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Winter Safety and Cross Border Purchasing [Guest Blog Post by Gina Cama]

Winter Safety and Cross Border Purchasing [Guest Blog Post by Gina Cama]

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Bulky clothing?… 45 layers?… “but it’s a cute snowsuit!”…. okay that’s enough… safety first ladies and gents! You would think I’m a 95 years old writing this blog… but I’m only 27! I’ve become very fond and passionate about safety since the recent birth of my son. While doing TONS (understatement) of research on car seats… I could only come across AMERICAN reviews. At times they were useful, but most of the time not so useful as the seats in Canada and U.S. look the same but the safety requirements are vastly different.

I think what I am trying to do with blogging for OVM is to put my findings into a language we can all understand… plus a few video reviews for us visual people… and finally I just want to add my Canadian two cents’ worth!

I came upon this link to a CBC article that refers to a high profile investigator and child passenger safety advocate in Canada.

Most car seat manufactures have wordy instructions when it comes to clothing between the seat and the child. You wouldn’t even think of this as being an issue… until our -50 degree Canadian winters roll around and it takes 45 mins to bundle up your kids and stuff them into their car seats!

Some suggestions that I find make the most sense and are practical…

#1 Dress your little one in a hooded sweater (otherwise known as dressing for the spring/ fall time) and cover head with hood
#2 No hat or remove once car is warm as they become agitated when they are too hot
#3 Use sweat pants to layer over jeans or tights
#4 I personally use layers of blankets which become easy to remove as the car gets warm
#5 Use a shower cap style bunting cover for infant car seats only.  Photo shown here.
#6 Car seat poncho for older babies (I think these look ridiculous but they work I guess…!)
#7 For older children strap your kids into their seats lightly dressed then add their jacket backwards to cover on top of restraints
#8 Park in a garage (if you have that luxury)… I find it’s easier to put the baby in the car without your fingers freezing off… and the garage is slightly warmer then outside

If you think about yourself driving… I find it impossible to drive with my Canada Goose jacket on, as the seat belt and the bulk and the fur hood… impair my driving ability! The thickness of a snow suit on a child does the same, impairing the ability of the harness to work properly.


Side note:
Now that Black Friday has passed… big question about buying car seats across the border…

ouuuuu…. this is a big no no…. Canadian and US requirements vary (weight being the biggest difference I’ve seen.. important I’d say… requirement of rebound bars etc)… This is a link to the ‘frequently asked question‘ section which outlines some of the US and Canadian car seat requirement differences.

Here’s the consumer information notice from Transport Canada that I found in regards to cross border purchases… personally I wouldn’t even think about it (always look for our National Safety Mark)…

Another thing to keep in mind… if you do buy a seat that isn’t approved by Transport Canada and something were to happen most, your insurance company could give you a hard time (there are ALWAYS loopholes)… and for example if a child were to die in an accident (morbid I know, just making an example).. that seat would be taken and examined (for various reasons).

If you haven’t made up your mind just to save $40 on a car seat think of all the legal implications that could accompany that $40 saving.

Lastly, as we all know that everywhere you read it always states “NOT RECOMMENDED” or “warn consumers against it” … in my eyes this means don’t do it… in other peoples eyes it means lets take a chance…. or who cares

The way I see it is for example, when a grocery store decides to recall a cereal that MAY contain something bad… do you keep feeding your kids something that MAY be contaminated and take a chance or stop? In other words WHY WOULD YOU take any chances when it comes to your child’s safety in a car, just because of the politically correct wording?!?

Stay tuned for my next blog episode of “after market” accessories and bunting bags…don’t worry we are not pimping your kids “ride” :)

I would love to hear what you think… be nice :)

And that’s my Canadian two cents’ worth ;)

Gina Cama


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Comments (5)

  1. Brenda A Sunday - 09 / 12 / 2012 Reply
    Sing it! Thank you for putting this very important information out there. I wish all folks who are driving harnessed kids around knew the dangers of bulky clothing. There are some super YouTube vids about this as well for anyone looking for a visual of how much compression space there is with and without bulky clothes. Check them out and take off the big clothes!!
  2. Lindsay Sunday - 09 / 12 / 2012 Reply
    Thank you thank you thank you a million times over for writing this!
  3. Steff Sunday - 09 / 12 / 2012 Reply
    American car seats are illegal in Ontario. If caught with them in your car (and in Ottawa they do random car seat checks every few months) your seat will be confiscated, you will be fined and you will lose demerit points. There must be a Canadian Safety Standards sticker.
    • Gina Cama Sunday - 09 / 12 / 2012 Reply
      Thanks everyone for the positive replies... it's my first blog and car seats are a very touchy issue... to many opinions and no one with actual facts... Steff thanks for the great info... :) thanks again! G
  4. Andres Sunday - 09 / 12 / 2012 Reply
    I was going to say what Steff said. I had purchased a travel system, and luckily was able to return it. Border guard asked if I had a exersaucer ( one on wheels as they are also illegal) but said nothing about a car seat. It was half the price of the same one in Canada. Difference was the sticker. I contacted Transport Canada and the Manufacturer. Never did understand why I could buy the same travel system for $200 less in the States,

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