or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Natural Living › Family Safety › How bad is it to leave coats on in car seats?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

How bad is it to leave coats on in car seats? - Page 5

post #81 of 157
What about bibs and booster/seatbelt use? Both dd and I wear bibs often in the winter when we are running errands. Having that extra layer on the legs makes it possible for us to wear lighter, less-compressible coats on top. Plus we are often "wading" in deep snow to our car and on the seldom-cleared sidewalks. It sounds weird but lots of people here wear bibs as a regular item of clothing. I am another one from a very cold climate and really taking a coat off for any amount of time can be dangerous. We also travel on a lot of rural roads where it would be very easy to go off the road and wait hours or even days to get help.....possibly trapped in your seat. Anyway, the bibs we wear are not padded on the "bib" area, just the legs and waist. But I am thinking the padding in the waist/lap area might be an issue?

FTR, we do try very hard to avoid puffy coats in seatbelts. Dd has a 5-point harness in one car and we simply do not use that car unless dd can fit into the preset straps with whatever she is wearing. However, there have been a few times where we have HAD to go somewhere (in the boostered car) and going with a fleece coat would just be a really dumb risk. We do the "coat trick" or put it on backwards over the belt but honestly, that makes me more nervous than going over the coat because I cannot SEE the seatbelt under dd's coat and cannot be constantly monitoring whether it is correctly tightened or positions.
post #82 of 157
I'd like to see some links about children being ejected from carseats. Not infants - just children.
post #83 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by Twinklefae View Post
I'm a tech and I'm in Canada. If you aren't sure if your DC's coats will cause issue in an accident, try this. Put them in the car seat with the coat on. Take them out. Take the coat off. (You can do this in the living room if it's too cold outside.) Put them back in the car seat and look at the harness. If it isn't loose at all, they can keep wearing the coat.

Personally, I shop for a "car coat" every winter. When he was tiny it was a fleece suit. Last year it was a layer of fleece with a wind-breaking layer. This year it is just a thin coat. Add hats and mitts (v. important when fending off the cold!) and you are ready to go.

For my daycare kids, I do the coat trick, where I undo their (enormous puffy) coats and zip up over the top of the harness. (Or velcro... coats with velcro make this much easier!) It takes me 15 min to get three kids in the car.

ETA: There wouldn't be any stats on whether or not a coat makes a difference, because something like 80% of car seats are used incorrectly, no matter the weather.
I live in a much warmer climate. My child never rode in a coat, but in the winter was frequently in the car in with say an undershirt, turtleneck and sweatshirt. When he was little I had to uninstall the carseat to tighten or loosen the harness, and every spring I'd have to tighten it because he was wearing less clothing. So his outfit would have failed that test -- does that make it unsafe?
post #84 of 157
OK, I can't

But I feel like often at MDC people make the blanket statement that something is unsafe, and don't back it up, and that's what's happening here. It's like superstition -- there's a certain list of "rules" I must follow and if I follow them perfectly my child will never come to harm. Therefore parents whose children do come to harm must be breaking some rule and should be harshly judged. As a parent I'm constantly making decisions about whether X or Y is the best choice for us, it's rarely as simple as just following a single rule.

To give you an example, school buses are definitely safer than cars, even for kids in carseats, but I don't throw a fit when I hear that my neighbor decides to drive to school to pick up her kid to be at Brownies on time.

Driving (in the short term, leaving the long term risks of inactivity) with your kid in the car is dramatically safer than walking, but I don't judge a parent who walks their kid to school.

Everyone's situation is different. Is there an increased risk of ejection and head excursion if a child's wearing a puffy coat? Yes, I will admit that. But if you're in a 40 below climate, and you're in an accident bad enough that that makes a difference you're almost certainly with shattered window, and the risk of a child freezing to death waiting for first responders is real too.

Where I live, when I pick up and drop off my kid at school we're parked on the side of a busy street. Waiting 10 minutes for my car to warm up, while he's sitting unbuckled in the seat isn't any different from driving on the same street with him completely unbuckled. Plus, carjacking is a real issue where I live, so having the car running while I'm at the back door (particularly the back passenger side door) buckling someone in is out of the question.

