Keeping your kids safe, warm with car seat ponchos

Erica Costello's car seat poncho, Muddy Toes and Tiaras Facebook.

CROPSEYVILLE, N.Y. (NEWS10) — It’s a mistake any parent can easily make in the winter: Putting your child in a car seat bundled up in their winter coat, and it could be deadly.

Experts say kids like little McKenna shouldn’t be strapped into their car seats while they’re wearing bulky coats so one local mom came up with a creative solution.

A crash test shows the danger of strapping your kid in their car seat with a winter coat on. The straps might appear snug, but with that bulky coat, they’re actually loose.

That’s why Erica Costello makes car seat ponchos, allowing her to buckle the kids in tight, and easily pull the soft material over the straps.

“I wanted to find to find an alternative way to make it comfortable and safe, and [get] them excited about [it] so they actually don’t mind putting on something warm and safe,” Costello said.

With five kids, efficiency and comfort is key, especially when it comes to her special-needs son. He does not like to be put in a car seat at all and especially with the jacket, he just screams, but it’s a whole different story with his Mickey Mouse poncho.

“And he goes, ‘yeah!,’ He’s ready to go because he knows, ‘okay, well I’m going in my car seat, I get to wear my poncho,” Costello explained.

The ponchos were such a hit with her kids, she decided to make a business out of it.

“We have square, we also have diamond, and a circle shape,” Costello said.

She sells her creations on Facebook, where the positive feedback has been overwhelming.

“I love it when moms send me pictures of their kids wearing my outfits, that’s what makes me really want to keep doing this, no matter how stressful it is,” Costello said.

It’s a cute and cozy way to keep your kids safe this winter.

Most major retailers sell something like this. Costello’s cost from $30 to $40 and can be completely personalized. If you’re interested. Visit her website here.

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