really isn't possible to compress that much by hand. A crash can easily exert two tons of force. I can't (and I work out!). Get one of those Space Bags -- you know, the kind you suck air out with a vacuum? Put a puffy coat in. Suck all the air out. Fluff it back up. Try to compress it that much by hand.
post #27 of 157
http://car-seat.org/showthread.php?t=29772

has a good photo tutorial for putting a harness on under a jacket, without completing removing the jacket.
post #28 of 157
I'm in Manitoba, Canada. I know cold... we just got done with an early -40C/F with windchill cold snap. And we do not do puffy coats in the car seat so it's doable in this kind of climate, it just takes a small bit of prep and maybe an extra minute or two, at the MOST, when buckling in the kids.

I was like many here posting in this thread, I doubted how risky it really was. So then I followed the suggestion of someone from here, I strapped DD in her seat with her parka on, tightened the straps as much as I could (and what I thought was safe). Then I took DD out, took off her parka and put her back in the seat and did NOT readjust the harness. I was absolutely FLOORED how loose the straps were. Another little girl DD's size could've sat on her lap and they would've have fit under the harness straps!

My youngest has a polar fleece bunting that he wears in his carseat. (I have flogged the heck out of this suit on here, lol, but it is such an awesome bunting.) I do not have to readjust the straps for this suit and on bitterly cold days, I throw a double layer fleece blanket over him as I carry him out and put it over him after he's strapped in. He always has mitts, a toque and his Stonz booties on, so I know he's staying toasty.

DD is the one that requires the extra minute or two. She's 4.5 and in a 5pt harness. And she has a god awful, huge, puffy parka. So on the really cold days when she *has* to wear her parka, we do the "coat trick"and zip the coat up over her harness. Doing this does take an extra minute or two but it's worth it for the peace of mind. When it's not bitterly cold, she wears her 3 season jacket (rated to -15C) and I can do up the harness fine over that. However, for her, I am going to buy her this polar fleece jacket and make her a long double layer fleece poncho to wear over it. With a warm toque, neck warmer and mitts, that will suffice on even our bitterly cold days AND keep her safe.
post #29 of 157
Forgot to mention, I do not have a garage and we are not allowed to idle our vehicles, as you can be ticketed. My van does have an interior car warmer that we plug in at night but when it's -40 overnight, it really doesn't warm the car up that much. It basically saves me from having to scrape windows in the morning. Having said that, I do go out and start the van right before I have the kids get ready to go so it does run for about 5 minutes. Again, not long enough to get the van warm but it takes the edge off the cold. Once I start driving, it's only a matter of a minute or two before the van really warms up.
post #30 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetcheeks View Post
II was like many here posting in this thread, I doubted how risky it really was. So then I followed the suggestion of someone from here, I strapped DD in her seat with her parka on, tightened the straps as much as I could (and what I thought was safe). Then I took DD out, took off her parka and put her back in the seat and did NOT readjust the harness. I was absolutely FLOORED how loose the straps were. Another little girl DD's size could've sat on her lap and they would've have fit under the harness straps!
This is the suggestion you see everywhere - see how loose the straps are after you take the coat off, and assume that's how loose they will be in an accident. But for them really to be that loose, the coat has to become completely compressed - thin as a sheet of paper. Is it realistic to think that will happen? Are there studies or experiments that show this happens? Crash tests with dummies wearing coats? Can anyone provide any actual data about how serious a problem this is?
post #31 of 157
Now granted it's been about 2 yrs since I had a little one is a carseat, but what kind of carseats does everyone use that they have to re-do the strap tension every time they buckle the child in? I have never heard of that before! When we had the harness carseats, I would unbuckle the child and take them out - I never had to loosen them. Then when I buckled the child back in, there wasn't any tightening required, it was just a "preset" tension if you will (that I had preset according to the size of the child). If it was secure enough without a coat and I could get it fastened to the same point with a coat, then there was no additional risk. Funny, I think there was only 1 coat I ever had a problem with, so it is entirely possible. (And yes, they were in snug enough to begin with, we had it professionally checked so we'd know what was "ok".) Personally I'd like to see any kind of statistics on how many children are injured (not just ejected - that's pretty extreme and can be from multiple causes, not just a winter coat) because they were wearing a coat in a carseat - other than just personal anecdote.
post #32 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by SunshineJ View Post
Now granted it's been about 2 yrs since I had a little one is a carseat, but what kind of carseats does everyone use that they have to re-do the strap tension every time they buckle the child in? I have never heard of that before! When we had the harness carseats, I would unbuckle the child and take them out - I never had to loosen them. Then when I buckled the child back in, there wasn't any tightening required, it was just a "preset" tension if you will (that I had preset according to the size of the child).
It's funny - I've been wondering just the opposite: Why are so many people talking as if they never adjust the strap tension? With our carseats, you didn't have to adjust it every time, but if the straps were good and tight, it made it kind of difficult to get them on and off the kid, so it was often easier to loosen them to get the kid out, then tighten them after putting the kid in again. And it seemed safest to me to always make sure I pulled them tight after the kid was strapped in.
post #33 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaryJaneLouise View Post
http://car-seat.org/showthread.php?t=29772

has a good photo tutorial for putting a harness on under a jacket, without completing removing the jacket.
I'm in Quebec, that's how we do it... If the car is warmer because we just did a quick stop somewhere (Idling is illegal so we can't warm up the car before) then the boys take off their coats and put them on backwards after because it is quicker and easier for them to buckle in by themselves...

