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The real risk of coats in car seats--could someone give me resources. - Page 2

post #21 of 68

just wanted to add, with a younger child (older than bucket seat age though), you can get larger bunting bags. they fit on strollers and convertible carseats too. we have one, it is really warm (like a big sleeping bag) with a removable panel on the back for the straps. so i bundle my dd up in it, take her out to the car, lift off the back panel and then only have to unzip the sides a little bit to get my hands in there and do her straps up... her back is firmly against the car seat, but she stays nice and warm while getting buckled in. we live in montreal and have street parking, so heating the car up beforehand is impractical, and we occasionally have to walk far enough to our car that just a couple of blankets aren't going to protect her from the elements.

post #22 of 68

I'm only in New England, where it gets cold, but no insanely cold. My son wears a hat, a little fleece vest or pull over and nothing else. I wrap him in a warm blanket while we're outside, put him in the seat and then tuck the blanket in over him, not near the straps. He seems comfy. 

post #23 of 68

I thought it was ok to wear a coat that is fleece because it doesn't compress (I think I read it here?) and in another video that she does, she uses a wool coat and does the test and says that because of the space left after taking him out that it isn't safe either.  The wool coat is very dense like the fleece.

Any opinions?

post #24 of 68


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverFish View Post

just wanted to add, with a younger child (older than bucket seat age though), you can get larger bunting bags. they fit on strollers and convertible carseats too. we have one, it is really warm (like a big sleeping bag) with a removable panel on the back for the straps. so i bundle my dd up in it, take her out to the car, lift off the back panel and then only have to unzip the sides a little bit to get my hands in there and do her straps up... her back is firmly against the car seat, but she stays nice and warm while getting buckled in. we live in montreal and have street parking, so heating the car up beforehand is impractical, and we occasionally have to walk far enough to our car that just a couple of blankets aren't going to protect her from the elements.


thank you, silverfish!  a montrealer understands the cold :)  would you mind posting a link for the type of bag you are talking about?

 

and to the pp who asked about the car not warming up to zero... yup!    i have an older car, outside parking just like silverfish, and it gets cold .  i have to wear gloves to drive or my hands get so cold they hurt.  the heater blows cold air for a good 30 minutes.  Even the antifreeze freezes at times!  you know it's cold when you have to plug your car in.cold.gif

 

post #25 of 68

Bunting bags are no-nos but the type that go over the seat (the shower cap style ones) are safe.

post #26 of 68

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by indie View Post

I mean, seriously, the OP is talking about negative 40 degrees and you all are telling her to wear thin microfleece or put a poncho on. Crazy. The risk of hypothermia is clearly higher than the theoretical (which nobody seems to be able to quantify) risk of ejection in the possibility of an accident.


Yeah, we deal with -40 and WIND. It'd blow straight up underneath a poncho. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drummer's Wife View Post

What about buying a remote starter and warming your car up first? I don't see how hypothermia would be a risk then, b/c by the time you have to remove the child's coat for 5 seconds to buckle them in (and then put it on backwards, or use blankets), the heater will be going strong.


We have a remote starter AND plug in our car at night (engine block heater) and still can barely get our heat on by the time we get to our destination (granted, the longest drive in our town is 15 minutes away). Gas is well over $5 a gallon and we'd have to run it for a LONG time at idle for it to get that warm.

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by mama2soren View Post

In such freezing temperatures, you could use the "coat trick" or put the coat on backwards after strapping the child in.  The "coat trick" is demonstrated in the first link I posted and at around 2:45 in this video.  



A few of my FB friends have posted this, and I've wondered... what the heck is the kid wearing while the parent puts the coat into the carseat? We don't have a garage. DS would have to wear his coat out to the car, take the coat off, climb into the car (remember it's not warm at this point, and windy, so he's in a still-mostly-cold car with the wind blowing in the door), and sit there shivering while I fiddled with his coat?


I WANT to go coatless in the carseat. I DO, in Wisconsin, and even in Anchorage. That kind of cold is totally do-able. -40 with wind blowing off the treeless tundra (we live on the edge of town; not even any houses to block the wind), when you don't have a garage, is a different challenge and I can't formulate a plan that would actually work. Heck, I feel bad taking him outside without snowpants, which are even more a no-no. Maybe buy another coat (a size up so he can use it next year as his main coat?) and keep it in the carseat, so the switch-out is faster? He'd still be coatless outside, though, which seems cruel. *I* can't imagine taking *my* coat off outside. I wear my puffy down parka whenever I drive when it's really cold.

 

So if anyone has any experience in keeping a kid warm doing this in REALLY cold conditions with no garage and a fairly crappy car, I'd appreciate the guidance.

post #27 of 68

I live in cold, and I have no garage :)  and I have three little kids to get in the car. 

