Using Child Safety Seats in the Winter

The Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, through the Highway Safety Division, has recently produced an important public service announcement about child safety seats. During the winter months, children in car seats are often buckled in wearing heavy gear. However, this could prove dangerous and increase the risk of injury in a crash because the seatbelt is not as close to the child. This PSA is designed to remind parents and caregivers to buckle their children in without heavy coats, and then put them on when they go outside.

If your child's coat is too bulky to be worn with the car seat, you may want to consider some of these alternatives for keeping your child warm in your vehicle:

  • Preheat your vehicle
  • Put a coat on your child backwards after the harness is properly tightened
  • Cover your child with a blanket

If you are unsure that your child is strapped in properly, Safe Kids Worldwide recommends using "the pinch test." With your thumb and your index finger, pinch the harness near the child's collarbone. If you are unable to pinch any excess webbing when you pinch the strap, the harness is considered snug enough.

This information is courtesy of the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security. For more information, please visit the Car Seat Safety page.