Parents May Be Overdressing Their Children In Car Seats, Study Shows

Allstate Canada stresses that bulky winter clothing may limit the ability of car seat restraints to keep children safe

Markham, ON (Oct. 25, 2016) – With cold weather comes bulky clothing, and while this may be a great way to keep kids warm in the winter, it can be dangerous when a child is strapped in a car seat. While the vast majority—95 per cent—of Canadian parents state that they are confident they know how to properly buckle a child in a car seat, many may actually be overdressing their children, according to new poll findings from Allstate Insurance Company of Canada.

When asked what they thought was the best way to keep a child warm while in their car seat during the winter months, 41 per cent of parents with children at home said a snowsuit or a winter coat. But bulky clothes inhibit the harness from being properly tightened, in the event of a sudden stop, a child can be propelled forward suddenly, causing a bulky jacket or snowsuit to compress. When this happens, it results in slack in their restraints and can cause the child to be ejected from the car seat, which can result in serious injury or death.

“These poll findings suggest a large knowledge gap, and we want parents to understand that the key to protecting your child is to dress them appropriately for their car seat, not the weather outside,” says Jason Foroglou, Certified Car Seat Safety Technician and Agency Manager, Allstate Insurance Company of Canada. “Safety for Canadians is a priority for Allstate Canada, which is why we partnered with Safety 1st Canada— to help educate and spread awareness on this important issue.”

“We’re concerned to learn that so many Canadian parents feel winter jackets and snowsuits are the best attire to be worn, since they’re not the safest options for keeping kids secure while in their car seats,” says Mimi Brandspigel, senior product manager for car seats of Dorel Juvenile Canada, makers of Safety 1st products. “This kind of winter wear tends to be big and puffy, great for keeping kids warm—but not very effective at keeping them securely strapped into their car seats.”

Safety 1st recommends dressing children in warm, thin layers to allow the car seat straps to lay flat and snugly against a child’s body. Yet, while this is the recommended approach to better ensure car seat safety, only one-in-10 (10 per cent) parents feel that layers are the best way to keep a child warm in their car seat in the winter months.

Options for ensuring a child remains safe and comfortable while in a car seat include:

  • Outfitting a child in warm, thin layers, along with a hat, mitts and boots;
  • Warming up the car before loading up the family;
  • Placing a blanket over a car seat after the child is properly strapped in;
  • Using a child’s coat as a blanket with their arms in the sleeves.

Allstate Canada has prepared a blog article, video (below), and infographic (further below) to help Canadians identify the best way to keep their children safe and secure this winter.

For more details about car seat safety, visit Allstate Canada’s GOOD HANDS® blog.

Video: How to dress your child for their car seat in winter


Winter Car Seat Safety – Protecting Our Most Precious Cargo (Allstate Insurance Company of Canada)

About the Study

Leger conducted a quantitative online survey of 1,530 Canadians. The fieldwork was completed between July 18 and July 21, 2016, using Leger’s online panel, LegerWeb. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of +/- 2.5 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

About Allstate Insurance Company of Canada

Allstate Insurance Company of Canada is one of the country’s leading producers and distributors of home and auto insurance products, including usage-based insurance, serving Canadians since 1953. The company strives to keep its customers in “Good Hands®” as well as its employees, and has been listed as a Best Employer in Canada for three years in a row. Allstate Canada is committed to making a positive difference in the communities in which it operates and has partnered with organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD Canada), United Way, and Junior Achievement. To learn more about Allstate Canada, visit For more safety tips and advice, visit

About Dorel Industries Inc.

Dorel Industries Inc. (TSX:DII.B)(TSX:DII.A) is a world class juvenile products, home furnishings, and bicycle company. The Company’s safety and lifestyle leadership is pronounced in both its Juvenile and Bicycle categories with an array of trend-setting, innovative products. Dorel Juvenile’s powerfully branded products include global juvenile brands Safety 1st, Quinny, Maxi-Cosi and Tiny Love, complemented by regional brands such as Cosco, B�b� Confort and Infanti. Dorel Industries Inc. has annual sales of US$2.7 billion and employs approximately 10,450 people in facilities located in twenty-five countries worldwide.