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Baby sleep guru, Tizzie Hall, hits back at ‘disturbing’ claims.

Tizzie Hall hit back after being accused of giving ‘very disturbing’ advice on swaddling infants in child car seats in the shopping portal of her website.

Tizzie Hall, author of the parental guide Save Our Sleep, defended the advice and dismissed the Kidsafe Queensland assertion that ‘arms and legs MUST be sticking out of the harness straps’.

Kidsafe Queensland state that parents should not ‘under any circumstances’ wrap their baby before placing them in a car seat as suggested by a link advertising the BabyOrigami wrap on Tizzie’s website.

“I worked in Romania with kids who were disabled and who were missing parts of limbs and it didn’t make a difference to how safe they were in their seats – it’s like saying an amputee can’t wear a seatbelt.” said Tizzie

She told 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.

“That’s because some parents simply aren’t prepared to tighten the seatbelts enough because they’re scared of hurting their children, but they leave slack in the belts as a result.”

This is in contrast to the National Guidelines, which are developed by Kidsafe and Neuroscience Research Australia and approved by the National Health and Medical Research Council.

“Soft padding, including blankets or wraps (including infant swaddling) inside the harness is likely to introduce slack into the harness, increasing the risk of injury,” the final point of Consensus-Based Recommendation 3.5 reads.

But the guidelines do not constitute an Australian Standard, which in turn has to be mandated by state and federal governments before becoming law.

Australian Standards are enforced by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission but Ms Hall says the ACCC relented on their request that she remove the advice from her website after she presented research she had carried out, which included visiting a crash-testing laboratory in Germany.

“The ACCC got in touch with me years ago and asked me to remove the advice from my website but, after I sent them the information I gathered, they instead asked me to change the wording,” she said.

“I had to make it clear that I recommended wrapping with a light cotton wrap only, not with a blanket.

“They made it clear they still weren’t happy with my advice but I didn’t have to take it down.”

Caught in the cross fire

Tizzie also hit out at the discussion of a baby’s death in a car accident in relation to her advice.

The eight-week-old died when she was thrown from a car after it rolled and hit a tree near Kilcoy, north of Brisbane in December 2011.

She was wrapped in a blanket before being placed in a child restraint, which had been given to her mother without the accompanying instruction manual that warned against swaddling a baby in such a way.

While the wrapping of the baby in a blanket before being placed in her seat is noted in the coronial inquiry, excessive speed was found to be a major factor in the crash.

The driver was estimated to be travelling at up to 118km/h in a 40km/h zone when the accident happened.

“They effectively linked me to (the baby’s) death when that had nothing to do with me,” Ms Hall said.

“I got emails from people thinking I was responsible for that baby’s death.

“She had been wrapped in a blanket and the driver of the car was going way over the speed limit.”

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 snugly between your child and the harness

Share your comments below.

  • Think I would prefer if the child wasn’t wrapped – but this is a preference only.

    Reply

  • Tizzie Hall has always divided people! I agree with following the Australian guidelines and not to wrap under the belt though. Other areas of Tizzie people disagree on are are opinion more than research or safety based

    Reply

  • Her advice seems dangerous – too easy to misrepresent.

    Reply

  • i have never done this. i just draped a blanket over the top of the belt and keep the heater on.

    Reply

  • 118km in a 40km zone!!! No wonder the baby was thrown from the seat. How can they blame someone else for this…

    Reply

  • I’d follow the guidelines set In place

    Reply

  • I think we have to use our own common sense. Just because someone writes something in a book doesnt mean its right. The comment about disabled babies that she had worked with being fine…. How many of those babies were involved in car accidents? Just because a handful of children were wrapped and ok in accidents does not mean its safe. I know people that smoke and dont have cancer but that does not mean I can say that smoking is safe.

    Reply

  • Whilst I don’t 100% believe that Tizzie is to blame, I do hope parents follow the well researched and put together safety standards before taking the advice of a book.

    Reply

  • I’m not sure what to think about this one. Is there any proof that the baby died because she was wrapped in a blanket? How can they know it for sure?


    • The baby was grown from the vehicle when it crashed

    Reply

  • Baby safety in cars is imperative to their survival in event of accident/sudden braking situations. Personally, I chose never to swaddle my baby in a car seat. We did however, sometimes strap ours in car seats in a grow bag (the ones that have a special section for seat belt to slot through between legs.


    • The harness through the sleeping outfits with slits in to fit the baby harness correctly ; firmly on the baby are no different than clothes if fitted properly. The newer seats have an adjustment strap at the bottom of the harness when it is done up properly that you can easil;y adjust just by pulling on it until it fits firmly regardless of what clothing your baby is wearing, even if it is only a nappy on hot days. You can’t do that with a swaddle as you can’t do it up firmly that it fits properly between their legs.

    Reply

  • People should go on Australian standards, not on information from tizzie

    Reply

  • Lke it

    Reply

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