approaches, the warmer clothes come out from the cupboards and we start to
layer ourselves and children up to travel from place to place. The danger
of this with car seats and safety belts is that the thickness and fluff factor
stops the restraints from securely keeping a child safely in their belts should
an accident occur or you have to suddenly stop. The clothing can compress in an
accident and render the straps loose fitting allowing for a child to be ejected
from their seat. The straps from a baby’s car seat or older child’s booster
seat need to remain tight against a child’s chest to function properly. So what
can you do to ensure a warm travel experience but no compromise to the safety
of your child?
your child in warm clothing, such as a long sleeved t’shirt, sweatshirt and
long pants, a hat if it is extra chilly. Try and warm the car before placing
your child in their seat. Buckle them into their restraint and then place a
warm blanket over the top or for an older child you can put a jacket on
backwards over their arms keeping them warm and snuggly. Nothing should be
behind a babies back so no blankets under a child or under the belt restraints.
Reminder about: Your Responsibilities as a driver (under the law) for
driver, you must make sure that any child under 7 years of age is properly
restrained by an approved child restraint that is appropriate for the age and
size of the child. They must not travel in the car if you can’t put them in an
approved child restraint. The vehicle’s safety belt on its own is not an
approved child restraint.
child restraints include:
restraints for young babies (often called baby capsules)
• restraints for older babies, toddlers and pre school children (often called
• booster seats for preschool and school-aged children
• child safety harnesses (used with or without a booster seat) for preschool
and school-aged children.
approved child restraints will display standard markings to show they have been
child is aged 7 years you must use an approved child restraint if one is
available in the vehicle and if it is appropriate for the child’s age and
size. Otherwise they must use a safety belt if one is available. If there are no
child restraints or safety belts available, they must travel in the back seat.
aged 8 to 14 years must use a safety belt if one is available. Otherwise, they
must travel in a back seat.
child under 15 years old may sit beside the driver only if the child is
restrained by a child restraint or safety belt (whichever is appropriate for
their age and size). However, they are always safer in a back seat than in the