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.
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
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