The correct thing to do would be to provide real statistics, or even anecdotes that involve older kids (because putting baby in a bunting in the carseat, wrapping a blanket or 2 around him and carrying him out to the car, is a lot easier than dealing with a 4 year old) would be great.

If I were a parent dealing with this (I'm not, I have a 10 year old), I'd want some real information so that I can evaluate the situation and make the decision that's right for me. That decision might be complicated. If he's going to preschool where they go straight from carpool to the playground, I do the coat trick, and let him wear snowpants . . . If it's above negative 10 we do the fleece coat blanket thing, if we're traveling on rural roads where we might not be found for hours after an accident we buckle over the winter coat . . .
post #85 of 157
My son wears a very puffy parka in the winter, in his 5 pt harness. I have never had to tighten or loosen the straps in order to get him in or out. It's plenty tight either way.

The reason no one can post statistics is that this is impossible to study. I think it's pretty probable that these kids who are ejected from their CS in accidents weren't tightly strapped in, coat or not. The coat is not necessarily the deciding factor here.

I find this whole argument silly. As the PP said, the safest thing to do is never to drive anywhere, as driving is much less safe than never driving. So I think anyone who drives their kid anywhere doesn't care about safety. You should all walk everywhere!!

Kidding. Do the best you can.
post #86 of 157
I read this thread through this AMs posts. I have been wondering about the bulky coat thing. Today when I went out with my 5yo I did the coat trick and it really only added a minute total (30 sec putting her in and 30 sec taking her out). I am a super duper impatient person and my nb is almost always screaming in the car which makes me even more impatient, so the fact that I didn't find this annoying says a lot. I am not saying it will work for everyone, since there are so many situations out there, but I would urge people to just give it a try
post #87 of 157
Right, how can they study this? It's impossible to isolate the variables. When a child is ejected, it's attributed to loose straps. Coats contribute to loose straps.

I'll try to find some pertinent links.
post #88 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momily View Post
OK, I can't

But I feel like often at MDC people make the blanket statement that something is unsafe, and don't back it up, and that's what's happening here. It's like superstition -- there's a certain list of "rules" I must follow and if I follow them perfectly my child will never come to harm. Therefore parents whose children do come to harm must be breaking some rule and should be harshly judged. As a parent I'm constantly making decisions about whether X or Y is the best choice for us, it's rarely as simple as just following a single rule.

To give you an example, school buses are definitely safer than cars, even for kids in carseats, but I don't throw a fit when I hear that my neighbor decides to drive to school to pick up her kid to be at Brownies on time.

Driving (in the short term, leaving the long term risks of inactivity) with your kid in the car is dramatically safer than walking, but I don't judge a parent who walks their kid to school.

Everyone's situation is different. Is there an increased risk of ejection and head excursion if a child's wearing a puffy coat? Yes, I will admit that. But if you're in a 40 below climate, and you're in an accident bad enough that that makes a difference you're almost certainly with shattered window, and the risk of a child freezing to death waiting for first responders is real too.

Where I live, when I pick up and drop off my kid at school we're parked on the side of a busy street. Waiting 10 minutes for my car to warm up, while he's sitting unbuckled in the seat isn't any different from driving on the same street with him completely unbuckled. Plus, carjacking is a real issue where I live, so having the car running while I'm at the back door (particularly the back passenger side door) buckling someone in is out of the question.

The correct thing to do would be to provide real statistics, or even anecdotes that involve older kids (because putting baby in a bunting in the carseat, wrapping a blanket or 2 around him and carrying him out to the car, is a lot easier than dealing with a 4 year old) would be great.

If I were a parent dealing with this (I'm not, I have a 10 year old), I'd want some real information so that I can evaluate the situation and make the decision that's right for me. That decision might be complicated. If he's going to preschool where they go straight from carpool to the playground, I do the coat trick, and let him wear snowpants . . . If it's above negative 10 we do the fleece coat blanket thing, if we're traveling on rural roads where we might not be found for hours after an accident we buckle over the winter coat . . .

