Jess and her carseat
I spend a lot (too much!) time on Rumor Queen (that won't mean anything to anyone who's never been involved in a China adoption). As on many forum boards, there are people from all over the world discussing and debating. One discussion started about the safety of winter coats in car seats and the fact that winter coats in car seats are NOT safe. One poster who says she is a child passenger safety technician (the people who do carseat checks and can show you how to properly install the seat) said that children should definitely not be wearing bulky winter coats. She said the trick to see if your kids coat is too bulky is to put her in the seat with the coat on and tighten the harness appropriately. Then, take the coat off and buckle the harness but don't tighten it. If you can get more than a finger between the strap and the child, it's too loose. If you're in an accident and your child is wearing her coat, it may compress and your child can be expelled from the carseat. After reading this, I went online and did some research. I didn't find much about Massachusetts, but I did see that Children's Hospital of Wisconsin and Texas Department of Transportation both agree with the recommendation that the poster on Rumor Queen made. So....I decided no more bulky winter coat in the carseat. My sitter thought I was nuts. She said that it was too difficult to get kids' coats off and on in the car. I like my sitter and didn't want to have to switch, so I went online and looked for fleeces that are warm. I found a heavyweight fleece at Lands End that was in Jess's favorite color and when it came, it passed the carseat trick. So, all's well.