EAST PEORIA, Ill (WMBD)- Members from OSF Children’s Hospital worked with the East Peoria Fire Department on November 1st to check that car seats are installed properly.

Car seat safety looks a little different in the winter months. It is recommended that you do not have your child strapped into their car seats while wearing their winter coats or snow pants.

Roxanne Pacey, Program Coordinator for OSF Children’s Hospital, says that you should have an extra blanket in your car during the winter and put your child’s coat back on when you reach your destination.

Pacey says that the puffy coats create too much space between the child’s body and the harness. “You want to make sure that you don’t put any thick coats underneath the harness straps, no snowsuits or anything like that; the puffy coats. Just because that puts too much space between the child’s body and the straps.”

She continued, “You want the harness straps to be right up against their body and so then if you were to get into a car crash, that child would most likely be ejected from the vehicle because of that space.”

If your child is rear-facing, their shoulder straps should be at or just behind their shoulders and the chest clip should be in between their shoulders. If your child is forward-facing, you want the shoulder straps just above their shoulders. Strap tightness should ensure that you cannot pinch extra fabric, and you want to make sure that the seat doesn’t move more than an inch when anchored.

If you are unsure that your child’s car seat is installed and used properly, call your local fire department or police department and schedule a time to get it checked.