Winter Coats Could Put Kids Who Use Car Seats At Risk

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

BENTON COUNTY (KFSM) -- Putting your child in a car seat with a winter coat could put them in danger during an accident because the straps may not be tight enough.

“If you do that you could get in a wreck and it's not safe for the baby because they are in a car seat that's not strapped tight to their body, it could possibly cost them their life,” Gabriel Bergez said.

Gabriel Bergez has a 9-month-old little girl. She said she doesn't think parents realize bundling up their kids could be doing harm.

“I honestly couldn't fathom the thought of losing my own child especially not at the expense of my own stupidity,” she said.

Lt. Thomas See with the Benton County Sheriff's Office said with bulky clothing, you don't get that tight, positive contact of the safety harness, which serves as a seatbelt for your child.

“With that bulky clothing most parents don't get it nice and snug. They'll see it kind of compress or get into contact with the coat or whatever winter wear they have and that's where they will stop,” he said.

Lt. See recommends starting your car early to warm it up and if you have a newborn, put them in the car seat inside the house where it's warm and cover them up before heading outside.

“The reason it is important to have that harness in good contact with a child is in the event of a collision, positive contact reduces the amount of movement that child has in the event of a collision,” he said.

If you have any questions about properly putting your child in a car seat, look at the child restraint owner's manual or contact any local law enforcement agency that has certified technicians to help you.

Also, make sure family members know the proper way to install the car seat as well.