Seatbelt safety campaigns have been effective at increasing the number of people buckling up. Studies show that seatbelts save lives. As a result, most states now have laws regarding seatbelts for adults and car seats for babies and young children.
In spite of our knowledge of the effectiveness of seatbelts, many pregnant women do not wear them. If they are wearing them, they may not be using the belt correctly. This can endanger both mom and baby in the event of an accident.
A study conducted at the University of Michigan supports the use of seatbelts among pregnant women. The study found that 84% of serious injury and death could be prevented with seat belts. About 200 fetuses would be saved each year if their mothers would buckle up for every car ride. In the United States, about 370 unborn babies die every year as the result of car accidents.
Researchers hope the findings will encourage women to buckle up. Many women fear for the safety of the baby, since the belt is worn over the area where baby lives. This is a mistaken belief and one experts hope to change. Wearing a seatbelt can save the baby’s life, but it must be worn correctly.
To wear your seatbelt properly, both the lap and shoulder belt should be used. The shoulder belt actually helps take pressure off the baby, so don’t push it behind your back. The lap portion of the belt should be placed across the hips and under the belly, not on top of the belly.
Air bags are another concern, but you can take precautions here as well. Sit with your seat pushed back as far as possible, while still allowing you the movement needed for driving. If you are a passenger, push the seat back as far as it will go. Taking the time to buckle up properly can save your baby’s life.