I do agree with some of your points.


What if while waiting for your car to warm up and your children are not restrained for 10-15minutes....someone rearends you...or loses control on the ice and hits your car????


But at least you were waiting for a warm car to take their jackets off? NOPE it would be too late.

What if while buckling in one child...the other child climbed over the seat and put the car in drive? There is nothing you could do to stop it...as you are on the other side of the car.

Prehaps while buckling in one child...a carjacker jumps in your car and drives away with your children in it.

These are all REAL RISKS TOO>
post #89 of 157
From FARS:

In 2008, 156 children ages 2,3,4 and 5 were killed from being ejected from the vehicle. In the same year, 66 infants 0-1 were killed in the same manner.

On average, 63% of children under 5 killed in any type of crash (ejected or not) were restrained.

Keep in mind that with ejected children, it is common for them to be listed as "unrestrained" since crash investigators cannot always determine whether the restraint was in use at the time of the crash.

More coming...
post #90 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by an_aurora View Post
From FARS:

In 2008, 156 children ages 2,3,4 and 5 were killed from being ejected from the vehicle. In the same year, 66 infants 0-1 were killed in the same manner.

On average, 63% of children under 5 killed in any type of crash (ejected or not) were restrained.

Keep in mind that with ejected children, it is common for them to be listed as "unrestrained" since crash investigators cannot always determine whether the restraint was in use at the time of the crash.

More coming...
Were these events disproportionately represented in the winter or in colder climates? Controlling, of course for difference in accident rates due to snow and ice.

I'm not saying the statistics don't exist, just that if someone wanted to investigate this phenomena through the use of statistics they could.
post #91 of 157
I was just thinking about this 'coats is carseats = unsafe' post compared to the 'bundle me's are unsafe' post and something just doesn't add up here. If it's ok to have your kid in a coat that is unzipped then rezipped outside the harness (leaving fabric behind them inside the harness but not inside the harness in front) then how could bundle me's be unsafe when it is exactly the same thing. A bundle me leaves a layer behind the child but does not put another in front inside the harness. I have seen some people who have posted in both and have said that a bundle me is unsafe but a coat zipped outside the harness is safe. Which is it people? Could it be that parents should just do their best to make the harness straps tight at the same time they minimize risk from cold exposure without stressing over every single new 'rule' that someone comes up with?
post #92 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by elus0814 View Post
I was just thinking about this 'coats is carseats = unsafe' post compared to the 'bundle me's are unsafe' post and something just doesn't add up here. If it's ok to have your kid in a coat that is unzipped then rezipped outside the harness (leaving fabric behind them inside the harness but not inside the harness in front) then how could bundle me's be unsafe when it is exactly the same thing. A bundle me leaves a layer behind the child but does not put another in front inside the harness. I have seen some people who have posted in both and have said that a bundle me is unsafe but a coat zipped outside the harness is safe. Which is it people? Could it be that parents should just do their best to make the harness straps tight at the same time they minimize risk from cold exposure without stressing over every single new 'rule' that someone comes up with?
And I said that I am NOT comfortable with the 'coat trick'. I was throwing it out there as an alternative. Some people are not going to remove coats in the carseats, no matter what information I provide. The coat trick is certainly better than a full coat under the harness.

Furthermore, these are NOT "new 'rules'". They have existed as long as car seat safety has
post #93 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maedze View Post
If it's anything more bulky than non-fluffy polar fleece, yeah, it's pretty dangerous. There are ways you can mitigate that, by using polar fleece, by unzipping the coat, doing up the harness and tightening and zipping the coat over it, or taking the coat off and then putting it on backwards once the harness is done up.

In an accident, all that extra material compresses, leaving the child at risk for severe head and neck injuries or in a worst case scenario ejection from the seat.
Agreed!
post #94 of 157
Since it is not recommended to have things behind the child other than manufature padding for a particular seat I do not see how the coat thing would be safe.

I think there are serveral things at play.

