Nick McWilliams reporting – As cold winter weather returns to the Tuscarawas Valley, parents and guardians are reminded to be safe when buckling infants and young children into cars.

While bulky winter clothing keeps young ones warm, they can be a detriment in car seats under seat belts.

Car accidents are the leading cause of death for children under the age of 13, some of which stem from heavy clothing interfering with effective safety harnesses.

Belts work best when worn as close to the body as possible, without the gap created by a puffy jacket that leads to a compression zone, potentially leading to a person slipping through.

All seat belts should be fastened without twists or folds, and be connected under coats. To achieve this, parents and guardians are urged to buckle up children without jackets, then placing warmer clothing above belts.

Additionally, safety officials with AAA East Central advise warming cars before leaving, keeping car seats indoors so they are warm before leaving, use thinner costs when in cars, and placing coats on childrens’ arms and over their already fastened bodies.

For more, visit the AAA website or contact the Safe Communities Coalition with the Tuscarawas County Health Department for safe driving tips.

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