If kids are leaving the house and getting into a car, wearing a coat may be a mistake that holds potentially fatal consequences. As experts from KidsAndCars.org note, loosening the straps of a children's car seat to accommodate a bulkier coat make it more likely a child could come tumbling out of both the car seat and coat in an accident.
Check out the video from NBC above, which shows the potential danger of keeping kids in coats. Even in a crash at approximately 30 miles per hour, the child crash-test dummy seen above comes sprawling out of the restraints and coat as well. Having a child remove their coat before buckling up could be a life-saving move. The advice, correspondent Jeff Rossen notes, is good for adults as well as children.
"Winter coats," the American Academy of Pediatrics notes," can compress in a crash and lead to increased risk of injury. Ideally, dress your baby in thinner layers and tuck a coat or a blanket around your baby over the buckled harness straps if needed."
Most parents would be aghast that they're putting their kids in perilous situations, but winter coats might not be the only problem with the way they're transporting their little ones.
When it comes to properly installing children's car seats, parents can use some remedial lessons. More than 46 percent of children ride in car seats that are incorrectly installed, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in ways that reduced their protection in a crash. One of the most common types of misuse, according the 2011 NHTSA study: Loose harness straps.
Parents are more likely to install car seats correctly when their car meets certain criteria. Earlier this year, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety established a rating program that encourages car manufacturers to install hardware that helps keep kids safer by, in part, making it easier for parents to use.