It’s November and it’s officially getting cold in many parts of our country! If you’re like most parents, you’ve been starting to look around for a nice, thick winter jacket to keep your child toasty warm during the cold winter months ahead.
But did you know that most winter jackets are extremely dangerous to wear in the car? If you’ve ever seen the infomercials for those space-saving bags, you can easily visualize what happens to a traditional winter jacket when force is applied to it – it compresses. This leads to dangerous slack in their harness or seat belt during a crash, which could lead to injury or even ejection from their seat and/or from the the vehicle itself!
So what’s a parent to do? Well, there are several safe options:
- A single-layer, form fitting, waist-length fleece jacket is safe to wear in the car since it’s already pre-compressed. A second, more traditional jacket can be purchased for your child to wear when playing in the snow.
- You could remove your child’s thick winter jacket and put it on them backwards after strapping them in, but this can be time consuming and frustrating – let’s face it, when it’s freezing outside, we all want to get things done as quickly as we can!
- A Car Seat Poncho is a safe & popular product for parents with small children, but since ponchos are open on the sides, it’s not very conducive to playing in the snow and can be a bit drafty on some of those blustery winter days.
Recently, I came across a new product called the Cozy Woggle jacket and it really caught my eye! It looked like it might be a great solution for a lot of families so I was thrilled to get my hands on one a few days ago.
The Cozy Woggle looks just like a traditional winter jacket, BUT the sides of it actually *unzip* to make it car seat friendly! Your child will just walk out to the car with the jacket intact and climb into their seat. You’ll unzip the sides of the jacket and they’ll simply pull their arms out of the elastic wrist bands. The back of the jacket easily flips up and over the back of their car seat. All you’ll do at that point, is reach under the front of the jacket and buckle your child into their seat. The front of the jacket will cover your child’s torso & lap to keep them nice and toasty. If they get too warm during the car ride, it can easily & quickly be removed and set aside until you reach your destination. Once you arrive, the child simply puts his or her arms back through the wrist cuffs. You quickly zip each side back down & you’re off!
(You can view one of their videos here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=En5PrGde90A )
The jacket is constructed from a heavy duty wind/water resistant polyester shell, a cushy polyester fiber-filled body & a soft fleece lining. The hood is removable to reduce possible bulk and/or for those who prefer to wear a hat. Since I just got the jacket last week, I cannot attest to its long-term durability. I don’t know that I’d expect it to be on par with something from L.L. Bean, but I have no immediate concerns at all.
The Cozy Woggle comes in a selection of popular colors, including navy blue, red, dark purple and pink. It comes in a nice variety of sizes too (12 mos to size 6)! I was especially thrilled to see it offered in some bigger sizes (note: the sizes 5 & 6 do not have the penguins embroidered on them. Instead, the company name appears).
Even though my 6-year-old son wears a size 5 top, I requested his jacket in a size 6 to leave room for extra layers (for playing in the snow) since I was unsure how the sizing ran. The jacket is definitely big on him, but that did not seem to be a hindrance in the car seats that he tried the jacket out in (a Britax Marathon70 and a Britax Frontier; both forward-facing). He said that the jacket is warm, soft and comfortable and wasn’t at all bothered by it in the car seats.
The Cozy Woggle currently retails for $74.99 (plus S&H) but they have very generously offered a discount especially for Super Car Seat Geek fans THROUGH THE END OF NOVEMBER 2013! Simply use the promotion code “CARSEATGEEK” when ordering athttp://www.CozyWoggle.com and you’ll instantly save $15!
As a mother & Child Passenger Safety Technician, safety in the car is paramount. I understand how dangerous a winter jacket can be when worn in the car. I feel confident in the safety of this product and I feel comfortable recommending the Cozy Woggle to other parents as one more convenient & effective way of keeping their child(ren) safe & warm in the car!