MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — This week, it’s Child Passenger Safety Week put on by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Car crashes are the leading cause of death of children ages 1 to 13.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, bulky winter coats or snow suits should not be worn underneath the harness of a car seat. The danger is that children can slip through the straps. The NHTSA says injuries can be prevented by proper use of car seats, boosters and seat belts.
This recommendation inspired a Minnesota grandmother’s new company. Cara Koski is hoping to not only keep her grandchildren safe, but many others. She just launched a new product that’s designed to keep kids warm and make you’re morning routine a little less hectic. That’s what makes Cara Koski a Minnesotan to Meet.
A grandmother of two boys and mother to three grown children, Cara Koski, knows how precious time can be. WCCO was there as Koski helped her grandson zip up her new product. It’s called Shiverless.
“Simplicity is the key. If we can just do it all in one piece, one zip, the kids are ready to go,” said Koski.
After realizing the big winter coats are not recommended to be worn under car seats, the Savage resident developed this cold weather onesie with input from her family. The product launched in June of this year.
“I thought professional athletes when they’re out in the cold they are wearing clothing that’s very warm and I thought ‘why can’t we apply that to a garment children?” said Koski.
The idea came to her in the middle of the night after seeing the struggles her daughter-in-law had getting the kids out the door during the deep freeze months. She thought there must be an easier way.
“We had an idea of what we wanted, we knew we wanted it to be one piece,” said Koski as she discussed product development, “from the house to the car seat and out when you’re at the mall or grocery store.”
The onesies are manufactured in St. Paul. The fabric is imported from Italy.
Koski says the microfibers in the fabric are patterned after polar bear fur, to keep the heat, but not bulky like all those winter coats.
“It has hundreds of micro hallo filaments in it that makes an insulation chamber, that’s why it can be so thin, but so warm,” said Koski.
Sizes range from infant to 4T and Koski says the product roll out is a long time coming.
“We’ve gone through four prototypes now and tested it out and we wanted to perfect it, so the grandkids have been wearing it for a full winter,” she said.
If the reaction from her grandchildren is any indication, then so far the product is a big hit.
Now she hopes Shiverless will become a winter wardrobe staple for many generations to come.
“I would love every child under the age of five in a car seat to have a Shiverless to make their parents lives easier, and just for the safety convenience and peace of mind,” said Koski.
Since the product just launched, the temperature gauge hasn’t been tested. According to Cara, similar fabrics like this go to minus 20. The rice point is $115. The product is available in five different colors including some colors that Packers and Vikings fans would like.