SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- When Tina Gram moved to Springfield, the first thing she was told, was not to let your kids wear coats in the car.
Puffy coats are great in the winter for keeping your child warm, but when it comes to car seats they can actually do more harm than good during a car crash.
"When we're buckling children in with bulky jackets, we're not able to get these tether straps nice and snug, so if we get in a crash, the child can actually be ejected from the top of the chair," said Anita Schlenker with Mercy.
When strapping your child in, coats need to be off, and the straps need to be tight. Also make sure they rest right at your child’s collarbone. Your children still need to be warm when getting in and out of the car, and this is when you have to juggle unbuckling them and putting their coats back on.
“It’s a little inconvenient sometimes, but it’s more inconvenient to have something bad happen to my kid,” Gram said.
Alyson Tillman, who a set of twins, suggests when the kids are in the car.
“Take your coats off," said Tillman. "Get a really warm, thin down coat, that exists, or try a fleece poncho or a fleece blanket over laps."
You can also strap them in, then put their coats on them backwards. Warm socks, gloves, and hats can also be worn.
Mercy Hospital can show you how to properly strap a child in your car seat, or how to install one in the car. Click this link for more information https://www.mercy.net/practice/mercy-injury-prevention-center-springfield/car-seatbooster-seat-info-0/
Cox Health Child Passenger Safety: https://www.coxhealth.com/services/trauma-services/safety-and-injury-prevention/child-passenger-safety/
Center for Disease Control Car Seat Safety Guidelines: https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/child_passenger_safety/cps-factsheet.html