THICK CLOTHING IN CAR SEAT DANGER

(184 Posts)
TeamSouthfields Sat 09-Nov-13 23:35:34

Sorry put here for traffic...

I read a terrible article today, but can't copy the link here (rubbish phone)
It's basically about the danger of babies/ young children wearing thick clothing in there car seat..

A baby was ejected from his car seat in an accident, by some miracle he survived,
His winter coat, his snowsuit, was too bulky. Even a coat that seems thin can add too much bulk under the safety belts. In an accident, that bulk compresses, leaving too much room between your baby's body and the straps. This could cause baby to be ejected from the car seat.

please share this

SeaSickSal Sat 09-Nov-13 23:46:45

It would help if you'd tell us where you'd read this so we could google?

SkullyAndBones Sat 09-Nov-13 23:51:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ThisWayForCrazy Sat 09-Nov-13 23:53:35

This is well known on other forums and not a hoax.

http://pediatrics.about.com/od/carseats/a/0107_wintercoat.htm

http://5pointplus.com/5-point-plus-reviews/using-your-car-seat-tips/

http://carseatsmadeeasy.blogspot.co.uk/2010/12/keeping-warm-and-safe-in-winter.html?m=1

http://www.thecarseatlady.com/tips_and_tricks/tips_and_tricks_8.html

Just google "bulky clothes car seat" there are tons of links, all say the sane x

SkullyAndBones Sat 09-Nov-13 23:56:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MortifiedAnyFuckerAdams Sat 09-Nov-13 23:57:49

confused I genuinely thought thought this was a well.known fact and safety matter. Am sure it is detailed in the carseat info that comes in the box with the carseat.

SeaSickSal Sat 09-Nov-13 23:57:56

Thank you Crazy. Skully please forgive me for not accepting advice about my child's safety from random strangers on the inter webs without checking it is from a trusted source first. How stupid of me.

SkullyAndBones Sun 10-Nov-13 00:00:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Seasick do you really think you might be putting your child in danger by taking her coat off before you put her in the car seat? You don't need any links, it's common sense and bloody obvious that it's dangerous to have a child in a car seat in bulky clothing. I thought everybody would know this already.

SkullyAndBones Sun 10-Nov-13 00:06:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DrinkFeckArseGirls Sun 10-Nov-13 00:09:09

Thanks for letting me know!

I had no idea about this at all. Pretty sure none of my friends or family are aware either. Wouldn't say it is common knowledge at all. This is information that should be shared. I'll post some links on facebook and hope they dont get lost amongst all the rubbish false info ones. Thank you OP

Strumpetron Sun 10-Nov-13 00:12:57

I haven't even got a child and thought it was obvious but I suppose it's one of them things people might not think of.

Nice of you to warn people OP smile

bebanjo Sun 10-Nov-13 00:13:21

Why does a child need a coat on in the car?
I mean I know peopel do but I've never understood why.

SeaSickSal Sun 10-Nov-13 00:13:38

No I have never heard this despite having two car seats professionally fitted. I would think it was more common sense to check out things you see on the net from complete strangers without blindly believing it. Otherwise a Nigerian politician would have all my money.

But thanks OP for bringing this to my attention. Duly noted.

SkullyAndBones Sun 10-Nov-13 00:14:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MortifiedAnyFuckerAdams Sun 10-Nov-13 00:15:19

Ive put links on mine. I never wear a coat in the car, for comfort reasons, so wouldnt put dd in one either.

SkullyAndBones Sun 10-Nov-13 00:15:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Seasick but now you've heard it from a stranger, it makes sense doesn't it? Bulky coat, looser straps, child not secure... what do you need as 'proof'? It is not remotely the same as a Nigerian scam is it?

<gives up>

MortifiedAnyFuckerAdams Sun 10-Nov-13 00:20:53

Anyone else really like that car seat in the winter safety videos?

Monka Sun 10-Nov-13 00:21:24

I didnt know this either. Have just bought a snowsuit for my dd but haven't used it yet, it was bought more for taking her out in her pram for walks in winter so she wouldn't get cold. But would have probably used it in the car if I hadn't read this. Thanks!

I don't think this being official advice would make a whole lot of difference to people who can't figure it out for themselves. There are plenty parents who, despite all the widely available SIDS advice, put newborns in their own room, with quilts and toys in the crib, etc etc.

KerwhizzedMyself Sun 10-Nov-13 00:23:57

It's one of those things that should be taught before parents leave the hospital with their baby in the car seat for the first time. I only knew because of a baby forum I went on and by reading my carseat booklet thoroughly. My sister, parents and SIL had no clue (and didnt believe me at first!) because its not talked about enough.

Iggity Sun 10-Nov-13 00:26:03

Does this apply as to the high backed booster seats that use the normal seat belt? Can't remember what group they are. I have my 4.5 yr old in one and I was careful about him not wearing coat when he was younger but probably don't think about it as much these days.

SkullyAndBones Sun 10-Nov-13 00:32:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bonzo77 Sun 10-Nov-13 00:39:37

Is it just the same with rear facing (including extended rear facing)?

SkullyAndBones Sun 10-Nov-13 00:41:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Yes bonzo.

5madthings Sun 10-Nov-13 00:43:25

Yanbu I have shared this info in fb in the past, I am amazed by the amount of people who dotn k so this. If you read theinstructions that come with your car seat it does say this in there but many many parents dotn seem to know.

Weasleyismyking Sun 10-Nov-13 00:50:05

Thanks for this, I didn't understand the issue properly before and have just been pulling the straps extra tight.
I'll be using more thin fleeces and blankets in future!

SeaSickSal Sun 10-Nov-13 01:27:11

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

mortuusUrsus Sun 10-Nov-13 01:42:26

Not sure why Sea was jumped on for asking to a link to the article mentioned in the OP - that's a standard question on here when an OP brings up a "something I read" thread and fails to link it. Just because it's true doesn't mean Sea and others shouldn't be allowed to read it.

