This is a pic of my daughter in her Graco Nautilus in her winter coat.

The harness is tight and she appears to be secure.  Right???

But when I unbuckle her & she removes her coat, the harness (not adjusted) is very loose.

In an accident the coat would compress and allow all the extra slack in the harness & she would be far more likely to be injured or ejected from the seat. 

The last pic is how the harness should be.

The harness is snug and the chest clip is at armpit level.  If the chest clip is low on the tummy it can injure the child, it is to help keep the harness on the shoulders in the proper position. 

You can use blankets or put the coats on backwards if needed to keep  your kids warm.  As long as it doesn't go under the child or interefere with the harness it is fine. 

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Oct. 12, 2010 at 6:11 PM

Wow! I honestly didn't think the difference in size could be that much!!  With it starting to get could out here, I'm defiently gonna think twice before strapping DD in her carseat with her jacket on.  Thank you so much for the post and the pics.. the visual will definently be stuck in my head.

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Oct. 12, 2010 at 6:21 PM

Wow! Thanks for posting. I never realized this.

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Oct. 12, 2010 at 6:24 PM

So glad it could help keep a child safe.  I am a Child Passenger Seat Tech.  If the post helps 1 child it is worth it.  I will thank Amber for letting me take the pics. 

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Oct. 12, 2010 at 6:28 PM

Good reminder!! Thanks!

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Oct. 12, 2010 at 6:34 PM

Ive done this test, too. And yes, those winter coats do make a huge difference! Sadly, some will argue this to the bitter end.

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Oct. 13, 2010 at 12:40 AM

I think you also should add the video to this. as well. It was very imformative. :0)

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Oct. 13, 2010 at 9:53 AM

Thank you. 

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Oct. 13, 2010 at 5:04 PM


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Oct. 13, 2010 at 7:50 PM

This might be a dumb question but is it ok to let my son wear his winter jacket since I strap him in with the seat belt? He uses the GN but out grew the harness. This is the first winter with out using the harness. I'm kind of nervous.

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Oct. 13, 2010 at 8:22 PM

Ok, for the sake of argument, how does a parent keep their child warm in the car if the early morning temp is, oh, say -15.  We're also told we shouldn't pre start our vehicles because of the waste of fuel and possibility someone could drive off in it.  In that cold of an environment, I personally can't see removing my children's coats, especially not before the vehicle warms up.

When I was young, parents were told to adjust the car seat straps so that they compressed the winter coat.  Maybe that's a compromise position adopted in the very northern tier of states that do get bitterly cold of a night.

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