How Can I Keep My Baby Cool in the Car Seat
You can keep your baby cool in their car seat by dressing your baby in light layers, covering the seat when not in use, parking in the shade, and more

During the warmer months, babies can overheat in car seats, especially when they are young. You can keep your baby cool in their car seat by:

  • Dressing your baby in light layers 
  • Covering the car seat with a shade when not in use
  • Parking in the shade so that the car stays cool
  • Tinting your car windows or using a sunshade
  • Turning on the air conditioner and pointing the ducts toward your baby
  • Using a cooling towel or fan to keep your baby from overheating
  • Never leaving your baby alone in the car, even for a minute

How to choose the right car seat for my child

Table. Different types of car seats according to age group
Age group Type of seat General guidelines
Infants and toddlers
  • Rear-facing only
  • Rear-facing convertible

Infants and toddlers should ride in a rear-facing seat, except when they reach the maximum weight and height recommended by the car seat manufacturer. Most convertible car seats come with limits that allow children to ride rear-facing for 2 years or more.

Toddlers and preschoolers
  • Forward-facing convertible
  • Forward-facing with harness
Children who have surpassed the maximum weight and height for a rear-facing seat should use a forward-facing seat with a harness for as long as possible or until the recommended period by the manufacturer. Many seats can accommodate children up to 65 pounds or more.
School-aged children Booster seat Children who have surpassed the maximum weight and height for a forward-facing seat should use a belt-positioning booster seat until the vehicle seat belt fits properly, typically when they have reached 4 feet 9 inches in height and are 8-12 years old. All children younger than 13 years old should ride in the back seat.
Older children Seat belts Children older than 13 years old and large enough for a vehicle seat belt should use a lap and shoulder seat belt for maximum protection. All children younger than 13 years old should ride in the back seat.

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How can I keep my child warm in the car seat during winter?

As important as it is to keep your baby cool in the car seat during warmer months, it is equally important to keep your baby warm during colder months:

  • Dress your baby in layers:
    • Base layers can be tights, leggings, or long-sleeved bodysuits. 
    • Add pants and a warmer top, such as a sweater or thermal-knit shirt. 
    • Finally, put on a thin fleece jacket over everything.
    • Do not forget hats, mittens, and socks or booties.
  • Use a removable blanket over the straps for extra protection.
  • Always keep extra blankets, dry clothing, hats, gloves, and nonperishable snacks in the car.

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Medically Reviewed on 3/17/2022
References
Image Source: iStock Images

American Academy of Pediatrics. Winter Car Seat Safety Tips from the AAP. https://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/on-the-go/Pages/Winter-Car-Seat-Safety-Tips.aspx