Q: All of this discussion about thick winter coats and the safety of car seats is making me crazy! All of the unspecified information broadcasted out there about winter coats has caused my daughter-in-law to stop using coats in the car. Whether the temperature is 20 degrees or -20 degrees, my two grandchildren are secure in their car seats without coats.
Watching my grandchildren move from one episode of the flu to a virus to croup to colds and back around is making me crazy! Can you please shed some light on this?
A: First, it sounds like your daughter-in-law is doing a fantastic job keeping up on the latest car seat safety recommendations! She's correct that it's not a good idea to use a thick winter coat in the car seat. The puffy coat materials can cause the harness to be too loose, which isn't safe. That doesn't mean kids need to freeze in the car, though. There are lots of ways to stay toasty *and* safe, including warming up the car before buckle-up time, or using a blanket over the child after buckling.
By the way, the grandkids may get sick more often in the winter, but according to Kristina Duda, R.N., About.com Cold and Flu Guide, cold weather doesn't cause illness.