 

This is my routine:

 

Big girls (3 and 5) are dressed in tights under their pants, long sleeved shirts, fleece, hats, mittens, and their big puffy coat over it.  I take them both to the car, load them in, and have them get in their seats and take their coats off.  I usually just open the door long enough to get them in, and shut it so they are not in the wind.

 

DS (18m) usually wears a fleece jammie and a fleece one-piece suit over it, mittens, hat, boots.  I load him last, usually just run out, buckle him in, buckle in the girls who are already in their seats with their straps on, and then they get their coats tucked around them.  DS gets a blanket tucked over him.  

 

If it's really cold and nasty (like during the 75mph wind storms) I'll climb in the front seat holding DS, and turn around and plunk him in his seat, and buckle him from there so I don't have to stand outside in the wind and nobody inside gets blasted by the wind.  But sometimes that's not an option (like I just had shoulder surgery so I can't be twisting around or even carrying the kids).

 

DD1 goes to a Waldorf school and as soon as they get to school they go outside for an hour-long walk (unless it's below -10*).  My routine with her is to park, reach back and unbuckle her, and have her climb into the front passenger seat.  I then take off her boots and help her into her snowsuit, put her boots back on, and get her puffy coat on.  

post #28 of 68

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by blizzard_babe View Post

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by indie View Post

I mean, seriously, the OP is talking about negative 40 degrees and you all are telling her to wear thin microfleece or put a poncho on. Crazy. The risk of hypothermia is clearly higher than the theoretical (which nobody seems to be able to quantify) risk of ejection in the possibility of an accident.


Yeah, we deal with -40 and WIND. It'd blow straight up underneath a poncho. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drummer's Wife View Post

What about buying a remote starter and warming your car up first? I don't see how hypothermia would be a risk then, b/c by the time you have to remove the child's coat for 5 seconds to buckle them in (and then put it on backwards, or use blankets), the heater will be going strong.


We have a remote starter AND plug in our car at night (engine block heater) and still can barely get our heat on by the time we get to our destination (granted, the longest drive in our town is 15 minutes away). Gas is well over $5 a gallon and we'd have to run it for a LONG time at idle for it to get that warm.

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by mama2soren View Post

In such freezing temperatures, you could use the "coat trick" or put the coat on backwards after strapping the child in.  The "coat trick" is demonstrated in the first link I posted and at around 2:45 in this video.  



A few of my FB friends have posted this, and I've wondered... what the heck is the kid wearing while the parent puts the coat into the carseat? We don't have a garage. DS would have to wear his coat out to the car, take the coat off, climb into the car (remember it's not warm at this point, and windy, so he's in a still-mostly-cold car with the wind blowing in the door), and sit there shivering while I fiddled with his coat?


I WANT to go coatless in the carseat. I DO, in Wisconsin, and even in Anchorage. That kind of cold is totally do-able. -40 with wind blowing off the treeless tundra (we live on the edge of town; not even any houses to block the wind), when you don't have a garage, is a different challenge and I can't formulate a plan that would actually work. Heck, I feel bad taking him outside without snowpants, which are even more a no-no. Maybe buy another coat (a size up so he can use it next year as his main coat?) and keep it in the carseat, so the switch-out is faster? He'd still be coatless outside, though, which seems cruel. *I* can't imagine taking *my* coat off outside. I wear my puffy down parka whenever I drive when it's really cold.

 

So if anyone has any experience in keeping a kid warm doing this in REALLY cold conditions with no garage and a fairly crappy car, I'd appreciate the guidance.



You don't have to take his coat off to do the "coat trick".  Google it or go on youtube and watch some videos. 

 

I live in Northern Ontario and it gets pretty cold here.  DS2 is easy, he has a one peice fleece snowsuit from Land's End.  DS1 just wears his fleece/coat sweater or we do the coat trick with his big coat, depending on the temp., whether or not the vehicle has been running, if we are taking the truck that has been in the garage and where we're going. 

post #29 of 68

'K, I'm going to give it a try. We take the boys out pretty infrequently; there's not much for them to do, usually. 

post #30 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by blizzard_babe View Post

'K, I'm going to give it a try. We take the boys out pretty infrequently; there's not much for them to do, usually. 



Here's one:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLTVPqn0aR8 

post #31 of 68
Thread Starter 

Okay I am the OP and I have not read the whole thread....I will definitely come back to do that.

 

Can anyone post links to deaths/injuries associated with wearing a winter coat?  I see hypothermia as a much more real risk. Running my car is not an option. I don't have a car starter.

