The Child Safety Team at CYBEX wishes you and your family a Happy and Healthy New Year!
Over the next year, you can look forward to a wealth of helpful safety tips and interesting information in our blog.
Today, we have put together a few tips on travelling by car shortly before and after the birth of your baby.
NEVER TRAVEL WITHOUT FASTENING YOUR SAFETY BELT EVEN DURING PREGNANCY
During pregnancy, expecting mothers should always wear a protective safety belt. Without a safety belt, the mother and the unborn child can be seriously injured in a collision. The standard three-point safety belt offers good protection for expecting mums and their unborn babies.
The belt must always lie close against the body. The pelvic restraint should run below the abdomen and never across it. Expecting mums and their unborn babies are even better protected as passengers, as they cannot impact the steering wheel in a collision. As long as the expecting mum is sitting in the right position, a triggered airbag does not pose a risk for either the mother or her unborn child.
Special belt systems are available on the market specifically for pregnant women. These systems consist of a seat and a seat belt positioner with a Velcro fastener. The Velcro fastener on the seat belt positioner holds the pelvic restraint slightly lower down to prevent it from pressing against the amniotic sac.
AVOID UNNECESSARY JOURNEYS IN THE FINAL THREE MONTHS OF PREGNANCY
Particularly in the final months of pregnancy, it is important to ensure that expecting mums keep a safe distance of at least 30cm from the steering wheel airbag and that they travel as little as possible, preferably sticking to short journeys. When sitting in the front passenger seat, expecting mums should push the seat back as far as possible to increase the distance to the passenger airbag. Sitting in the rear of the car is even safer. On longer journeys, expecting mums should take regular breaks, get out of the car and move around. This will help prevent thrombosis. Expecting mums are at greater risk of thrombosis during pregnancy. Alternatively, simply wear compression tights to prevent blood stagnation and leg swelling.
When the time finally comes and you go into labour, let yourself be chauffeured to hospital, either by your partner, a taxi or an ambulance.
SAFETY ONCE YOUR BABY HAS ARRIVED
Even on that very first car journey, your baby should be as safe as possible. This is why it is a good idea to buy the right infant carrier from a specialist dealer and to familiarise yourself with how it works before baby is born. The test results published by independent German product testing institute “Stiftung Warentest” and German automobile club “ADAC” or other international consumer organisations, such as “Which”, provide excellent guidance here.
Infant carriers are designed to face the rear of the car, i.e. baby faces backwards, thus receiving the best possible protection. In the event of a head-on collision, the baby’s back is pressed into the carrier over a relatively large area. This only occurs, if the baby is not lying too flat. Since this position subjects the spine to considerable strain, we recommend that car travel be kept to a minimum in baby’s first months.
It is important to install the infant carrier correctly as this has a great influence on safety. Please ensure, therefore, that you read the instructions carefully and NEVER use the infant carrier in a forward-facing position. The seat may only be used on the front passenger seat of the car if the front airbag is deactivated. The infant carrier should always be positioned on the right-hand rear seat (or left-hand rear seat UK), as should all subsequent car safety seats.
Why not visit our Child Safety Centre? Here, you will find many more interesting tips and recommendations on child safety when on the road.
THE CHILD SAFETY TEAM AT CYBEX