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January 22, 2018 06:23 PM

Car Seat Safety

Many parents have been there: trying to get all the kids in the car in a hurry.  But taking the extra time to make sure your child is strapped in safely could make all the difference. 

Mother of two Holly McMahon says making sure her children are buckled in safely is vital. 

"It can be hard when you're just going to go a couple blocks but we keep the coat off. It's really easy when you're in the garage, just put them in and bring the coat with us," McMahon said. 

Keeping your child's coat off may sound like the wrong thing to do when the ground is covered with snow, but experts say McMahon is doing it right.

"The coat is great to transport the child to the car but once they're in the car, you want to take that coat off and you can put it on backwards," Sarah Shin said. 

That's because a warm winter coat can create too much space between your child and the safety belt. 

"It's not worth the risk. I know how loose it can be with the coat on. All the coats are really puffy these days, so I just know it's not as safe," McMahon said.

Shin says if there's "pinch room" from the seat belt after removing the coat, it's a telltale sign that the coat is too puffy. 

"No matter how tight you have it or how snug you have it, the coat is just too bulky to keep them safe," Shin said. 

While it may take a little longer to remove your child's coat, it could make a big difference when it comes to safety.

"When it's slick out, you just never know. It's just not worth it," McMahon said. 

You can have your child's car seat checked to be sure it's safe on Saturday, January 27 during the Sanford Wellness Fair at the Empire Mall from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. 

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