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

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#121 of 157 Old 12-29-2009, 11:01 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Momily View Post
No one is debating whether or not puffy coats have the potential to contribute to accidents. What people (or at least me since I seem to be posting on this thread a lot) are saying is that there are times when there are real safety concerns with exposing your child to the cold, and that parents might want to weigh those concerns. More information, including statistical information, would help parents who have concerns about hypothermia and frostbite (which also kill children) make educated decision. You can believe that puffy coats are not optimal for kids in carseats, an also decide that in a specific situation they're the best available option.

For the record, I do things frequently with my child that have lead to the death of other children. I take steps to minimize those risks, but I don't eliminate them. Today we went skiing/snowboarding, despite the fact that I am aware that people have died doing that.

I once made the choice to allow my toddler to ride in a car with just a seatbelt. I'm sure there are people who would condemn me for that choice. However, in my circumstances I felt it was the best choice. We had gone out for an outing on the subway without the stroller. My son was at the age where he wanted to walk and I thought it would be easier to walk with him if I wasn't also pushing the stroller. Of course I didn't bring a carseat, and I didn't happen to bring a carrier either.

When we were about 10 miles from home, my son fell, hit his head hard on the corner of a wheelchair ramp, which triggered either a breath holding spell or a seizure. He then passed out. We went to the nearest E.R.. When they finally released us it was 1 in the morning, dark, freezing cold (which we weren't dressed for, the temp had fallen dramatically when it got dark). The hospital was in a sketchy neighborhood, as was my home, there had been a series of armed robberies on the street we'd need to walk on to get home. My mother, who has a carseat in her car was on vacation, and any other friends I could think of who might be able to come get me with carseats are single parents so they'd need to bring their children who would then be occupying the carseat. Oh, and I was throwing up non-stop from the stress. And my son was dependent on a feeding tube and a pump -- which was at home, which meant that staying a hotel or sleeping in the hospital waiting room until daylight was out of the question.

I figured my choices were

1) Take subway home -- risk hypothermia (maybe I could have begged a blanket from the E.R.) risk me dropping him or falling while throwing up in the metro, and risk being mugged or killed walking from the metro.
2) Spend the night in the waiting room or a hotel. Risk dehydration for my child. Or feed him by mouth and risk pneumonia.
3) Take a taxi home. Have him sit in a seatbelt. Risk an accident.

I decided that #3 was the best idea, because I had some idea of the statistical likelihood of each one. Information helped me make a good choice.

But in CPST world (at least on this board) it doesn't work that way. When someone asks what the OP asked (they asked how bad it was, not whether it's bad) they get told it's bad, and don't ask questions. Like they're two and can't be trusted to make their own decisions.
This is so well put - thank you for taking the time to write this all out. I agree 100%, BTW.
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#122 of 157 Old 12-29-2009, 11:03 AM
 
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Originally Posted by natashaccat View Post
What about kids in boosters?
I really don't see how a kid in a booster is any different than an adult in a seatbelt. We don't tell adults to take off their coats before strapping in.
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#123 of 157 Old 12-29-2009, 11:05 AM
 
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I really don't see how a kid in a booster is any different than an adult in a seatbelt. We don't tell adults to take off their coats before strapping in.
Yes, we do. Most adults incorrectly wear their seatbelts, and that includes putting a coat on under the lap belt portion or shoulder belt portion of a seatbelt.

When you get in the car, either remove your coat, or unbutton it and spread it open so the belt contacts your body directly and does not lie over the coat.

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#124 of 157 Old 12-29-2009, 11:17 AM
 
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Originally Posted by natashaccat View Post
What about kids in boosters?
As has been written, kids in boosters should not have puffy coats between their bodies and the belts either.

Carseat-checking (CPST) and WAH mama to a twelve-year-old girl.
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#125 of 157 Old 12-29-2009, 11:34 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Maedze View Post
Yes, we do. Most adults incorrectly wear their seatbelts, and that includes putting a coat on under the lap belt portion or shoulder belt portion of a seatbelt.

When you get in the car, either remove your coat, or unbutton it and spread it open so the belt contacts your body directly and does not lie over the coat.
Thanks for the info. I swear, I have never heard that info ever. And I asked early on in this thread. If someone posted it, I missed it, but I don't think anyone did.

