Car seat danger with winter coats

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DECATUR, Ill. (WAND) - A common mistake many parents make is putting their child in a car seat with a puffy jacket on. 

Lori Fey, a nurse at St. Mary's Hospital and a car seat technician, says puffy clothes are bulky and in a car crash, the puffiness can compact and cause a dangerous situation.

She explains that if you put a child in a car seat with a jacket on and secure the straps, then take the child out of the seat and take the jacket off and return the child to the seat, you can see just how loose the straps truly are. 

The University of Michigan did crash tests with a test dummy in a winter jacket with the straps tight against the jacket and child. In the test, they simulated a crash around 30 m.p.h. and shows the test dummy flying from the car seat.

One Decatur resident, Diane Foster, says she always takes her newborn's jacket off before putting her in her car seat because she is terrified of her being ejected.

Fey says " The babies can actually what we call 'submarine out' because the straps are too loose in a crash." The easiest and safest way to make sure your child is safe and warm during the winter is to take the jacket off, secure the straps, and place the jacket over the child like a blanket, or use blankets.

A rule of thumb to make sure the straps on the car seat are safely secure, is to pinch the straps at the shoulders and make sure you cannot pinch any of the straps up.

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