Originally written for and posted on Child Safety News blog at Safe Ride 4 Kids.
There are a lot of rules to follow when you become pregnant. Don’t eat this. Don’t do that. Don’t drink such and such. They are all well-intentioned to keep that growing baby as safe as possible.
How often have you considered the safety of your baby while driving while you are (or were) pregnant?
NPR recently reported that driving while pregnant is riskier than previously thought.
“Patients who are pregnant ask me the strangest questions about scuba diving, flying and roller coasters,” ER doctor Donald Redelmeier tells NPR. “They never talk about road safety, despite it being a substantially larger threat to health.”
A Canadian study of pregnant women showed that during the first trimester, the car crash rate among the women was about the same as that before the pregnancy. The risk then rose by about 42 percent during the middle three months of gestation. During this period, the rate of ER visits because of traffic accidents shot up to about 7.7 visits per year per 1,000 women, from about 4.3 visits per year per 1,000 women.
We at Safe Ride 4 Kids already knew driving while pregnant was more dangerous for mom and baby in the event of a crash (read last week’s post). This is why we feel it is so important to have access to devices such as the Tummy Shield in order to help protect those women and their babies when they are in a vehicle. The statistics from this study show that it is even more important to do what we can to keep moms-to-be and their fetus safe in the car.
While we certainly agree the best prevention of any car crash is attention to the task at hand and awareness of what is happening around you, we also believe there is always potential for a crash. Therefore, we believe the Tummy Shield offers another level of protection from possible injuries in case of pregnant car crashes.
As seen in the picture, the Tummy Shield takes the vehicle seat belt and redirects away from the belly. Using a heavy steel plate and hook that the woman sits on and places the seat belt in the hook, it essentially creates a 4-point harness over the upper thighs. (The Tummy Shield also is attached to the vehicle’s seat with a strap that wraps around the seat.) Thereby, reducing possibility of injury from the seat belt cinching tight transferring crash force to the pregnant belly — even when the seat belt is worn low as recommended it is still across the lower abdomen and the fetus.
Read the whole NPR article here.
By Amie Durocher, Creative Director at Safe Ride 4 Kids, home of the Ride Safer Travel Vest and Tummy Shield, and CPS Tech since 2004