Its0kToBeMe Sun 10-Nov-13 01:45:33

I'm not sure why sea was jumped on either. confused confused

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 10-Nov-13 01:51:10

I see this all the time when I'm parking and I'm always a bit surprised at the hmm looks I get when I get the kids out of the car and they have no coat on ( obviously I use blankets over the harness and coat when actually walking about.)

GP's and older relatives are the worse for the looks and comments.

Flatasawitchestit Sun 10-Nov-13 02:00:21

I am seeing lots of babies being carried around in thick snow suits at the moment due to cold weather, its a shame big stores like mothercare kiddicare etc don't advise. Which they don't - I just bought a car seat and whilst they fitted it nothing was mentioned about coats.

When little one was born last winter I used to bring car seat into house, strap her in then pop blankets over her until the car warmed up and then use her snowsuit when we arrived at our destination, not just for safety reasons but because I am a stickler for babies not getting too hot.

In the hospital where I'm a midwife one of our AN education classes is about car seat safety. I'll have to see if this is brought up.

FruitbatAuntie Sun 10-Nov-13 08:05:59

Blimey, I didn't know this. It isn't mentioned in my car seat booklet. I will make sure DS2 is correctly attired from now on!

This definitely wasn't covered in the antenatal class I had which covered car seat safety. I thought I was fairly knowledgeable - but hadn't realised this (it's obvious if you think it through).

CrohnicallyTired Sun 10-Nov-13 08:14:27

I do put DD in the car in her coat- but I don't loosen the straps, I leave them the same length as when she didn't have her coat on and squish the coat in.

notanyanymore Sun 10-Nov-13 08:14:58

Glad to know, I certainly hadn't heard it before!

MisguidedHamwidge Sun 10-Nov-13 08:16:38

postman - it certainly isn't as obvious as you seem to have decided it is.

I am on my 4th DC & have put them all in car seats in snowsuits at some point. I always pull this straps as tight as possible and do the "two fingers" tear but I have never thought about thick material compressing. I always read instructions as well & I'm sure I've never seen thick clothing mentioned [off to look for car seat booklet now]

Thank you OP for posting.

TooTabooToBOOOOO Sun 10-Nov-13 08:19:27

Another one, 2 DCs, didn't know.

Thanks OP.

adagio Sun 10-Nov-13 08:33:01

thanks OP, one DC didn't know/hadn't thought of this

PatoBanton Sun 10-Nov-13 08:38:58

a thin polar fleece?

Sorry what is that - and can you get them for babies?

Also Skully what is the 'back to front' thing you mentioned? I don't think I've heard of that.

TallGiraffe Sun 10-Nov-13 08:51:00

Genuine question for those of you who never but coats on your children in the car - when do you put them on?

I normally don't (because of the above safety reasons) but yesterday it was hail stoning when we left the house and when we arrived at our destination it was a torrential downpour. As we were about to spend 2 hours in a freezing cold church I decided that the chances we'd crash were lower than the chances of toddler getting soaked and then a chill. So he travelled in his all in one suit.

I live in the rural north so this is not an uncommon problem!

sashh Sun 10-Nov-13 09:04:40

it certainly isn't as obvious as you seem to have decided it is.

I disagree, to me it is just common sense. Seat belts and straps on car seats have one purpose, to stop you/your child from being flung around in a crash so should be snug.

Maybe we should change the name to 'safety harness' or something similar.

ToysRLuv Sun 10-Nov-13 09:06:07

I come from a country where outside temperatures can reach over -20 degrees celsius (easily), so the no snowsuit/coat rule is a pain to do on short trips in town. This means in the middle of the winter, most will not adhere to it - unless baby is in a portable car seat which will be removed from the car at the destination, so can be padded out with blankets/cosy toes. All you can do is make sure the harness is really tight.

Mumof3xx Sun 10-Nov-13 09:07:25

I only found this out recently and I have 3 dc, I am surprised and shocked it's not more widely known given the danget

waikikamookau Sun 10-Nov-13 09:13:25

why does the clothing compress?

Yanbu- I didn't know this, and I don't think it's common sense- I always just altered the straps to fit snugly. I also contest that people who don't know this are the kind of people who ignore safety advice- I am not that type and I'm sure many others aren't either, what a horrible way to judge people who are unaware or have less 'common sense' than you do.

Thanks op- I'm glad that you have highlighted this.

postman, tbf, when I had dd, in a cold snap at the end of Jan, we left the hospital with her strapped into the car seat with her snowsuit on. The midwives cooed at her, but not one told us that it was unsafe and that we should've used blankets instead.

I have since read about this and she no longer wears a coat in her car seat, but no, it's not that widely publicised.

maybe3x Sun 10-Nov-13 09:19:54

2 children 1 which was a winter baby and in snowsuit a lot and I never knew this. Thanks for the info op I shall pass it on.

lagoonhaze Sun 10-Nov-13 09:20:33

Have a look at Rearfacing toddlers or Rearfacing the way forward on the Facebook. All is explained on there.

JuneauWhoIAm Sun 10-Nov-13 09:20:48

I actually thought this was common knowledge too?

It's on the instruction booklets.

JuneauWhoIAm Sun 10-Nov-13 09:22:09

I'm confused as to why a midwife should be advising you about it too.
Point the finger at someone else??

Shakey1500 Sun 10-Nov-13 09:29:12

I've obviously no common sense either hmm as I've never heard this advice. Thankfully DS is way past the age.

Needs to be more well known so thumbs up OP and a less patronising tone by some folk wouldn't go amiss either

MisguidedHamwidge Sun 10-Nov-13 09:30:03

I've just looked at the instructions for the Britax car seat I have and found:

"Adjust the harness to fit the clothes your child is wearing before each journey - a fitting for winter clothes may be too slack for a child wearing summer clothes."