1. Some people do not realize other peoples situations. Sometimes it does become damned if you do and damned if you dont. I have cold urticarta http://allergies.about.com/od/urtica...durticaria.htm I simply could not stand out that extra 5 minutes to play with a child's jacket. I have live in upstate New York and in Minot, ND. Sitting in a cold car could be deadly for me also.

2. People need to rethink infant/toddler winter clothing. There needs to be a promotion in safe careseat winter clothing wear. There is a picture of a cape that, IMO, should be part of cold weather gear for toddlers and infants.

http://www.examiner.com/x-4832-Minne...ar-seat-safety

This will mean in some areas schools will need to change their requriements.

I personally like the cap idea because if I was in an accident with a toddler my child would have at least some covering.
post #95 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by elus0814 View Post
I was just thinking about this 'coats is carseats = unsafe' post compared to the 'bundle me's are unsafe' post and something just doesn't add up here. If it's ok to have your kid in a coat that is unzipped then rezipped outside the harness (leaving fabric behind them inside the harness but not inside the harness in front) then how could bundle me's be unsafe when it is exactly the same thing. A bundle me leaves a layer behind the child but does not put another in front inside the harness. I have seen some people who have posted in both and have said that a bundle me is unsafe but a coat zipped outside the harness is safe. Which is it people? Could it be that parents should just do their best to make the harness straps tight at the same time they minimize risk from cold exposure without stressing over every single new 'rule' that someone comes up with?
One of the other problems with the bundle me things is that they can cause the straps to not sit properly because you have to thread the strap through the back of the bundle me.

I have used the coat trick a few times and it takes me a while to make sure that the material is straight and not bunched on his shoulders and that the straps are sitting properly on his shoulders. I will not let my husband use the coat trick as he is not as meticulous at making sure DS' clothing is not bunched under his straps

I live in Canada, I do not have a driveway or garage and sometimes I have to walk a fair distance to the car. Most of the time what I do is dress DS is in layers and then in his fleece MEC one piece suit, warm boots, fleece balaclava and mittens. Then I put a blanket on him and he throws it off when he gets warm. If it is really cold DS will wear his winter coat over his fleece one piece till we get to the car and then it comes off and it either go over him backwards or I just through it in the car in case of emergencies or we need to walk from the car to wherever we are going.

My DS also does not think that a winter coat would make much difference in the safety of the car seat. However because he can not prove it is safe then I would rather err on the side of caution when it comes to my precious baby and keeping him safe in the car and be inconvenienced for a few months of the year. Also it actually does keep us even safer because I am not as quick to jump in the car and walk or take transit instead.

Also there are some snow pants that fit fine if you do the strap test with them (put them on put child in car seat, take them off and put child back in car seat, if no adjustment needed then they are fine, if adjustment needed then it is a no go) My daycare kid has snow pants that fit fine in her radian with no strap adjustment and I always do the pinch test every trip even if I have done no adjustment to the straps. The extra min or so is worth it to me to help reduce the chances of injury or death.
post #96 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by butterfly_mommy View Post
One of the other problems with the bundle me things is that they can cause the straps to not sit properly because you have to thread the strap through the back of the bundle me.

I have used the coat trick a few times and it takes me a while to make sure that the material is straight and not bunched on his shoulders and that the straps are sitting properly on his shoulders. I will not let my husband use the coat trick as he is not as meticulous at making sure DS' clothing is not bunched under his straps

I live in Canada, I do not have a driveway or garage and sometimes I have to walk a fair distance to the car. Most of the time what I do is dress DS is in layers and then in his fleece MEC one piece suit, warm boots, fleece balaclava and mittens. Then I put a blanket on him and he throws it off when he gets warm. If it is really cold DS will wear his winter coat over his fleece one piece till we get to the car and then it comes off and it either go over him backwards or I just through it in the car in case of emergencies or we need to walk from the car to wherever we are going.

My DS also does not think that a winter coat would make much difference in the safety of the car seat. However because he can not prove it is safe then I would rather err on the side of caution when it comes to my precious baby and keeping him safe in the car and be inconvenienced for a few months of the year. Also it actually does keep us even safer because I am not as quick to jump in the car and walk or take transit instead.

