Keeping Your Child Safe: Essential Car Seat Safety Tips for Summer and Winter

Making sure your child is safe in a car seat is something that you should do all the time, not just in summer or winter. Still, the two extreme seasons have their unique challenges, with heat and cold threatening your child’s welfare in different ways.

This is a two-part series that will address those challenges. Part 1 looks at the problems caused by heat and offers some easy solutions to help you keep your child’s car seat cool and your child comfortably safe during the hot months.

Summer Car Seat Safety

  1. Always have an eye on your child: This is an essential admonition, especially in summer. A couple of minutes in a car that’s a few degrees shy of an oven can kill a pixie stick–swirling youngster. Unattended children are making news lately, prompting parents to get really responsible, really fast, as in “I-just-hit-the-lottery-and-the-kid-is-now-going-to-live-with-a-private-nanny”-fast or “Why-on-earth-didn’t-I-think-of-this-before?” middle-of-the-night sleeplessness.
  2. Always examine car seat components that may be hot before putting your child into the seat. Do not assume that just because the car seat is not directly sitting in the sun, it might still heat up other parts of the car onto which it is mounted (e.g. using an Isofix base). Buckles, metal pieces, and even seatbelt routing paths can heat up quite a bit, and you do not want to scorch your child’s skin in the process of traveling with them.
  3. Make sure you dress your child properly. Use lightweight, breathable materials that do not trap heat. Thick clothing or blankets can cause your child to overheat.
  4. It is helpful to use a sun shade because it blocks the harmful UV rays and keeps your child cool. You should select a shade that is very large and covers the whole window area. The shade should attach securely to the window.
  5. During car rides, it is important to ensure that your child is properly hydrated. You can accomplish this by providing them water or breast milk/formula on a regular basis.
  6. Look out for Overheating Indicators: Look out for indications of too much heat, such as the skin appearing red and warm, breathing that seems more rapid than usual, or a lot of sweat on your child’s forehead. If you happen to see these signs, act right then to reduce the heat level.

Winter Car Seat Safety

  1. It is vital to understand that you should not clothe your child in large or heavy garments when they are placed in a car seat. Even with temperatures in the single digits, you would not want your child to wear a very thick or very large coat. This is because a harness—a means of keeping your child secure in a car seat—normally fits snugly against a child’s body. After the child is properly secured, the car’s seatbelt usually appears as a straight line that runs down the middle of the child’s chest. You can see why having something so big and bulky and round would create a gap. A gap through which your child could very well fly out of if you were to slam into something.
  2. Ready the vehicle through warming before fastening your child into their car seat; this will aid them in not becoming cold while the car is slowly heating up.
  3. It is an absolute must to make certain that your child’s car seat harness is snug and fitted correctly. To adjust the harness straps appropriately, follow these instructions.
  4. Before anything else, ensure that your child is safely and comfortably held in the harness system. Follow the correct methods to ensure a good fit for the child’s straps.

General Car Seat Safety Tips (Year-Round)

  • Car Seat Registration: Registering for a car seat allows you to be notified about any recalls or necessary updates from the manufacturer.
  • Recall Checks: The NHTSA website should be checked regularly to ensure that the car seat is not under recall.
  • Follow with Care: As mentioned above, always read and follow instructions for the installation and use of a car seat.
  • Get Checked: For a parent who is not confident in his or her ability to correctly install a car seat, make an appointment with a certified technician. This way, the peace of mind that comes from a correctly installed car seat is achieved by following instructions and getting the “Go ahead” from the technician.
  • Second Hand Sales: This is a big one: Do not buy a car seat secondhand unless you are absolutely certain that the car seat is safe to use.


Ensuring that your child is both safe and comfortable in their car seat is a year-round job, but here are some tips for a few common practice points that relate either directly or indirectly to safety and comfort during the summer months.

When sitting in a car seat, you want the child’s center of gravity as low as possible. Car seats are reclined at a maximum 45-degree angle during use to achieve this. Note: Figures are noted in both imperial and metric units.

Note: Visit for a wide range of products and services for your little ones. From baby essentials to educational tools, we have everything you need to raise your child with care.

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