This is under the heading "Vital information". No mention of removing thick clothing.

juneau uhhh, how about because they insist on seeing them strapped into the chair before you leave??

Or, as a midwife upthread said - they run car safety workshops. I'd've thought that meant that something may have been said.

Not that I expect anyone else to take responsibility for my child, but most people go on what they are advised. Knowledge is generally passed on & learnt, not inherent.

Which is why it was nice of the op to come on and share.
smile

MissBetseyTrotwood Sun 10-Nov-13 09:36:48

I have thought about this on occasion as I strap the DSs in in their puffa jackets.

woodlandwanderwoman Sun 10-Nov-13 09:37:41

Also important to note that children, especially infants, can overheat rapidly in the bucket seats when in snow suits. This is even more likely to happen than having an accident which might cause baby to be ejected and again you see SO many people doing it

badguider Sun 10-Nov-13 09:37:41

I don't adjust the straps so if he goes in the chair in a bulkier jumper/coat for a short journey when the car will still be cold then the straps are just really tight and compress the clothing already. It's probably quite uncomfy but as I say I only do it for five min journeys where we're all in our winter clothes inside the car ready for our destination.
Even thinking carefully about this I do not see how it can be a significant risk.

Klootami Sun 10-Nov-13 09:44:49

Google or search on Facebook for Morrck hoodies for car seats, fab product (I'm expecting DC3 and buy them as new baby presents). Baby doesn't need snowsuit on, you just then clip car seat onto travel system. And no I don't work for them just fanatical about infant car seat safety.

lagoonhaze Sun 10-Nov-13 09:47:21

We used a morrck or a thin polar fleece from Jo Jo.

It really is something all car seat retailers need to highlight more.

KerwhizzedMyself Sun 10-Nov-13 09:57:08

Well, midwives show you other relevant information about your new baby so why not also the car seat safety especially when all the babies leave in one?

jellyandcake Sun 10-Nov-13 09:58:45

I left the hospital in late December snow. The midwives cooed over how cute his fluffy bear snowsuit was while I strapped him into the car seat wearing it. They were clearly unaware that he shouldn't be wearing it in the car. I didn't know either and I am very careful to read instructions and follow safety guidelines.

Now DS is nearly three he is in a Mamas and Papas Cybex seat with a crash pillow belted in front of him - not a five point harness. There is nothing in the instructions that I found about taking off his coat so either I have failed to read it correctly, it doesn't apply to that kind of seat or they don't provide a warning. I would never have realised from 'common sense' that his coat would compress, maybe I am very stupid. I rarely put his coat on in the car as I don't think it's comfortable but I sometimes do on short journeys especially in the rain so will be aware in future.

I will be letting my parents know about this as they take him out sometimes so thank you for raising it.

MrsBungleScare Sun 10-Nov-13 10:06:43

Does anyone know if this is applicable to car seats that don't have the straps? We have a kiddy infinity so just the body bar. I've never heard of this. We have strap car seat in dh'a car and I just leave the straps the same si they are tight.

lagoonhaze Sun 10-Nov-13 10:39:12

It applies to shields too. They need to be very snug esp in a rollover

MrsBungleScare Sun 10-Nov-13 10:40:27

Thanks lagoon

It's not always obvious. I had to be told this by a former employer as it never even occurred to me. I then had my next employer specifically tell me to keep their coats on in the car, even after I explained why I took them off. It was only when I asked them to sign a disclaimer that they agreed with me and I kept small fleeces in the car to put over them and their coats went on like snuggies.

I wouldn't do what that Mum did wrt keeping her child warm by doing up the jacket. Surely you are then creating another barrier to the child in the event of an emergency? What if the zip got stuck? As they often do.

lagoonhaze Sun 10-Nov-13 11:17:31
AchyFox Sun 10-Nov-13 14:26:37

Has anyone found a link to an actual case yet ?

bigkidsdidit Sun 10-Nov-13 14:32:11

I had no idea about this. I put ds2 in his seat in his snow suit because he always falls asleep in the car and it would wake him up to get him dressed at our destination.

I don't know how he'd fly out of the seat though, he has his straps and the seatbelt holding the car seat in place in front of him.

RigglinJigglin Sun 10-Nov-13 14:40:00

misguided I've gone and checked our car seat instructions and the message is similar to yours. It doesn't say do not wear thick clothing.

Had no idea, but won't be doing it anytime soon again

Paintingrainbowskies Sun 10-Nov-13 14:41:35

I was just going to suggest the morrck baby hoodie too, I loved ours so much. I too buy them for new baby gifts.

There's a good video on their website explaining the dangers of jacket:

http://www.morrck.co.uk/videos

Paintingrainbowskies Sun 10-Nov-13 14:42:06
TSSDNCOP Sun 10-Nov-13 14:42:47

I didn't know this either. Had 3 car seats and don't recall seeing it printed either. As I always pulled the straps super tight I would have thought that in itself would squish out the air.

MooseBeTimeForSnow Sun 10-Nov-13 14:43:29

bebeanjo why would a child in a car have a coat on? They shouldn't. But, if you're not well informed and it's currently -20 outside (which it is here in my part of Canada) it seems right.

I use a fleece suit on my 22 month old DS. It's warm enough for the dash from the car to wherever we're going.

bigkidsdidit Sun 10-Nov-13 14:54:33

So three people on this thread have now checked their seat instructions and none say to remove heavy clothing, just to tighten straps?

And children wear snowsuits in cars because they might be only in the car for ten minutes then getting out into rain, surely.

whatshallwedo Sun 10-Nov-13 15:00:59

Why does it appear to be such a problem to put a babies/child's coat on once you have arrived? Surely the extra two-three minutes this will take is worth it from a safety aspect?

