What happens if we put a child wearing a coat in a child seat?
Here we explain why this is not advisable
For anyone who is still skeptical about this subject, who thinks it is not very important, we propose a test. This involves putting the child in the car seat with their coat on and doing up the harness. Next, unfasten the buckle without loosening the harness, take off the child’s coat and, without readjusting the harness, fasten the buckle again. We will see that there is a lot of slack, that the child is almost loose in the seat. In the event of a collision, it is as if the coat were not there -what will retain the child’s body is the harness, with all that slack.
When the child is put in the seat with a coat on, what we are doing is separating the restraint system, which reduces the child’s speed in the event of a collision, from the child’s body. Only the harness or seat belt is capable of restraining the child. This means that if there is a collision, there will be a few milliseconds in which the child will not be restrained. In those milliseconds, the child will continue at the speed of the vehicle until they reach the harness or seat belt, instead of being restrained from the start, which is what happens when we put the child in the seat without a coat. This results in more severe injuries and greater displacement of the head, with the risk of the dreaded impact with the back of the front seat.
In addition, fitting the harness or seat belt while the child is wearing a coat means that we cannot be exactly sure that the belt is passing across the correct retention points on the child’s body.
The 3 basic principles of safety are restraint, absorption and deflection. Putting a child in the child while wearing a coat affects at least 2 of these basic principles, retention and deflection.
It is not unusual in winter for a car to be cold and the seats to be icy. So it is easy to think that as it only takes 5 minutes to get to school it isn’t necessary to take the coat off. To avoid this situation, we recommend that both adults and children always take off their coats. Put a blanket on the back seats so that children can cover themselves up if they feel like it, but always put the restraint system on correctly first and turn on the car’s heating.
We shouldn’t forget that 80% of road accidents in Spain occur on regular, short, well-known journeys, so we must be extremely careful, both when driving and when restraining both our little ones and ourselves.