Coats keep children warm, not safe in car seats - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

Coats keep children warm, not safe in car seats

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Trying to keep your little ones warm this winter is a top priority for many parents, but that puffy coat might be interfering with their safety. One East Texas mom tells us many of her friends had no idea they were supposed to take their child's coat off before buckling them in their car seat.

Peyton Kaminski is a new mom and leaving the house with 9-month-old daughter Caroline can be a chore

"If I were to try to put her in here like this it would just be too much between her and the harness with this big, heavy jacket," she said as she tried to buckle Caroline in her car seat.

Taking Caroline's coat off is one step she says she never misses, "you know when you're coming out of the grocery store, for instance, you know, you're just trying to get to the car as fast as you can and the wind is blowing and it has been so cold lately. You just want to keep them as warm as possible, but it is just really important to take the extra two or three minutes."

Officer James McCraw is The Community Response Officer for The Tyler Police Department. He says wearing a coat beneath the restraint can leave extra space and in an accident, a child could slip out of the harness.

He says police are trained to buckle children in without their coats.

"If they would have just had their coat off, or if they would have had the blanket off, the straps would have been a little bit tighter, then the child might not have got injured in whatever way," he said.

Kaminski was surprised at how many of her other mom friends hadn't known to take their child's coat off before a car ride so she posted about it on Facebook to spread the word.

That winter coat may keep them warm, but it may not keep them safe in an accident. Car accidents are the leading cause of death among children and babies, so car seats are vital. According to police, straps should be tight on a child, and placing a blanket or a coat over the child after buckling them in is another way to keep them warm.

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