JollySeriousGiant Sun 10-Nov-13 15:06:19

I knew about this and I assumed everyone else did. Which is very silly as I have no idea where I got the information.

11wo DD goes in her car seat with a blanket on top tucked round her. She's then covered with her waterproof cover when we get out or transferred to the sling.

2.5yo DS travels in a jumper and I put on his jacket when we get there. We have a big car though so I can sit/stand him in the boot to get his jacket on if it's pouring down.

bigkidsdidit Sun 10-Nov-13 15:06:51

Coat yes, snowsuit no. And in the rain, with a couple of dc, and seeing as carseat manufacturers don't actually advise against it?

Trapper Sun 10-Nov-13 15:13:56

Is OP going to share the link to the article detailing this actually happening?

whatshallwedo Sun 10-Nov-13 15:20:17

The safety of a child isn't compromised by standing outside in the rain - heaven forbid they should actually get wet. A small baby can lie on a seat having their snowsuit/coat put on whilst another child is still sitting in their seat.

lagoonhaze Sun 10-Nov-13 15:23:34
bigkidsdidit Sun 10-Nov-13 15:27:14

Like badguider, I just can't see the danger as long as you don't adjust the straps and keep them tight. The coat will just get a bit squashed, that's all.

I didn't know this and all the links seemed to be blogs and forums which is hardly conclusive. Also people are checking instructions and reading that they just have to make sure the straps are tight.

Even the pediatrics.about.com link says "The American Academy of Pediatrics advises that "It's OK to adjust the straps to allow for thicker clothes, but make sure the harness still holds the child snugly."

It does add that the Texas Department of Public Safety has additional advice but I just went to the Texas Department of Public Safety site and found nothing about coats. Perhaps they took it down?

Now it may well be good advice. However this is the 2nd thing I've read on MN about car seats this week and the other gem was on Snopes so it's perfectly reasonable to be sceptical and check.

I did follow a link from The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to www.safercar.gov/parents/SecuringChild.htm. Under 'Forward-Facing with a Harness' it does mention it. So far that's the only remotely reliable place I've seen it.

SkullyAndBones Sun 10-Nov-13 17:28:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Yes that's the one I found. Anyone found another. Perhaps a UK Gov one or something from the manufacturers?

I found the story about the kid popping out of the seat after a crash, but that didn't actually blame clothing. Though one blogger who posted about it guessed that might be the case.

SkullyAndBones Sun 10-Nov-13 17:52:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Hulababy Sun 10-Nov-13 17:57:04

I also thought this was a well known fact, and tbh I find it a bit scary that many people don't reaise it.

Thick coats and snowsuits mean that car seat belts don't fit in the way they should. Remove them and, if necessary, put a blanket over instead. More safe.

TBH in most situations in the UK babies are too bundled up as it is, leading to overheating. It is usually far more safe to a baby to be a too cold than too hot.

SkullyAndBones Sun 10-Nov-13 17:57:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LamaDrama Sun 10-Nov-13 18:02:58

I didn't know this.

PatoBanton Sun 10-Nov-13 19:03:13

Has anyone on this thread ever tried putting a snowsuit onto a baby without somewhere to at least sit down - it isn't easy. So if you're going into town or something, no, it would not be just as easy to do it when you get there.

imofftolisdoonvarna Sun 10-Nov-13 19:23:49

I often think that people overdress their babies for car journeys anyway. Unless when you get to your destination you are going to be spending loads of time outside you don't need to put anything on your child anyway.

I always remember my friend leaving my house once. It was a fairly mild October day and she spent about 10 minutes putting as snow suit on her ds,only to get in the car and drive the 20 minutes home! And she isn't the only one. I kind of think snow suits are a bit unnecessary for small babies anyway, surely blankets are better as you can layer them, put them under/over straps etc?

bigkidsdidit Sun 10-Nov-13 19:24:14

Exactly, pato

And I STILL don't see the danger if you don't loosen the straps.

cakebar Sun 10-Nov-13 19:42:34

I don't see the danger if you don't loosen the straps. You can compress the coat yourself.

I am careful about car safety, and I was aware of this advice, but I don't follow it. I do pull the straps as tight as humanely possible. I had a conversation with a fireman once who said that he asks everyone he knows to wrap up for the car as though they are outside, and not to put heating on in the car. He had seen too many people die or suffer complications from hypothermia after they crashed as it can take hours to cut you out of the car and they can't move you to put warm clothing on. You get cold waiting for the emergency services to arrive and that can make you very ill.

The person who can't see the need for snowsuits for babies obviously hasn't done a school run with a buggy, it is hard to get those blankets to stay wrapped around snugly and even small babies get their hands and shoulders out of blankets. If you live a car to building lifestyle then maybe you don't need them.

intitgrand Sun 10-Nov-13 19:43:01

But I don't think the physics behind this makes sense.In a crash the coat compresses as the child is thrown forward so any gap opens up behind the child's body not between the front of the child and the seat belt.And how is it a danger in a reverse facing seat?

whatshallwedo Sun 10-Nov-13 19:50:19

Pato all of the snowsuits I have ever used for dd have been along the same principal as a babygrow.

Lay snowsuit on car seat, lay baby on top of snowsuit, put babies arms and legs into snowsuit, do it up.

I have never put it on her and then travelled in the car, yes it is a faff but sometimes things are when they are baby related.

To the poster who said about using a snowsuit in a pram - I thought that was their main purpose rather than being used in a car.

TheArticFunky Sun 10-Nov-13 19:56:14

I didn't know this. Thanks for starting the thread OP.

cantthinkofagoodone Sun 10-Nov-13 20:13:51

Surprised that some people are being argumentative. Better safe than sorry, surely.

bigkidsdidit Sun 10-Nov-13 20:22:01

If that were true, can't think, you wouldn't take a child in a car at all.

