By Alicia Neaves
Preparing your vehicles in advance is essential to winter weather safety. For those of us with families and small children, the Odessa Fire-Rescue as some extra recommendations to prepare your kiddos, especially if they sit in a car seat.
"It's recommended that you don't let your child wear a jacket when you secure them in the seats," Yolanda Rincon, Assistant Fire Marshal of the Odessa Fire Department, said.
Rincon says when children wear their jackets in their car seats, they might not be strapped in tight enough.
"It may not be tight enough for them and they may come out. So you're risking ejection," Rincon said.
Instead, Rincon says, put the child in the car seat first without their jacket.
"Put them in there first. Turn the jacket around, put their hands in through that way, putting the jacket on backwards and they're still warm," Rincon said.
If the cold seems too severe, and you'd still like to keep your child in their jacket, test it out first. Rincon says it shouldn't take but a couple of minutes.
"Put them in the car seat with the jacket on, get it nice and tight, the way you would if they didn't have their jacket on. Then take them out, don't move anything on the adjustments. Take them out, take their jacket off. Then put them back in their seats, snap them back in their seat belts, and if it's loose and if you can pinch the webbing on the car seat, that's not tight enough," Rincon said.
If the belt is snug enough when the child is without their jacket, you should be ok.
Rincon says you can also throw a blanket over them for more warmth.