Been reading some queries from some pretty confused mummies and thought i'd shed some light on the seatbelt situation.
Plenty of women will agree it can often be uncomfortable to drive in the latter stages of pregnancy. As your body grows and changes shape, new demands arise and seating comfort can become an issue. However, research shows that during any stage of pregnancy a seatbelt and airbag are essential. When heavily pregnant, the optimum position for your seatbelt is as follows:
•The seatbelt needs to be as close to the body as possible, so removing any bulky clothes is advised.
•The belt should lie across your thighs and lie flat under the belly.
•The torso belt should be positioned between the breasts and pulled tight to maximise safety.
You can also adjust elements of the car to create a more comfortable environment whilst driving. The steering wheel and seat should be positioned properly to give you complete control of the car. However, you should try and leave as much room between your upper torso and the steering wheel as possible. It is imperative that you wear a seatbelt regardless of where abouts in the car you sit.
Once your little bundle of joy has arrived their first journey in life will be the journey home. As Prince William was well aware of car seats can be tricky blighters, so it’s best to practice putting one into the car and ensuring you know where all the straps go. You will have probably picked out your choice of baby set months ahead but be aware that you will have to upgrade your child’s seat on several occasions as they grow. The first change may even occur at 8/9 months.
It is advisable not to let the baby sit upright for too long. Therefore during long journeys take regular breaks and allow the baby to lie flat while the car is stationary. Again try and remove bulky clothing so that straps sit as close as possible to the body and also thick clothing can cause the child to overheat and become dehydrated. Because a baby’s head is the equivalent to 50%of the body weight, in an accident where the child is forward facing the neck cannot sufficiently support the head, so it is always best to place a new-born facing the rear of the car.
Once your little bundles become a little handful, remember it’s still advised that children should sit rear facing until the age of four or they have outgrown the seat. At about aged four the neck of the child has become strong enough to withstand the weight of the head and therefore the child can be seated front facing using the aid of an appropriate booster cushion and seat belt positioning.
Fact: A child sitting in a rear facing seat is 90% less likely to be injured in a collision compared to an unrestrained child.
Children grow up fast and in the blink of eye your little handful has grown into a little person. But the littlest of people need the greatest support. If your child has outgrown the rear facing seat but is still under 135cm and under 10 years old, then they should use a booster cushion. The reason for the extra boost is 1, to provide your child with a better view of the passing world and 2, to help the seatbelt to work it’s best. Once your child is in the booster cushion, the seatbelt should rest across their chest and shoulder firmly and the lower belt should be as low as possible and not across the stomach.