PatoBanton Sun 10-Nov-13 20:25:35

I'm only trying to counter the assertion by some that it is 'no more difficult' to put an all over garment, or indeed any garment, onto a baby when you arrive at destination than at home.

I don't like to see people being dismissive or 'FFS' about stuff like this...people have got reasons for wanting to dress their children before the journey. That doesn't mean that they should, just that yes, it might be more hassle not to.

A child's safety should always come first of course.

HairyPorter Sun 10-Nov-13 20:31:13

I didn't know this either.. Another one who pulls the straps extra tight.. And escape artist DS can't get his arms out of the shoulder straps when he has his coat on (but can if his coat is not on) so I think the fit is more snug when he is in his coat!

ToysRLuv Sun 10-Nov-13 20:32:46

Have you tried this, Hairy?

www.amazon.co.uk/Houdini-Stop-Houdini1/dp/B0044VUXGW

Worked for us..

ToysRLuv Sun 10-Nov-13 20:34:12
lagoonhaze Sun 10-Nov-13 20:34:17

The person who can't see the need for snowsuits for babies obviously hasn't done a school run with a buggy, it is hard to get those blankets to stay wrapped around snugly and even small babies get their hands and shoulders out of blankets. If you live a car to building lifestyle then maybe you don't need them

That was me. I used a fleece babygro and a morrck hoody. A blanket was fine when in wash too. Jo Jo polar fleece is good also.

Minty82 Sun 10-Nov-13 20:34:28

People aren't 'being argumentative', they just don't think the warning given makes much sense. I'd never heard this before, and DD isn't in the car much anyway as I don't drive, but when she has travelled in her coat I've never loosened the straps, so I really can't see how it would be any less safe than usual. The only concern that's crossed my mind is overheating, but I've only kept her coat on when I'm keeping mine on too - ie when it seems necessary!

BerstieSpotts Sun 10-Nov-13 20:35:08

LOADS of people don't realise this. I had a sheepskin liner when DS was little. It said on the packaging you could use it in a car seat!

There's no need to be patronising - if you don't know the science behind crash forces then of course most people will assume that as long as they are pulling the straps tight over the clothing their child is wearing, the seat is safe.

It's still a danger in a rearfacing seat because when RF the child is not up at 90 degrees, they are reclined at an angle. In a crash the force pushes them up this slope. If the straps are loose (potentially due to a bulky coat) they can slip off the child's shoulders causing them to be ejected up and out of the seat. The baby in the story referenced in the OP (I read it from a link on facebook and no longer have the link) was in a rear facing infant seat.

BerstieSpotts Sun 10-Nov-13 20:36:28

lagoon I never had a car and never used snowsuits either. Hate the things. I used blankets and a footmuff. They can't kick off a footmuff smile

BerstieSpotts Sun 10-Nov-13 20:38:26

Minty you should be loosening them every time to get a snug fit - you loosen straps, put child in, then pull the strap at the bottom to tighten them over their clothing. If you're just leaving them the same tightness all the time then they probably aren't tight enough because it's hard to get the buckle in when they are taut.

HootyMcOwlface Sun 10-Nov-13 20:39:20

Thank you OP, I'd never heard of this. I've always pulled straps really tight in the car seat, even with coats, but I'm glad to be made aware.

I'd never heard of this before either.

When I took newborn dd home from hospital last winter, the midwife advised me to put more layers on her before I put her in the car seat shock

intitgrand Sun 10-Nov-13 20:56:16

'But I don't think the physics behind this makes sense.In a crash the coat compresses as the child is thrown forward so any gap opens up behind the child's body not between the front of the child and the seat belt.*And how is it a danger in a reverse facing seat?*'

..and not only this, but the coat compressing would act surely like a crumple zone on a car.It would deccelerate the child reducing the impact

are there any credible sources for this 'info' ie not tattooed american mums.

WestieMamma Sun 10-Nov-13 20:58:38

I didn't know this and now I'm confused. Where I live it hovers betwwen -10C and -20C throughout winter. In those conditions I wonder what is the greater risk, snowsuit on and the risk of restraints not working or snowsuit off and the risk of freezing. Something else for me to worry myself stupid about. confused

zatyaballerina Sun 10-Nov-13 21:29:43

I had no ideashock Thanks.

VikingLady Sun 10-Nov-13 21:57:06

When I put DD into a car seat, regardless of thickness of clothes, I tighten the straps until I can't tighten them any further without breaking something - doesn't everyone?!

MortifiedAnyFuckerAdams Sun 10-Nov-13 22:01:26

Yes Viking but the point is that as tight as you can pull the straps with a coat on, they will be even tighter without a coat.

We had these - you can feed the car seat belt straps in underneath through special holes and then tighten up.
They were also brilliant in the buggy for getting them to sleep.
www.wallaboo.com/blankets/nore-dreamy-warm-1.html

PasswordProtected Sun 10-Nov-13 22:28:02

Sheep. Where has common sense gone?

Flatasawitchestit Sun 10-Nov-13 22:47:17

Can i just add to clarify - in our AN classes the car seat talk isn't given by midwives, but the local fire safety officer & / or HV.

We don't advise about car seats on discharge because we aren't allowed to advise on something we have no training in. We just obviously have to advise a baby travels home in a seat. I'm going to speak to outer risk manager about this to see if there is something we can do to raise awareness.

Strumpetron Sun 10-Nov-13 22:53:05

People who don't believe this, why don't you do your own research into it instead of 1. Disbelieving or 2. Expecting to be spoon fed information.

I did a quick google and found loads.

I adjust the straps for every journey. But I'm another who can't understand the physics and may have spent the evening trying to replicate it with a teddy bear

Strumpetron Sun 10-Nov-13 23:03:29

When i googled I found a website that did tests with a crash test dummy, including one that had added space 'as though to make room for a snow suit'

Results were sad

ElfontheShelfIsWATCHINGYOUTOO Sun 10-Nov-13 23:05:00

Thanks for this,

NO it didn't occur to me and today is first day we put her in snow suit.

