Highways and Public Works

Aftermarket Products and Winter Clothing

Aftermarket Products

Transport Canada has identified that many aftermarket products could be considered a safety risk when added to a child restraint system or booster seat.

The following is a summary of some of the most common products that are not recommended for use:

 

Winter Coats and Car Seats Don't Mix  
 Winter coats and car seats
 don't mix.


Head Huggers or Head Support Cushions

These come with most infant car seats. If this half-circle support cushion is attached to your car seat and can not move, then you may use it. If it is not and is just threaded through your harness system, it is recommended that you remove it. Instead, take two receiving blankets (one for each side of your child's head), roll up, place beside your child in a vertical position in the carseat with the ends curling in towards your baby's head like a candy cane, which will fill the gap beside your infant's neck and head.  This is the recommended method used to stabilize an infant's head in a car seat.

The reasons why the head huggers/support cushions are not recommended are because they add additional padding between your infant and the harness system. The additional padding prevents a snug fit and can also compress upon impact causing potential injury.  Also, in rare cases the padding  can fall behind your infant's head, causing the head to be stuck in a forward position, which could present a risk for suffocation.


Bulky Winter Clothing
Additional padding between the harness and your child
such as padded car seat bags or bulky winter clothing is not recommended.

Your car seat harness has been designed to work with your child and a minimal amount of clothing. In the event of a collision such padding will compress leaving significant room between your harness strap and your child. Hence, your child will not be secured as tight as recommended and could lead to ejection of your child or other severe injuries.

Living in Yukon, during winter, may make maintaining the ideal difficult, therefore, if you chose to use extra clothes/snowsuit etc. with your harness system, please ensure that you are coming as close to the ideal as safely possible.

  • Infant carriers: We recommend that you secure your child in the car seat with normal clothes on and then cover with blankets to ensure he/she stays warm on winter days. Recently,we have seen advancement of new covers that secure to the outside of the seat with an elastic securing system that does not interfere with the safety of the car seat and helps to keep the baby warm.
  • Forward-facing seats and booster seats:  Due to our cold temperatures and the need to wear winter clothing, ensure you do all you can to compensate for the extra bulk.  Ensure that when you are securing your child into the car seat there is a minimal amount of bulkiness where the harness system sits. Move wrinkles and folds so they do not sit directly under any harness straps. Also ensure that you have tightened your harness system properly. This means you need to check it every time you secure your child in their seat because the fit of the harness system will vary depending on what clothes they are wearing. Another helpful suggestion could be, warming up the vehicle, putting them in the car seat without their winter clothing and have them wear a jacket backwards on them to stay warm.  

 

 

Contact Car Seat Safety Program

Government of Yukon
Department of Highways and Public Works
Box 2703 (W-17)
Whitehorse, YT Y1A 2C6

Phone: (867) 667-5832
Toll free (in Yukon): 1-800-661-0408, local 5832
Fax: (867) 667-5799
Email: road.safety@gov.yk.ca