I take my coat off also when driving btw...
post #34 of 157
I have a question about the coat trick: What about the thickness of the coat BEHIND THE CHILD? If the compression issue is such a concern, why is the back of the coat not a concern?
post #35 of 157
This is a really great thread. I am in Alberta and we just finished the coldest snap we have had in a while, like so cold people's fingers were sticking to their cars, and doors (gross!) it was -37 celcius with the wind. (-34 F?). Anyway, I have been wondering about all this stuff as both my kids have really puffy jackets and I just can't seem to get the straps super tight. (of course I have this issue in the summer too...my straps always seem like they could go tighter, I am just not as strong as my hubby.)
I am interested in the polar fleece, it just doesnt look warm enough...is it really as warm as a down jacket? If so, I have no qualms buying one tomorrow. And so, is it more compressible?
I have a van, parked in the garage, so putting them in their seats without a jacket is not my concern...my concern is that *if* I were to get in an accident (knock on wood) and we were stranded (in a snow storm, in our car for hrs,) they would freeze to death.
My husband is a paramedic and has seen this happen...sometimes emergency vehicles cant get to you as soon as you would like, esp. in the types of conditions (icy, snow, wind) that cause major accidents...and your windows smash, so you are in the elements immediately.
Sorry to be a downer on this one, i personally feel like this is a massive dilemma...
post #36 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by Limabean1975 View Post
I have a question about the coat trick: What about the thickness of the coat BEHIND THE CHILD? If the compression issue is such a concern, why is the back of the coat not a concern?
I would think that the weight of the child already compresses the coat in the back, there might be slight compression in an accident but nothing like having the harness over the front of the coat... also, the harness doesn't have to be loosened to use the coat trick so the harness is as tight as it would be without a coat.

Of course it also depends on the coat etc...

Just to say... In the winter, I personally do use an after market product for babies that most Carseat specialists would shake their head to... but the one I use has no compression issues at all, the harness isn't threaded through and the harness fits better on baby than it does with a fleece one piece suit that they do recommend...

But many of the similar products that are sold are dangerous (because of compression and threading of the harness so they change the harness path etc)... so it makes sense for many to use a blanket statement...

I guess my point is to use your better judgment... but stick with the rules of safety...
post #37 of 157
I went and talked to car seat techs at the local childrens hosp....large regional university hospital.

they told me rear-facing babies should not wear puffy coats due to risk of ejection.

forward-facing older children can wear any kind of coat. They said make the straps snug and keep the chest clip at armpit height. They specifically said, compression not an issue. Of course, the straps should still be as snug as you can get them.

my 2 yr old is rear facing, wears a polar fleece pullover and a blanket over him. He usually flings the blanket off in disgust. He's a tough 'sconnie boy, what do I mean putting a blanket on him? Lol

my 5 yr old wears a Lands End parka. He uses a 5 point britax regent. I don't worry about the coat one bit, most kids his age are in 3 point booster seats, much riskier IMO but to each their own.
post #38 of 157
I have a 5 year old and a 2.5 year old. I have NEVER heard of the no jacket rule. EVER. Including when I have went for a carseat check.

I am wondering....I live in Northern Canada. COLD. Would the risk/reality of hypothermia be MORE of a concern than wearing a jacket? Heck...what about snowpants?

Interesting topic...I am going to come back and read it....thanks
post #39 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitten View Post
I went and talked to car seat techs at the local childrens hosp....large regional university hospital.

they told me rear-facing babies should not wear puffy coats due to risk of ejection.

forward-facing older children can wear any kind of coat. They said make the straps snug and keep the chest clip at armpit height. They specifically said, compression not an issue. Of course, the straps should still be as snug as you can get them.

my 2 yr old is rear facing, wears a polar fleece pullover and a blanket over him. He usually flings the blanket off in disgust. He's a tough 'sconnie boy, what do I mean putting a blanket on him? Lol

my 5 yr old wears a Lands End parka. He uses a 5 point britax regent. I don't worry about the coat one bit, most kids his age are in 3 point booster seats, much riskier IMO but to each their own.

Whoever you talked to was fabulously, GROSSLY and dangerously incorrect. EEE GADS. If I had overheard that conversation as a senior technician I would have immediately pulled the technician aside, corrected the dangerous information, and recommend the technician for retraining and not to have further parental contact until the technician could demonstrate at least baseline competence. Ugh.

Your five year old is NOT SAFE in a Lands End Parka. He would be perfectly safe in a correctly used booster, he's perfectly safe in a correctly used Regent but as it stands he is not safe at all.
post #40 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by momtoS View Post
I have a 5 year old and a 2.5 year old. I have NEVER heard of the no jacket rule. EVER. Including when I have went for a carseat check.

I am wondering....I live in Northern Canada. COLD. Would the risk/reality of hypothermia be MORE of a concern than wearing a jacket? Heck...what about snowpants?

Interesting topic...I am going to come back and read it....thanks


If a technician failed to tell you that, your technician was doing an inadequate job.

Bulky jackets and snowpants do not belong in child restraints.
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