Strumpetron Sun 10-Nov-13 23:10:41

If it's really cold and your child has a puffy coat you can reduce the problem. Instructions are...

Sit child in seat with coat on, unzip coat and poke both sides of the coat through the sides of the 5 point harness. Do up the 5 point harness and then do up the zip of the coat on the outside of the harness!

Child is still warm and the harness is against the child's body without the coat in the way! There is a YouTube video, I'll try to find it! smile

This video explains why coats are a problem...

m.youtube.com/watch?v=CNGT9eBL_gg

Still looking for the other video! smile

Wuxiapian Sun 10-Nov-13 23:18:47

This is news to me and I'm expecting DC3!

Thanks for that, Op.

This is what I was trying to describe in my earlier post! smile

m.youtube.com/watch?v=e4f3gjicSdU

People who don't believe this, why don't you do your own research into it instead of 1. Disbelieving or 2. Expecting to be spoon fed information.

I did my own search and so far only found one possibly genuine site that even mentions it. I was hoping for more and perhaps even some supporting facts. Apparently though the correct way to research is to believe anything you read on facebook and leave it at that.

I never quite got the hang of 'but it says so on the internet'

btw the earlier link to a car crash where the baby ended in the snow turned out to be some random bloggers guess.

intitgrand Mon 11-Nov-13 07:15:54

been through all the links and can t find anything scientific the newspaper article whici relates to tests makes no sense at all . It says that in a rear facing seat the baby would bounce off the dashboard . How ?

MrsS1980 Mon 11-Nov-13 07:24:11

My DS is 2 and 6, I come on mumsnet pretty much every day (admittedly mostly lurking), I have 2 degrees and read pretty much every baby book going and I have never heard this before!blush
This is why we love and need Mumsnet! Thanks all.

lagoonhaze Mon 11-Nov-13 07:27:50

All those who are doubtful email Britax or maxi cosi. Ask on Facebook. Im sure they Will provide the answers for you.

Meglet Mon 11-Nov-13 07:30:16

I always removed layers in the car. Mainly for safety reasons but partly for comfort.

bigkidsdidit Mon 11-Nov-13 07:33:50

I am doubtful. There is so much misinformation on the Internet and here

- there are no documented cases of this ever being a factor in an actual crash
- all the 'sources' are blogs or Facebook
- none of the car seat booklets provided by manufacturers and checked on this thread advise removing bulky clothing
- no baby books or midwives or nct classes talk about this

Makes me a bit dubious. However obviously I want my children to be safe so I am indeed going to email maxi cosi today. Happy to do whatever they say is best!

OldTomFrost Mon 11-Nov-13 07:34:13

Thank you for this thread op I had my children years ago before any of the safety advice given out today and I did not have a car so no car seat. It was the days you were allowed to hold them in your arms in a car anyhow... I have a 3 month old Granddaughter now and a car and a car seat and I would not have known this as for all the advice given to my daughter and myself on baby safety, this was not said/told/given. She's got a snowsuit and wears it out now the weather has turned. Shall be making a call later on to let daughter know not to put her into the car seat in her suit...
It might be common sense to others who have had babies over the last few years but for a new mum or for an old Gran like myself - its not something I would have thought about - so thank you. You've managed to stop one family from making this mistake - your post is entirely worth it.

nosleeptillbedtime Mon 11-Nov-13 07:41:05

Postman has been jolly rude. It is pretty clear that a lot of people weren't aware of this. I wasn't aware that clothes would compress in an accident so that there would be a gap of inches between baby and straps. Can't think of another instance in life where this would happen so not sure why postman thinks this is so blindingly obvious.
Some people though do seem to think that everything they know is obvious and anyone who doesn't know what they know is a dumbo. Seems an odd way to go through life to me.

SpookedMackerel Mon 11-Nov-13 07:44:39

I had it drummed into me from a child that it was dangerous to wear a coat in the car, I had an uncle who worked in crash testing.

We don't have a car, but if ever we travel in one, the coats go in the boot (you shouldn't have loose stuff in the body of the car that could fly around in an accident either). Then when we arrive I get the coats out. I would sit in the front passenger seat to put a baby's coat on inthe warm on arrival.

CokeFan Mon 11-Nov-13 07:52:02

This is why people think that their DC have "grown out" of their baby seats so early and turn them FF in a bigger seat. Car seats aren't designed to accommodate puffy winter coats.

AmandaCooper Mon 11-Nov-13 07:59:56

Thank you very much for this thread. I don't think it is common sense and bloody obvious. It never would have occurred to me.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 11-Nov-13 08:29:32

A bit of useful info if your unsure about up to date car seat advice,

Your local authority roads dept will usually have either have a child seat advisor or will routinely run checks and advice sessions around your area (often from a supermarket car park) in partnership with the AA they check the fitting of the seat and the fitting of the baby/ child as well as advise.

Its worth going along even if you think you know what your doing as according to them most baby seats are used incorrectly.

I have been given the don't use thick coats or anything not an actual part of the seat between the seat and child from them previously.

ZenNudist Mon 11-Nov-13 08:38:10

I use the maxi cosi car seat cosy, designed to go under the baby with a zip in fleece over the top. Is that unsafe? They are sold as safe for use with carseat!!!!

lagoonhaze Mon 11-Nov-13 08:50:10

Zen From a harness point of view as its designed for use by maxi cosi for use with their car seats its fine.

From a strapping in car seat put of view as long as its still able to allow the lapbelt to be pulled nice and tight across it then its fine. If it start pushes at the tension then no not good.

