Like every other parent under the sun, Dahlia Rezik — a mom of three from New Hampshire — wants her kids to be as safe as possible in the car. But you know what presents a hazard during the Winter months? Bulky coats. Rather than enduring the struggle of getting her kid from place to place without a coat for another second, Dahlia decided to do something about it by creating a line of car-seat-safe outerwear called Buckle Me Baby Coats.
"One day, feeling totally defeated by the No Coat Thing, I thought if the zipper wasn't in the middle . . . Enter instant excitement! I applied for a patent and did the next logical thing, I spoke with every coat manufacturer imaginable," Dahlia explained on her website. "I thought they would jump on the idea, but they didn't believe that coats and car seats had anything to do with one another. They weren't in the trenches though — I was — and I knew other parents were, too."
And yes, according to experts, buckling your kids into their car seats with their Winter coats on can be particularly dangerous.
"Wearing coats, heavy sweaters, or fleeces, for that matter, can prevent a snug and very important fit of the harness, which has to be tight at the shoulders and hips every time," said Safe Kids Worldwide. "You might think your child is securely snug in the car seat when in fact the harness is not tight enough because there is so much air in the coat or clothing."
So what's so special about Buckle Me Baby Coats? The front panels of the garment pull to the side and the shoulder seam is actually in the back of the jacket so the car seat straps can go underneath the coat, rather than over the top. (There's a full video tutorial on the site!).
Although the American Academy of Pediatrics hasn't signed off on the line just yet, Buckle Me Baby Coats is a much safer option than simply buckling your child in with a normal jacket on. After all, those chest straps need to be snug. Read through to get a look at Dahlia's line.