Consumer Reports is warning about the danger to children who wear puffy winter coats while buckled in their car seat. Click here for full story
The problem is that parents often loosen the straps to fit them over their little one’s winter coat. In the case of an accident, the coat will compress and the extra slack in the straps can be dangerous.
Consumer Reports recommends putting a baby in a car seat without a coat, and covering them with a blanket. And for bigger kids, they can wear their coat over the harness, putting on the sleeves first and using the rest of the coat as a blanket.
One mom's solution
A Michigan mom of two has come with another way to keep kids safe in the car and warm at the same time. She calls it The WarmMe.
"We did use blankets for a while with my older one, but it was a hassle taking the blanket in the car, out of the car,” Allison O’Rourke says. “It was always falling on the floor. So I was thinking what would keep her warm but stay on her body, and I thought something similar to a poncho would work well.”
So that’s what she created. The WarmMe is a double-lined fleece poncho that opens in the front with a button near the top.
“I wanted something that would be warm, but that wouldn’t be in the way or be annoying in the car.”
How it works
When your put your child into their car seat, you flip up the back of the poncho, and put it over the seat, then open the front of it to access the car seat straps. After securely fastening the harness, you close the poncho.
As friends and even strangers saw them, Allison says they wanted The WarmMe for their kids, so she got to sewing. She makes them now in all different sizes, color schemes and themes, including your favorite sports team colors. She makes sets with matching hats and scarves for mom or dad. The WarmMe comes with little interior pockets so kids can tuck their hands in.
She makes a special WarmMe for infants too.
“It is way more convenient, trying to carry coast and hats and children and purses and diaper bags out to the car. It’s just too much, and this took away some of that hassle. I just put it right on her, I don’t have a coat and a blanket, I just have the warm-me.”
The WarmMe sells for $35, plus shipping.