Obviously this isn't an issue if using a base.

intitgrand Mon 11-Nov-13 08:58:46

i don't get what those videos are proving .of course the straps are slacker if you take off a coat but a coat doesn't melt away to nothing on impact.there may be some very slight difference in the compression between pulling the straps really tight and impact but i can't believe it could be more than a couple of millimetres

WestieMamma Mon 11-Nov-13 11:43:54

Kickarsequeen thanks for the video. It does deal with the 'cold' issue but then creates others. I would worry about being able to get the baby out in an emergency, especially if it is someone else trying to figure out where the clip is in a stressful situation.

Anyway I've emailed Britax to ask them as their safety advice is quite extensive on what to do/not do but it doesn't mention anything about not using thick coats. I'll post the reply when I get it.

TickledOnion Mon 11-Nov-13 12:42:09

I am inclined to agree with you intitgrand, but I wonder if it is just that no tests have been carried out on the safety of car seats and thick coats. (Apologies if someone has already linked to one, I haven't looked at all the links).
Logically I can not see why they would cause a problem, but if the car seat manufacturers have not specifically tested the scenario, they won't want to endorse it.
The lack of endorsement could be seen by some as proof that you shouldn't do it.

Strumpetron Mon 11-Nov-13 13:53:42

i don't get what those videos are proving .of course the straps are slacker if you take off a coat but a coat doesn't melt away to nothing on impact.there may be some very slight difference in the compression between pulling the straps really tight and impact but i can't believe it could be more than a couple of millimetres

Those extra millimetres I can imagine would be very important when it came to a baby. The straps are supposed to hold the body not the suit, the suit can compress quite dramatically I would imagine if the impact had lots of force, and that 'couple of millimetres' could mean the difference between the baby bein hurt or not.

I've emailed my old place of work to see if they have anything conclusive on this, will let everyone know if they get back to me.

Strumpetron Mon 11-Nov-13 14:11:27

New York Department of Health - says don't use snow suits

Car Seat.org this is quite interesting to see the comparison

[[http://www.childsafetylink.ca/newborn-safety/car-seats/harness-your-baby-tight.html Child Safety Link - states snowsuits not recommend

There are countless links that state it isn't good, including government ones, I particularly found the ones from Canada interesting as they don't advocate it either despite being a very cold country.

I think the overall consensus is that is makes the car seat less safe. Is it really worth the risk?

Strumpetron Mon 11-Nov-13 14:11:46
ThisWayForCrazy Mon 11-Nov-13 14:43:10

People can be dubious. Not enough factual evidence, and so on.

But, in the event of my children being in a car accident I would like, very much, to know that I have done everything I can as a parent to ensure my children are as safe as possible.

I'm glad lots of people know about this now who it hadn't occurred to before. I still do think it should have been obvious though.

Rather than just rely on what someone 'in authority' has told you to do or not do, please have a careful look round in any situation to check for risks to your children (or yourselves for that matter). Nobody told me to tighten straps as much as possible, or not to have loose objects in the car in case of a crash, but simply thinking about things as I do them means risks become clear. This harness/snowsuit issue isn't a fact you can only know if you're told, it is common sense. In fact I take it a wee bit further and make sure the car seat straps aren't going over any bumps or folds in clothing, avoiding anything that makes the straps even a tiny bit looser than they need to be.

It's similar to the looped blind cord danger. There is nobody whose job it is to tell you that these pose a strangulation danger to children but if you have your wits about you and take time to think about things, they clearly do.

Of course I don't advocate blindly believing whatever some stranger says on the internet, far from it. But this is different and demanding links describing cases where this exact thing happened before you will take your child's jacket off and tighten his straps properly is silly and irrelevant. Just think about it and yes, it is obviously a danger.

intitgrand Mon 11-Nov-13 15:51:56

Butb there are plenty of people who would tell you if it were the case for example ROSPA.They make no mention of it at all.

SkullyAndBones Mon 11-Nov-13 16:06:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Strumpetron Mon 11-Nov-13 16:07:33

grin @ skullyandbones

WestieMamma Mon 11-Nov-13 16:24:06

i guess America, Canada, Sweden and Denmark are ALL wrong in advising agaiinst this because we cant produce a british endorsed link.

I'd be genuinely very much interested in a Swedish endorsed link. I'm in Sweden and the only advice I've been given is to make sure you adjust the straps to take into account the type of clothing.

SkullyAndBones Mon 11-Nov-13 16:29:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lagoonhaze Mon 11-Nov-13 16:31:47

Rospa had to be campaigned a while back to change incorrect car seat info.

BerstieSpotts Mon 11-Nov-13 16:31:58

I definitely was told to tighten the straps as far as possible each and every time, I can't remember who by or where I read it, though.

I only ever heard the coat thing through internet forums, and until the last year or so, only on US based ones.

The only "official" thing I've ever seen on car seat safety is a leaflet in my local children's centre, now, bearing in mind DS was born in 2008 and would have been about 2 by the time I noticed these, and they were in a rack with half of them being produced before the car seat laws changed in 2004, I somehow doubt that people were accessing them.

There was a poster at DS' nursery too explaining about the different groups but half of the parents didn't take any notice of it, one of them never bothered to use one at all and let her kids ride without even being strapped in most of the time.

WestieMamma Mon 11-Nov-13 16:38:03

Dont buy second hand.

This is why I don't understand why Sweden is held up as some beacon of carseat safety. Yes children are rear facing until 4. But the NHS for our area loans first stage carseats for a small charge. The car insurance companies endorse this scheme by paying this charge for you. We've recently finnished with ours so I'm in the process of washing it ready for the next user.

5madthings Mon 11-Nov-13 16:44:22

I am assuming the car seats re thoroughly checked and anyone who had a crash whilst using a loaned car seat wpudk report it amd then it wouldnt be loaned out again.

Strumpetron Mon 11-Nov-13 16:47:33

Loaned car seats go back to equipment stores where they are decontaminated, tested and checked over to make sure they are safe for the next user.

Second hand car seats are different as they more than likely don't go through this testing.