I have to say, I know people think I am anti carseat, but to be honest, my 2 year old is still rear facing. (which I decided after reading posts here, which is surprising, because so many people are less than polite when it comes to carseat safety.) My problem is with the idea that parents can't make these decisions for themselves. And also with the idea that anyone who makes a different decision, is either uneducated or doesn't care about their children. Momily's scenario perfectly illustrates why someone might make a valid choice that is different than most CPSTs.
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#126 of 157 Old 12-29-2009, 11:46 AM
 
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A lot of people are uneducated about child passenger safety. That's not a slam or a bash. No one knows everything about everything, or even everything about parenting. I am certainly uneducated in some areas.

Writing only for myself, I have no interest in slamming parents who make choices I wouldn't, if they are aware of the risks inherent in their choices. I post here to help parents learn about what risks come with what choices, and what can be done to reduce some of those risks. If a parent writes that she's going to turn her 366-day, 20.1# child forward-facing because she believes the risk of bent legs outweighs the risk of spinal cord damage, I'll post some facts. If she writes and demonstrates that she understands the risks but she's going to do it anyway because she wants to see his face, I'll walk away. I'll have an opinion, but I'll walk away because it's the parent's choice.

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#127 of 157 Old 12-29-2009, 11:53 AM
 
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Originally Posted by chickabiddy View Post
A lot of people are uneducated about child passenger safety. That's not a slam or a bash. No one knows everything about everything, or even everything about parenting. I am certainly uneducated in some areas.

Writing only for myself, I have no interest in slamming parents who make choices I wouldn't, if they are aware of the risks inherent in their choices. I post here to help parents learn about what risks come with what choices, and what can be done to reduce some of those risks. If a parent writes that she's going to turn her 366-day, 20.1# child forward-facing because she believes the risk of bent legs outweighs the risk of spinal cord damage, I'll post some facts. If she writes and demonstrates that she understands the risks but she's going to do it anyway because she wants to see his face, I'll walk away. I'll have an opinion, but I'll walk away because it's the parent's choice.
Yup, pretty much that.

I'll share information for those who want to hear, but arguing with people serves nothing more than to keep the people who make Tums in business.

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#128 of 157 Old 01-01-2010, 06:52 PM
 
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I am referring to the fact that there is not room for risk assessment from many posters here. A pp said somethign about going home from the emergency room in the middle of the night without a carseat for her child. Yes she may have gotten in a car accident, but the risk was very small. HEr decision was a valid one.
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#129 of 157 Old 01-01-2010, 06:59 PM
 
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If you want anyone remotely associated with child passenger safety to agree with you, you're not going to get it.

It was not a 'valid decision'. The singular 'risk' every time you get behind the wheel is small, but that doesn't change the fact that it's a trip just like that one every time someone is killed or seriously injured, and that because people make those 'valid' decisions, car crashes remain the number one killer of children.

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#130 of 157 Old 01-01-2010, 07:07 PM
 
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I can understand why she made the decision she did without agreeing that it was a safe or good or "valid" choice. Sometimes there are no good choices, but the lack of good choices doesn't suddenly make a bad choice good.

Carseat-checking (CPST) and WAH mama to a twelve-year-old girl.
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#131 of 157 Old 01-01-2010, 07:26 PM
 
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I simply want to say that because of this thread, I've made it a point to take off dd's coat every time she's in her carseat. So thanks to everyone.
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#132 of 157 Old 01-01-2010, 09:40 PM
 
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I can understand why she made the decision she did without agreeing that it was a safe or good or "valid" choice. Sometimes there are no good choices, but the lack of good choices doesn't suddenly make a bad choice good.
As the parent in question, what would you have suggested I do? What would the "valid" choice have been?
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#133 of 157 Old 01-01-2010, 09:46 PM
 
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I haven't read the whole thread, so forgive me if this was answered, but I'm wondering about the definition of "puffy coat".

My youngest wears a fleece-lined nylon shell "car" coat, which is a warmer coat for cold weather but not a down-filled type -- not a fleece sweater, either, though. I'm assuming that if the straps don't need to be loosened when he's wearing it, it should still be ok? Is that the rule of thumb?

I do keep the straps pretty tight -- dh always complains about how snug they are, though ds seems ok once they are done up.
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#134 of 157 Old 01-01-2010, 09:54 PM
 
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As the parent in question, what would you have suggested I do? What would the "valid" choice have been?
Many hospital-based social workers have carseats or access to them, and some police stations do too. Some taxi services provide carseats on request. I don't blame you -- the hospital should not have discharged you if you did not have a safe ride home for you AND your son.

