Baby Gear Health & Safety

Are Car Seat Covers Safe?

You may have noticed there are a few different types of car seat covers out there.

Whether or not they are safe depends on the type you buy and how you use it.

When Driving

When driving, you should only use covers that go on after your child has been secured and strapped into their seat, such as a “shower-cap” style cover.

In addition, you should be able to see your baby’s face so you can always be sure they are breathing correctly and not overheating.

Anything that goes under your baby or covers your child’s car seat is NOT safe, because these can affect how the seat performs in a crash.

When Not Driving

When your baby is in their car seat, but you are not traveling in a vehicle, there are still safety concerns you should be aware of.

The most important consideration is that your baby can breathe freely and easily, and that whatever you are using does not pose a suffocation risk.

In addition, it’s important to be able to see your baby’s face so you can check their airways are not blocked and they are not overheating.

When To Use Car Seat Covers?

Car seat covers offer protection against the elements when transferring your baby to and from the car, and help keep your baby warm when on a long car journey.

As we’ve seen, children should not wear thick clothing when in a car, because this poses a serious safety risk.


Because in a car crash, the fluffy padding flattens down, leaving extra space underneath the harness which provides too much slack in the straps.

Car seat covers are therefore designed to keep your baby warm, comfortable and most importantly safe, but it’s vital you only use the right type.

Car seat covers are safe to use when driving, provided you use one that goes on after your baby is strapped in and therefore does not interfere with how the seat belt works.

To be on the safe side, it’s best to only use one that is sold by your car seat manufacturer and that is stated to be safe to use with your model of car seat.

Are Winter Car Seat Covers Safe?

Some winter car seat covers, such as “sleeping-bag” style covers, are not safe for use when driving, because they contain a layer that goes between your baby and the car seat straps.

This may compromise the safety of your child’s car seat in the event of a car.

Is A Car Seat Cover Necessary?

As with many baby products, it’s difficult to know what is a must-have vs a nice-to-have that you can live without, and a winter car seat is no exception.

The answer on whether you need a car seat cover will largely come down to the climate you live in and how often you travel.

There are other ways to keep your little one warm when traveling by car in winter, including dressing them in thin layers, using blankets, swaddling over the seat straps and having hats, mittens, socks and booties to hand.

What Is The Point Of A Car Seat Canopy?

Car seat canopies are designed to provide protection from the sun and UV rays.

This is important because babies under 6 months should not wear sunscreen and should avoid sun exposure completely.

A canopy also creates a dark cosy environment which may help your baby to sleep.

Are Car Seat Canopies Safe?

Car seat canopies can be safe provided you follow some basic safety rules as follows:

  • Avoid canopies that are strapped directly onto the handle of the carrier, because the fabric can fall and pose a suffocation risk to your baby.
  • Avoid one that zips up too close to your child’s face.
  • Ensure the canopy has side vents so your baby has adequate airflow and is not covered all over.
  • Make sure you can always see your baby so you can regularly check their airways and whether they are overheating.

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Tori is mama to 3 year old Isabella and co-founder of Rockinbaby. She has a BSc in Psychology, is a certified yoga teacher and is a working mom. In her free time Tori loves cooking delicious foods and baked treats, entertaining and working out. Learn more about Tori here.

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