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Buckling Up for Two
first ride is in the mother’s womb. Read on to learn steps to
insure that your Sunday afternoon drive won’t be your baby’s
In terms of the safety of an unborn child in a car
accident, there are some chilling statistics. In the United States,
the number of fetal car-related deaths hovers around 350 per year.
There is a reason for this, and it is not the negligence
of the mother. Today, everyone in the car is protected by advanced
safety systems — except an unborn child.
Many pregnant women are concerned about the effect a
secure seat belt will have on their unborn. Some women reported that
in the last stages of pregnancy, the seatbelt was uncomfortable,
caused chafing on the lower abdomen, and that it slipped upwards
instead of remaining on the hips. Other women found that the belt
was too tight across the chest, or not long enough to fit around.
The result: many pregnant women decided to forgo their seatbelts
Yes, it is true that seat belts may squeeze the unborn
baby in a crash, but it is also true that wearing a seatbelt is a
far smarter choice. The National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration has stated that, “there is no evidence that safety
belts increase the chance of injury to the baby, uterus, or
placenta, no matter how severe the collision.” That’s because
several layers inside the mother, including muscle, fat, organs, and
fluids cushion unborn babies.
The truth is that the biggest threat to an unborn baby in
a car crash is the death of the mother. Faced with this fact, there
is no real choice here — you MUST buckle up!
But many expectant mothers are confused about exactly
where to place the belt in order to provide the most protection. In
fact, the way a pregnant woman wears her seatbelt can make a
difference, and there are ways of making her more comfortable as
well as safer.
The lap belt should be placed low, below the abdomen. It
should NEVER be placed across it. Make sure it is either over the
pelvis or the upper thighs. Also, the fit should be snug — if the
belt is placed properly, this should not be uncomfortable. The real
danger is when belts are worn too loosely. This can result in broken
bones and injuries to the abdomen. The shoulder belt should be worn
between the breasts.
Wearing a seatbelt will prevent the mother from being
thrown from her seat and striking the hard surfaces inside the car.
The belt distributes the force of the crash over the strongest parts
of the body, which include the pelvis, hips, chest, and shoulders.
The abdomen will be free to move, but remember, the fetus is
floating freely inside. This will greatly reduce the possibility of
Additionally, do not disable the airbag. In a serious
crash, it will do what it was designed to do — provide further
protection for the mother and her baby. However, do sit at least 10
inches away from the dashboard. If the pregnant woman is the driver,
she should make sure that the wheel is tilted toward her chest and
not her abdomen or head.
Wearing your seat belt properly prepares you to become a
responsible parent BEFORE you give birth. So for a safe ride, be
sure to buckle up!
Issues for Cars & Drivers
Safely with Disabilities -People
all across America are driving with disabilities requiring
Tips About Child Restraints-Part 2 -continuation of car
Tips About Child Restraints-Part 3 -final chapter of the
car seat series.
of Steering Due to a Blowout -learn these important tips
for dealing with a sudden blowout.
This webpage is
brought to you for general information purposes only and there are
no warranties as to accuracy, completeness, or results obtained from
any information posted on this or any linked website.