Also there are some snow pants that fit fine if you do the strap test with them (put them on put child in car seat, take them off and put child back in car seat, if no adjustment needed then they are fine, if adjustment needed then it is a no go) My daycare kid has snow pants that fit fine in her radian with no strap adjustment and I always do the pinch test every trip even if I have done no adjustment to the straps. The extra min or so is worth it to me to help reduce the chances of injury or death.
Your statement about the bundle me is yet another false blanket statement given by someone who has not used a product. Like anything made for children parents have to use it properly. If a bundle me is just tossed in the seat then it could alter the way the harness fits but if the parent takes the extra few seconds to make sure it is in properly then it's no different than the coat 'trick'.
post #97 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marsupialmom View Post

1. Some people do not realize other peoples situations. Sometimes it does become damned if you do and damned if you dont. I have cold urticarta http://allergies.about.com/od/urtica...durticaria.htm I simply could not stand out that extra 5 minutes to play with a child's jacket. I have live in upstate New York and in Minot, ND. Sitting in a cold car could be deadly for me also.
I have cold uticaria as well & it does totally change how you approach colder weather. Things I would have done without thinking about before I developed it I now would not even consider. Just doing up ds' buckles without my mittens on leaves me terribly itchy for up to an hour.
post #98 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by elus0814 View Post
Your statement about the bundle me is yet another false blanket statement given by someone who has not used a product. Like anything made for children parents have to use it properly. If a bundle me is just tossed in the seat then it could alter the way the harness fits but if the parent takes the extra few seconds to make sure it is in properly then it's no different than the coat 'trick'.
Sorry, it's a blanket statement that is totally true. The BundleMe is not ok to use. If you need something warm, go with a shower-cap style cover. Toasty warm and safe
post #99 of 157
The kind of real-world data some people are looking for doesn't and won't ever exist -- when kids are ejected or injured they are treated on the scene, not put back in their carseats with and without a coat to test the tightness of straps.

People -- not just posters here, but the entire Child Passenger Safety community -- who spend time and energy studiying this have concluded that puffy coats and especially BundleMes are unsafe. AFAIK, no carseat manufacturer allows the use of a BundleMe. It's illegal in most states to use carseats improperly, or with BundleMes.

In the end it's a parent's choice, though.
post #100 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by chickabiddy View Post
The kind of real-world data some people are looking for doesn't and won't ever exist -- when kids are ejected or injured they are treated on the scene, not put back in their carseats with and without a coat to test the tightness of straps.

People -- not just posters here, but the entire Child Passenger Safety community -- who spend time and energy studiying this have concluded that puffy coats and especially BundleMes are unsafe. AFAIK, no carseat manufacturer allows the use of a BundleMe. It's illegal in most states to use carseats improperly, or with BundleMes.

In the end it's a parent's choice, though.
No one's asking people to put injure children back in their seat, don't be ridiculous. It wouldn't be hard, if someone wanted to study it, to look at those 158 kids and figure out the percentage of cases where coats might have been a factor.

We can eliminate the kids not in seats at all (2/3)
We can eliminate the kids in boosters (probably a significant number, given that 4 and 5 year olds are included -- let's imagine 10%)
We can eliminate the children in parts of country, like Hawaii, where people don't wear puffy coats
We can eliminate the children ejected in seasons of the year when children typically don't wear coats.
We can eliminate children where they were ejected in the seat.
We can eliminate children in accidents that wouldn't have been survivable with or without ejection (let's say the car caught on fire on impact, or fell off a bridge).

Then we look at those children. The number would be small enough that we'd probably have to aggregate the data over several years. We'd have a much better sense of the number of incidents in which carseats might be a factor. Then we compare that number as a proportion of accidents to the number of children in 5 points restraints ejected at a time/place where they are almost definitely not wearing coats, and look for statistical significance.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Family Safety
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Natural Living › Family Safety › How bad is it to leave coats on in car seats?