With the colder temperatures, our little ones are bundled up in their toastiest jackets. While this is great for their wellbeing, it’s something that we need to make sure we’re approaching carefully as they are strapped in their car seats so that we are ensuring their utmost safety.
Generally speaking, you’ll want to make sure that you’re following Pennsylvania State Law and doing the following (courtesy of the PennDOT website):
“Pennsylvania’s Seat Belt Law
Under Pennsylvania’s primary child passenger safety law, children under the age of 4 must be properly restrained in an approved child safety seat anywhere in the vehicle.
Children under 2 must be secured in a rear-facing car seat until the child outgrows the maximum weight and height limits designated by the car seat manufacturer.
Children from age 4 up to age 8 must be restrained in an appropriate booster seat.”
“Birth – 2 Years
Your child under age 2 should always ride in a rear-facing car seat. There are different types of rear-facing car seats; Infant-only seats can be used rear-facing; Convertible and 3-in-1 car seats typically have higher height and weight limits for the rear-facing position, allowing you to keep your child rear-facing for a longer period of time.
2 – 3 Years
Keep your child rear-facing for as long as possible. It’s the best way to keep him or her safe. Your child should remain in a rear-facing car seat until he or she reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by your car seat’s manufacturer. Once your child outgrows the rear-facing car seat, your child is ready to travel in a forward-facing car seat with a harness.
4 – 7 Years
Keep your child in a forward-facing car seat with a harness until he or she reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by your car seat’s manufacturer. Once your child has outgrown the forward-facing car seat with a harness, it’s time to travel in a booster seat, but still in the back seat.”
Not only is it important to follow these rules and regulations for car seats in Pennsylvania, but it’s important to remember that traveling with your little one in the winter season requires some different points of action. Though they protect your little ones from the cold, wearing a winter coat in the car seat is actually potentially dangerous as it leaves the harness too loose to be effective in the event of an accident. To keep your children warm in the car, you can keep a blanket over them, or could even have them use their coats backwards so that their arms are in the armholes but that the back of the coat sits over them as a blanket.
Wishing you safe winter!