I Pull The Harness Really, Really Tight!
The short answer is - yes - winter coats are dangerous in the car seat.
I know - I know - it seems like there's a lot of hype around puffy coat dangers especially when viral videos show children being thrown from car seats with obviously improperly tightened/loose straps leaving you thinking well if the straps were just tighter.....
The Unvarnished Real Deal
It is impossible to tighten the straps correctly with a winter coat on.
In a car crash the coat not only compresses creating space between your child and the harness but the force of the crash can stretch the harness up to 7%! Even if your child is not thrown entirely from the car seat all the stretching and the space left from compression will pitch your child too far forward. Studies show that as the distance forward increases the risk of critical injury also increases. In fact as little as 6 millimeters of forward movement can be the difference between walking away from a crash and sustaining critical injuries.
The Safest Solution
Tight harnesses directly on the chest and shoulders with a properly secured top tether decreases forward movement which dramatically reduces risk of critical injury and death. Which means - in short - take the puffy coats off parents. The risk in a crash is just not worth skipping a step.
Pressed for time or don't want to deal with the struggle?
Use a Buckle Me Baby Coat - which is crash tested and designed for easy winter car seat safety, use a blanket, or use a light fleece jacket.
Parents who have discovered Buckle Me Baby Coats say:
"This purchase was a no-brainer...this is the smartest, safest, best purchase I made for my son." Danielle P. Nebraska
"The struggle is finally over!" Kelse B Montana
"Solved the biggest complaint I have in the winter months!" April M
"Wonderful option to the battle of the winter car seat. I have made ponchos for my granddaughter but this is a really great way to keep the safe and warm!" Christina B
"So nice to be able to leave coats on in the frigid Michigan weather. Kids love them too!" Tearsa S Michigan