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Officials warn puffy coats and car seats can pose a safety hazard

Published: Jan. 29, 2022 at 11:57 AM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Health officials in Wisconsin are warning families about the danger of children wearing puffy coats while sitting in a car seat.

According to Aspirus Health, the extra padding found in many puffy coats will compress during a crash, causing the car seat harness to loosen. The extra four inches of slack in the straps can greatly increase the risk of injury to a child.

“The trick is to find the perfect balance between keeping little ones warm and safe in their car seats,” Aspirus Health Safe Kids & Injury Prevention Coordinator Amanda Tabin said. “Consider dressing them in thin layers, hats, mittens, socks or boots, and using the coat or a blanket over the straps of the car seat.”

Safe Kids Wisconsin suggests using this simple coat check to ensure a car seat is secure:

Step 1: Put the coat on your child.

Step 2: Sit them in the car seat. Buckle and tighten the harness.

Step 3: Without loosening the harness, unbuckle it, and remove your child from the car seat.

Step 4: Take the coat off.

Step 5: Strap your child back into the car seat without adjusting the straps. If the harness is too loose, the coat is too thick to wear under the harness.

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