Sunday, September 20th, 2020

Be safe when strapping in your kids

Posted: Friday, December 20, 2019

With the weather getting colder and the natural instinct is to “bundle up” the kids with winter coats, hats and gloves. However, when there is an infant or young child in a child restraint this is not the case and is a dangerous combination.

“The recommendation is that nothing thicker than a sweatshirt be under the straps of the car seats,” shared Ira Bencun, nationally certified car seat technician of the YSB. The reasoning is that the material of the coat makes it appear that the straps are tight and without the straps fitting snuggly on the child, the straps cannot do their job of helping the child come to a gentle stop during a crash. In some cases, the coat actually allows the child to slip through the straps without being unfastened.

So what should a parent do? For infants, dress the child as if they are going to be indoors and place the child in the carrier. Cover the infant with a blanket and secure the carrier into the car. The blanket can be removed once the car has been warmed to a comfortable temperature. Hats can be used.

For toddlers and older children, place the child into their coats until they get into the car. Remove the coat and fasten them into their age appropriate car seat. The coat can be put on backwards over the straps or a blanket can be used.

To learn more about child restraints, or schedule a free inspection, contact the Youth Services Bureau at (260) 356-9681 or email Ira Bencun at i.bencun@ysbofhuntingtonco.org.