Carseat-checking (CPST) and WAH mama to a twelve-year-old girl.
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#135 of 157 Old 01-01-2010, 10:04 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Aubergine68 View Post
I haven't read the whole thread, so forgive me if this was answered, but I'm wondering about the definition of "puffy coat".

My youngest wears a fleece-lined nylon shell "car" coat, which is a warmer coat for cold weather but not a down-filled type -- not a fleece sweater, either, though. I'm assuming that if the straps don't need to be loosened when he's wearing it, it should still be ok? Is that the rule of thumb?

I do keep the straps pretty tight -- dh always complains about how snug they are, though ds seems ok once they are done up.

You're good For definition's sake, a 'puffy' coat is anything more than either a windbreaker/hoodie or a layer of polar fleece. 3-in-1 jackets, down jackets, thick corduroy or jean jackets, particularly those with liners, would all be 'puffy' coats.

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#136 of 157 Old 01-01-2010, 11:40 PM
 
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regarding the suggestion to zip coat over carseat straps...wouldn't this pose an additional hazard because it would make removing a child from car in case of an accident more difficult?

FWIW I put dd in her seat w/o jacket at the strap setting I was using w/her down coat on. There was something like 6 inches of slack in the straps! I can, however, smoosh her down coat down well enough that it will fit under the strap setting we'd use w/o her coat.

This is a tough issue for those of us that drive in sub zero temps. Choosing between the obvious immediate danger/discomfort from cold and the hypothetical risk posed by loose straps isn't black and white.
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#137 of 157 Old 01-02-2010, 12:47 AM
 
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Many hospital-based social workers have carseats or access to them, and some police stations do too. Some taxi services provide carseats on request. I don't blame you -- the hospital should not have discharged you if you did not have a safe ride home for you AND your son.

No carseats through social workers (maybe at the Children's Hospital but not at this one), or taxis here. I'm not sure I even get the police suggestion -- yes, they sometimes have them, but if walking the streets to the subway wasn't safe, then how would I walk to the police station?

As far as discharging him -- with his lung issues, the germs on a pediatric unit would have been an issue too. Keeping him overnight in the hospital or in the E.R. wouldn't have been the solution.
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#138 of 157 Old 01-02-2010, 01:24 AM
 
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Coats are fine as long as you don't have to adjust the straps out to accomodate the extra bulk. I usually have the kids in good-quality fleece over thermal tops, and put their warm coats on as we leave the car. Anthing that requires you let the straps out is too thick and not safe, period.
This is what I thought. I keep seeing coats/no coats, but it seems like it can really vary. I thought it was only puffy coats that were dangerous. I have never buckled them in in puffy coats or snowsuits- In fact my 6yo is currently wearing a hugely puffy coat and is great about taking it off before doing his radian straps. However, my 4 and 2yo have non-puffy coats. I worry, b/c they still bunch sometimes, but I have the impossible-to-adjust radians, so I don't loosen them and just huff and puff to buckle them as is, over the coat. It's how they were adjusted before the coat. So does it matter if the coat is under there?

And while we're on the topic, the difficulty of adjusting our radian straps and making them tight makes me wonder why they're so great. And maybe I'm splitting hairs, but I was under the impression that you could fit two fingers under straps. The no coat statements make it sound like they should be skin tight. With my ff kids shoulders under the straps, they almost don't seem tight. : They're tight at the chest. How loose do they have to be to risk ejected?
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#139 of 157 Old 01-02-2010, 01:24 AM
 
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No carseats through social workers (maybe at the Children's Hospital but not at this one), or taxis here. I'm not sure I even get the police suggestion -- yes, they sometimes have them, but if walking the streets to the subway wasn't safe, then how would I walk to the police station?

As far as discharging him -- with his lung issues, the germs on a pediatric unit would have been an issue too. Keeping him overnight in the hospital or in the E.R. wouldn't have been the solution.

Momily - your choice was valid. I think this proves that there IS more than one good choice in many circumstances. I've found that people who are extremely militant tend to not ever had to make difficult choices.

I'm glad you guys made it home safe
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#140 of 157 Old 01-02-2010, 01:27 AM
 
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Many hospital-based social workers have carseats or access to them, and some police stations do too. Some taxi services provide carseats on request. I don't blame you -- the hospital should not have discharged you if you did not have a safe ride home for you AND your son.

