16 January 2008

Kid already buckled into the stroller or car seat? Put the jacket on backwards!

Haven't most of us done this at one time or another? Thank you, Heather, for thinking to write down this hack and send it in!

My 18 month-old hates wearing a coat in his stroller. About the only time he really needs it on is from the car to whatever building we are going to. But putting it on, getting him buckled in the stroller and then taking the coat off (or trying to keep it on him) once inside can be a struggle. Blankets don't work because he throws them on the ground.

So, I started putting him in the stroller then putting his coat on, backwards. He thinks it is so funny (and we've done it enough to be past the funny new thing phase) and keeps it on! His back doesn't really need the protection of the coat because it is against the stroller and the coat pretty well wraps him up and keeps him warm. It works great!

I've also done it for when he is in the car. Since it isn't safe to wear the coat and then be buckled in the car seat. Works like a charm!

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So I just have a question...

Heather said, "I've also done it for when he is in the car. Since it isn't safe to wear the coat and then be buckled in the car seat."

I hadn't heard that it wasn't safe for kids to wear coats in the car seat. Is that true??

Kids shouldn't wear bulky clothes in a car seat because the fabric could compress in an accident and the child could slip out. I've tested how tightly I could get the straps when he has a coat on, compared to how tightly they are on when he's not wearing a coat and it's pretty clear there's a lot of room left that the extreme forces of an accident could compress.

I always feel like everyone thinks I'm the crazy bad mom who doesn't have a coat on her kid, but I don't really care.

Here's a link to an article and a car seat site that explain more about the bulky coat issue.

http://www.carseat.org/Resources/FAQs.htm#coats
http://www.cbc.ca/health/story/2007/12/19/car-seat.html?ref=rss

This is a quote from someone on the carseat forum. It made me better understand the problem with bulky coats. "Imagine your child's body putting 65mph worth of force on the harness straps, all of the filling in a bulky coat is going to compress to virtually nothing. Essentially, it's the same as leaving the harness straps several inches too loose during the crash."

We wrote about this recently on Z Recommends in a review of a poncho-style garment designed to deal with this problem (link in the sig). The jacket is a good idea, too, and might be better at lower temperatures.

Wow, thanks!
I had no idea that wearing the coat in a car seat could be a safety issue. Just goes to show that Parenthacks not only gives us little tips that make life better, but also big tips that could SAVE lives.

I did this the other day and found that if the coat has a hood, the hood is a great place to put a handful of Cheerios or goldfish for easy access to a snack while in the stroller or carseat.

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