As it starts to cool down again InfaSecure issues an important reminder to parents.

While we originally shared this post in 2016. It is a very good reminder to all new parents and grandparents too.

It has often been recommended over the years to wrap or swaddle an infant before putting them into a child restraint.

But Infasecure remind us that by doing this the shoulder straps can be rendered ineffective, as they no longer have the arms or shoulders of the child to sit correctly on. This can lead to the ejection of the infant, causing serious injury or death.

Tragically, in the December of 2011, an infant girl in Queensland was thrown from her capsule after being wrapped in a blanket prior to being strapped in, and passed away as a result of her injuries.

It was this very incident that lead to the 2013 version of the Australian Standard requiring all child restraint manufacturers to include warnings and advice against wrapping or swaddling in every rearward facing child restraint instruction manual.

Infasecure plead with parents, if friends, family, or celebrity ‘experts’ suggest swaddling in the car, we beg you – ignore the advice. They’re wrong, and you’ll be exposing your child to an immense (and unnecessary) risk.

Another important point to remember is that large jackets, jumpers and other clothing can also add a large amount of bulk to an infant, creating a ‘buffer’ between the child and the harness straps.

A correct, firm fit of the in-built harness is the absolute most critical part of keeping your child safe in the car, and anything that interferes with that fit should be eliminated where possible.

warning carseat

We shared a story on Tizzie Hall, author of the parental guide Save Our Sleep, who defended her own advice and dismissed the Kidsafe Queensland assertion that ‘arms and legs MUST be sticking out of the harness straps’.

She actually told the NRMA that she believes wrapping babies in a lightweight swaddle before putting them in their seat actually makes them more secure.

“If you don’t wrap a baby beforehand, they tend to curl their arms up and it means they can end up not being properly secured in their seat,” she said.

This totally goes against all recommendations.

As well as following the National Guidelines, NRMA recommends:

  • Checking that any straps or belts are not twisted
  • Listening for the click when buckling your child in
  • Ensure the harness fits firmly – two fingers should fit snuggly between your child and the harness
  • It is also important to remember to adjust the seatbelt each time depending on your child’s layers (coats etc) during the cooler months

Share your comments below.

Related – Sleeping bags are much safer than wrapping your baby

Important reminder: Car seat dangers during Winter

Image via Getty

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  • I’ve never done this or heard of doing it as it sounds dangerous.
    Tizzie Hall should not be giving out such dangerous advice as some people could lose their child due to her lack of knowledge


  • they even say not to put coats on the child before buckling them in because the seatbelts don’t fit snuggly enough


  • It’s not something which I would ever think of doing.


  • Is it against the law to wrap/swaddle before placing and securing a child into the capsule? I am just curious and want to know if it isn’t who would vote for it to be against the law.


  • Well der, why would you ever swaddle a child in a car seat?


  • i have never done this…always placed blanket over the top of baby and straps.


  • this is really important to remember


  • This is a very important reminder


  • Unfortunately many people still swaddle baby before putting in carseat / capsule. The warnings need to be discussed more. Often older parents have outdated info and tell their own children / grandchildren thus misinformation


  • You can get sleeping bag suit things with a space for the straps to go through, or just put a blanket on bub after putting in the seat. Car safety is no joke!


  • Tizzie Hall is taking a dangerous road by spreading misinformation.


  • I can’t believe parents have to be told this basic, common sense information. Honestly, spend some time thinking about your actions and we might see less of this. How much easier is it to cover your baby after strapping it in?!


  • Such important and commonsense advice. Lets hope people heed the warning and follow the recommendations.


  • Car seat safety is so important. I imagine that doing anything/ using anything that can alter the way the straps sit would not be advised. This article is a great reminder.


  • Great reminder…You can also get sleeping bags with sections that the car seat buckle can go through but I still don’t do it, not worth the risk.

    • If the properly made sleeping bag isn’t think and the opening in it is in the right place the harness will still fit correctly if it was fitted properly.


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