“Strapping your child in their car seat bundled in their winter coat is a mistake that could be deadly,” explains Amanda Griswold, Parent Educator and Certified Car Seat Technician at Crossing Rivers Health Family Resource Center. “Car seats are designed to be tightly attached to the car, and the child attached tightly into their car seat. Nothing should come between a child and the car seat straps.”
Griswold adds, “Of course, you want to keep your child warm and safe in their car seat, but a puffy coat or snowsuit adds several inches of slack between them and the harness straps. Strap your child securely in their car seat without their coat on. Place the coat or a blanket over him or her to keep them warm. This also applies in other children and adults as well. They should not wear their winter coats when they’re behind the wheel or riding in a car.”
“Child safety seats offer the best protection for children in the event of a vehicle crash,” states Griswold. “It’s the responsibility of every parent and caregiver to make sure their children are safely restrained– every trip, every time. Parents, grandparents and caregivers may make an appointment with me for a free inspection so that the right car seat is installed correctly for their child. Those expecting their first child are asked to make an appointment at least three weeks before their due date to make sure they are ready for their child’s first ride home. It’s easy to make an appointment- call Family Resource Center at 608-357-2135. Car seat checks are available at Family Resource Center, 800 East Taylor Street in Prairie du Chien or at Crossing Rivers Health Clinic in Fennimore.”
Family Resource Center programming is available to help families be the best they can be, including parenting classes, Safe Sitter, Moms Like Me support group, and a child equipment lending library. Learn more by calling 608-357-2135 or visit crossingrivers.org.