The Dangerous Driving Sin You Didn't Know You Were Committing
Parents do everything they can to keep their little bundles of joy toasty and safe during the chill of winter. Wool socks? Check. Long underwear? Check. Gloves, hat, and scarf? Check, check, check. But after you put that puffy coat on your little one (you know, the one that makes them look like a cute marshmallow), be sure to remove it before buckling them into their carseat. Wearing a coat in the car might seem cozy, but it can actually put your child in danger.
The straps of a car seat or seatbelt probably feel pretty snug against your kid's puffy jacket. In reality, they're dangerously loose. If you think about it, the coat creates a big, fluffy gap between your kid's body and the safety harness. According to TODAY, during an official crash test in Michigan that put a child dummy wearing a puffy coat in a 30-mph (48-kph) car crash, the dummy came hurtling out of the car—even though it had appeared to be strapped in tightly.
What should you do instead? To keep your little one warm, drape their coat over them or give them a blanket instead. And the same goes for you! Experts point out that this advice applies to adults as well. Watch the following videos to learn more about staying safe in the car.