 

What if I put the coats on backwards and in a crash they are thrown off and my children/infant gets hypothermia?.....-40C is really no joke.

post #32 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by an_aurora View Post

 

DS (18m) usually wears a fleece jammie and a fleece one-piece suit over it, mittens, hat, boots.  I load him last, usually just run out, buckle him in, buckle in the girls who are already in their seats with their straps on, and then they get their coats tucked around them.  DS gets a blanket tucked over him.  


I don't see how this is safe either though.  I mean, yeah everyone says that fleece is ok, but 2 fleece layers, unless they fit super snuggly wouldn't allow you to get the straps tight enough either :shrug

 

In -40C, I would just put them in the carseat with their coats, and stay off main roads and not drive when the roads were really bad.  I might try the coat trick on a warmer day to get used to it, and see if it worked.

post #33 of 68
I am pretty sure that the reason wool or fleece are preferable-- even if you have to loosen the straps to accomodate it-- is because they don't compress, the way the big puffy coats too. We don't worry about loosening to accommodate diapers, for instance, because those don't compress. I'm sure buckling in a naked child would be the idea thing, but we can't do that, obviously. But puffy coats are such an obvious issue, because of the compression, and because they often distort where the straps sit on the shoulders.
post #34 of 68

Fleece is fine.  It does not compress in a crash.  I have also tested it out and it does not require that the straps be let out to put on that thickness.  

post #35 of 68

There may not be documented links or studies for this, but the logic behind it is sound to me and I don't want my kid to be the one to find out how true it is.

post #36 of 68
Thread Starter 

Ninetales- It may be a risk, but if the risk is 1 in 1, 000,000,000 then...how real is the risk?

post #37 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by momtoS View Post

Ninetales- It may be a risk, but if the risk is 1 in 1, 000,000,000 then...how real is the risk?



In 2009, 76,309 people died in car crashes.  If the population of the US is 307,006,550 (as of July 2009), roughly 2.5% of the population of the US die in car crashes every year.

 

More specifically,  1538 were under the age of 16.  There are 74,000,000 children under the age of 16 in the US.  Of the children under the age of 16 that died in car crashes in 2009, 909 were fully or partially ejected.  So of the children that died in the US in car crashes, 59% were ejected (whether fully or partially).   The odds are low, but definitely not one in a billion.

post #38 of 68

http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/factsheets/childpas.htm

 

Well, there is an average of 4 deaths and 504 injuries from car accidents every day in children under 14.  Over 1300 dead each year and 180,000 injured, some with permanent, disabling spinal injuries. Out of approximately 60 million kids under 14 in the US.  Car-related fatalities are the leading cause of death for children in America.  In 2002 (the most recent numbers I could find in a quick search) 21% of all kids that died that year died in car accidents http://www.statisticstop10.com/Causes_of_Death_Kids.html

 

Many of these kids were not restrained properly (whether in a harness, booster, or adult seat belt).  It is estimated that between 70 and 85% of car seats and boosters are used incorrectly.  It takes only a casual look around your nearest children's museum parking lot to see that many of such seats are installed incorrectly, and quite often the harnesses aren't being used correctly (usually kept much too loose.)   As you have learned after reading other posts in this thread, wearing a thick coat under the harness makes the straps too loose, and often forces the straps down over the child's shoulders, which will make the straps virtually useless in an accident.  Bulky clothing under the harness = not using your car seat correctly.

 

The risk is not 1 in a billion.  Your child is more likely to die in a car accident than from ANYTHING else.  Not using best practice EVERY time we strap our kids in the car is quite unwise.  It takes a little extra time, a little extra thought, but, as many others have said, there are ways to do it safely (and warmly!), even in the most extreme weather conditions.  If we knew for a fact that our next car ride would be without incident, I suppose we wouldn't need to use a car seat at all.  But, of course, we can never be so certain.  We must assume that this will be the ride that ends up in an accident, and strap our kids in the way we'd want them strapped in if we knew we'd get in a bad crash.  

post #39 of 68

I did a little bit of research about hypothermia and the only thing I could find was that there were 500 cases of combined hyperthermia/hypothermia related child deaths from 1998-2008, the vast majority of which were hyperthermia from being left in the car.  I didn't find a solid number of child hypothermia-related deaths.  

post #40 of 68

I guess for me, if I'm not comfortable strapping my kids into car seats with the harness several inches too loose, then I am  not comfortable strapping them in with a bulky coat. It's pretty much the same thing in the force of a crash.

 

I had to put DS's coat on backwards last night after we watched a parade. Now, even though I thought it was really cold, obviously it was no where near as cold as some of you are talking about.  But really, it took all of several seconds to sit him in his seat, remove his coat, buckle the harness, and put his coat back on him.  I'm honestly not getting how one could get hypothermia in that amount of time.  No one is suggesting you leave then w/o any coverings at all - just that you don't put them between the straps and their body. 

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