WestieMamma Mon 11-Nov-13 17:00:38

Loaned car seats go back to equipment stores where they are decontaminated, tested and checked over to make sure they are safe for the next user.

These ones don't. They sit in the corner of the HV's office until next needed. The instruction leaflet tells me how to clean it so it's ready for the next person.

Strumpetron Mon 11-Nov-13 17:05:11

Oh dear I wouldn't be happy with that AT ALL. shock

5madthings Mon 11-Nov-13 17:08:07

well thats crap and an insurance claim waitimg to happen.

ToysRLuv Mon 11-Nov-13 17:09:15

In Scandinavia a lot of things are based on a general trust. People tend to be honest, so there is most probably no reason to fear that the seat has been in a crash..

WestieMamma Mon 11-Nov-13 17:19:08

That's very true. I remember the first time I got stopped by the police in Sweden. I'd left my handbag at home so didn't have my licence or insurance documents on me. I was really surprised that the officer took my word that everything was in order and just let me go on my way.

WestieMamma Mon 11-Nov-13 17:20:59

Also the people we bought our house off allowed us to move in the day we moved to Sweden even though the mortgage couldn't be finalised and the house paid for for 2 weeks.

ToysRLuv Mon 11-Nov-13 17:23:18

That's on of the things I miss about Scandi. The other on being everything being on computers, so that you only need to keep very minimal paper records. Also agencies, banks etc. talk to each others, so you don't need to prove/transfer info all the time. But the winter climate is harsh and the telly/music suck grin

WestieMamma Mon 11-Nov-13 17:26:51

I find the open information a bit scary. Like when my new neighbour made a comment about our household income and I was like shock 'how did he know that?'. Of course he'd just looked it up in the open tax office records and felt no guilt about it either. Nosy bugger.

Strumpetron Mon 11-Nov-13 17:29:06

Bloody hell that is NOT on. How rude!

ToysRLuv Mon 11-Nov-13 17:30:33

Tehee.. definitely a cultural thing-although I do agree about cheeky neighbour!

The attitude is: Why fear openness if you have nothing to hide? I agree with that..

WestieMamma Mon 11-Nov-13 17:33:56

Yep, I've heard that too. The locals think we're really strange because we have curtains up in our house. Apparently this means we're up to no good.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 11-Nov-13 18:44:38

Another thing to think about is a snow suit is not likely to make your child safer so if there's a question about them being an issue in a car seat,whats the point in insisting the gov tell you not to before you decide to take it into account?

Sockreturningpixie, was anyone saying "I know it's dangerous, but I will keep doing it until the government tells me not to" or is it more like "I can't assume it's dangerous just because someone says so on the internet"

Since I last checked this thread perhaps people have found more information that's based on facts and not opinion. If so that changes things, but that was the problem earlier on when some people started getting hostile to those who asked questions.

Also it's not about 'any risk' or you shouldn't be taking a child in a car in the first place. It's about the degree of risk.

There's no point in establishing two hostile camps - those who will believe it without proof and those who won't. Surely we are all on the side of protecting children? What's needed is firm information so people can make a proper judgement.

Do we know if this applies to all types of seats? Has anyone established whether thicker clothes are safe if care is taken to adjust the straps properly? Under what circumstances would it be an issue? and so on.

WestieMamma Mon 11-Nov-13 19:39:32

Exactly BackOnlyBriefly. I want to do what is safest but I can't find enough information to work that out. If I still lived in Kent I'd be much more inclined to just go with the blanket option, but I live near the arctic circle and I have to consider the risk of cold too. Which is greater? I don't know confused

Honsandrevels Mon 11-Nov-13 22:12:59

We have Kiddy seats and I'm sure it says in the instruction manual to remove bulky clothing. We keep fleece blankets and hats in the back of the car to use for warmth instead of coats.

Initgrand I've seen a report on a crash test for a rear facing seat where those extra inches of slack caused by the suit allowed the child to slide head first out of the straps. A rear facing seat is not upright it points forward. I think that is what they are trying to describe.

Westiemama, just for reassurance, in the event of an accident emergency services routinely use a belt slicer to cut through the seat straps rather that trying to figure out how to undo the straps. There are so many different seats and the button to increase the slack is in a different place in all of them. Also it means they can cut the adult belt and remove the entire seat, this would protect the child from unnecessary movement.

Hope that helps! smile

differentnameforthis Mon 11-Nov-13 23:51:48

Aside from the issue here in the op, babies shouldn't be in thick coats in car seats anyway, as they over heat quickly!

differentnameforthis Tue 12-Nov-13 00:09:58

Klootami My children are now too old for baby seats, but I SO want one of those hoodies! grin

Millenniumbug1 Tue 12-Nov-13 08:32:12

Great advice. Bump

intitgrand Tue 12-Nov-13 09:12:43

Initgrand I've seen a report on a crash test for a rear facing seat where those extra inches of slack caused by the suit allowed the child to slide head first out of the straps.

Inches of slack!!
My point exactly , how are there inches of slack if you pull the belt tight.A snow suit cannot further compress inches- a few millimetres perhaps

peachypips Tue 12-Nov-13 12:37:07

A word of advice to those who are telling us the dangers of not using car seats properly.

If you are kind and polite when sharing information and not patronising or aggressive then people are far more likely to listen.

steff13 Wed 13-Nov-13 04:40:25

A friend of mine just shared this article on FB:

thestir.cafemom.com/baby/149235/the_important_winter_car_seat

Strumpetron Wed 13-Nov-13 07:57:09

Intitgrand if you looked at one of the links I posted, it clearly demonstrates where the inches comes from

You just seem very against believing it at all. Why is that?

intitgrand Wed 13-Nov-13 09:21:35

Because I understand physics

Jollyb Wed 13-Nov-13 09:41:21

Never heard this either. How big are some of these snowsuits? I'm a bit confused as to where the inches come from too.

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