Expert warns against children wearing a puffy coats while in car seat

Cart seat safety with winter jackets
Cart seat safety with winter jackets(KFYR)
Published: Dec. 17, 2022 at 7:40 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Temperatures are dropping again meaning more people will be wearing warm, maybe even puffy jackets or vests. If you’re putting one on your child, be warned it could put their life at risk if they sit in a car seat.

Child Passenger Safety Technician Dahlia Rizk says it’s a real problem that not many parents know about.

She says if you let your kid wear a puffy jacket or vest while in a car seat, it can make the harnesses ineffective.

Rizk explains that children’s spines are made of cartilage which hardens over time into bone. When you get in a car accident and your child’s head and body is slung forward, the puffy fabric can compress and the spine can stretch.

“If you pull all that fabric out of the way, look at that,” Rizk explained during a demonstration. “You have almost a hands-width of slack underneath here and your child is going to move through all that slack and it’s going to create brain, neck, and spine injuries so it’s really important that you have the harness on the chest and shoulders.”

You need to remove that puffy jacket before putting your child in the car seat to be safe.

If it becomes too much of a hassle, Rizk created a jacket called the Buckle Me Baby Coat. She says a child can keep the jacket on while in the car seat because of a special detachment feature.

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