Health Blog

Keeping Kids Safe and Warm this Winter

As winter is coming we all worry about making sure our young ones are kept warm when we go out. We must remember though, that we also want them to be safe. The emergency room sees many young children with serious injuries in the winter due to big coats or snowsuits causing car seat straps not to work well. Even when the straps seem tight, the force of a car accident can squish down the coat and allow space for the child to slip from the straps and get hurt.

Here are some tips for keeping your child both warm and safe:

  • When possible, warm the car before you get in.
  • Have your kids wear their hats, mittens and warm shoes or boots.
  • For babies in an infant seat, place them in the car seat with the straps tight, then tuck a blanket around them or use a car seat cover. Make sure nothing is over the baby’s face. Store the seat inside when not in use so that the baby is not in contact with the cold seat. Nothing should ever be placed between the baby and the car seat, as that makes them less safe.
  • For toddlers or young children, have them wear their coat to the car, take it off to strap them in tight and then turn the coat backwards and place it over their arms (see picture below). Another option would be to have a blanket kept in the backseat for them to use.

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  • Consider having a winter emergency kit in the car. Include back up clothing, socks, and mittens, a blanket and some snacks.
  • While these tips focus on kids, they do apply to adults as well. Large coats can also cause our seat belts to be ineffective. We need to be safe so that in the case of an accident we can focus on our kids and help calm them.

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By:
Dr. Jenny Bush
Director of Pediatrics at Cherry Health and Pediatrician at Westside Health Center