So if none of these were available, then what? In the middle of the night, I guarantee a busy metropolitan police station is NOT going to drive a carseat over for someone. They have much bigger fish to fry. And taxi companies? That's laughable. My last child was born at a big teaching hospital, which also had a Ronald Mcdonald's childrens hospital. Do you know, they didn't even walk us to the door? Many hospitals are too busy to police carseat usage, and are busy spending money on medical technology, not free carseats.
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#141 of 157 Old 01-02-2010, 01:40 AM
 
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I wasn't there, and neither were you. It's pointless to speculate: I can come up with a dozen possible ways to get a carseat, and you can come up with a dozen and one reasons why they wouldn't have worked. My point is that a child being in a car without a carseat is never safe. We can argue about risk assessment and choices, but that you perceive the other choices as worse does not make not using a carseat a safe choice. I have no interest in rehashing something that's over and done and everyone's fine and I'm glad, but I will argue that a child travelling without a carseat is never a "valid" choice.

And you are wrong about my being militant (trust me, there are carseat people WAY more militant than me), and even more wrong that I've never had to make hard choices.

Carseat-checking (CPST) and WAH mama to a twelve-year-old girl.
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#142 of 157 Old 01-02-2010, 01:41 AM
 
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I wasn't there, and neither were you. It's pointless to speculate: I can come up with a dozen possible ways to get a carseat, and you can come up with a dozen and one reasons why they wouldn't have worked. My point is that a child being in a car without a carseat is never safe. We can argue about risk assessment and choices, but that you perceive the other choices as worse does not make not using a carseat a safe choice. I have no interest in rehashing something that's over and done and everyone's fine and I'm glad, but I will argue that a child travelling without a carseat is never a "valid" choice.

And you are wrong about my being militant (trust me, there are carseat people WAY more militant than me), and even more wrong that I've never had to make hard choices.

Bottom line, though, it WAS safe.
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#143 of 157 Old 01-02-2010, 01:43 AM
 
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And while we're on the topic, the difficulty of adjusting our radian straps and making them tight makes me wonder why they're so great. And maybe I'm splitting hairs, but I was under the impression that you could fit two fingers under straps. The no coat statements make it sound like they should be skin tight. With my ff kids shoulders under the straps, they almost don't seem tight. : They're tight at the chest. How loose do they have to be to be ejected?
The test for tightness is not two fingers under the straps: it is not being able to pinch any strap horizontally at shoulder level.

Carseat-checking (CPST) and WAH mama to a twelve-year-old girl.
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#144 of 157 Old 01-02-2010, 01:44 AM
 
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Bottom line, though, it WAS safe.
No, it was lucky.

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#145 of 157 Old 01-02-2010, 02:11 AM
 
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If there is additional information to share about carseat safety with or without coats, that is great.

Otherwise, this thread seems about ready to be done.

Happy New Year!!!

 

 

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#146 of 157 Old 01-02-2010, 02:21 AM
 
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Wow, I had no idea that coats in car seats were dangerous. I am the type to do tons of research on everything related to parenting, but this never even crossed my mind. I will stop putting DD in the carseat with her coat on! Thanks!

Mama to Ella, 6/23/08
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#147 of 157 Old 01-02-2010, 03:20 AM
 
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No, it was lucky.
No. It wasn't unlucky. There's a difference. When someone beats the odds in a positive way, they're lucky. When someone beats the odds in a negative way, they're unlucky. The simple fact is that the vast majority of car rides end safely.

That's all I'm going to say, because this topic makes my head hurt.

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#148 of 157 Old 01-02-2010, 03:50 AM
 
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No. It wasn't unlucky. There's a difference. When someone beats the odds in a positive way, they're lucky. When someone beats the odds in a negative way, they're unlucky. The simple fact is that the vast majority of car rides end safely.
That's all I'm going to say, because this topic makes my head hurt.
THis is so so true. Thank you stormbride.
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#149 of 157 Old 01-02-2010, 11:42 AM
 
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Momily - your choice was valid. I think this proves that there IS more than one good choice in many circumstances. I've found that people who are extremely militant tend to not ever had to make difficult choices.

I'm glad you guys made it home safe
It was not a valid choice.

It was not a good choice.

I am not militant, I'm educated.

And you know nothing about what choices I have and have not had to make.

She got lucky.

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#150 of 157 Old 01-02-2010, 11:42 AM
 
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Bottom line, though, it WAS safe.
No, it was lucky. HUGE difference, and fairly basic one.

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