There’s recently been a lot of chatter online about the practice of swaddling children in car seats, so we wanted to take a moment to talk about why it’s so dangerous, and why you should never do it.
Some people suggest wrapping or swaddling an infant before putting them into a child restraint. By wrapping a child prior to putting them into a child restraint, the shoulder straps can be rendered ineffective, as they no longer have the arms or shoulders of the child to locate on. This can lead to the ejection of the infant, causing serious injury or death.
This isn’t a hypothetical, either. 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.
Think about that – manufacturers are unable to certify or sell a child restraint under the new standard if we don’t expressly warn against swaddling / wrapping in the car seat.
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.