The long-awaited hockey season is just around the corner. With last year’s season cut short, coaches, kids and parents are looking forward to returning to the rink.
Hockey parents can all agree, rushing to the rink on time, navigating the chaos of the change room and getting their player suited up, is hectic on a good day. With social distancing regulations in place, it’s tempting to suit up your player before arriving at the rink. While hockey gear is designed to keep kids safe on the ice, it can potentially put them at risk in the vehicle. Shoulder and chest pads, padded pants and other hockey gear will impact the harness or seat belt fit, significantly reducing its effectiveness.
Did you know motor vehicle collisions are one of the leading causes of death in children?1 In Ontario, children must use a car seat or booster seat until 145 cm (4’9”) tall OR 36 kg (80 lbs) OR 8 years old. Proper use of seat belts and car seats can help reduce the chances of injury.
The lap belt should cross low over the hips – not the stomach or thighs. Harness straps should be at or slightly above the shoulder for forward-facing car seats. Bulky clothing, including winter coats and sporting gear, should not be worn underneath the harness or seat belt.
In a collision, harnesses and seat belts can only tighten to the hockey equipment or fluffy jacket, leaving extra space under the harness/seat belt.