We Car Seat Ladies are huge proponents of baby (and toddler) wearing. Not only is it comfortable for the child, it’s also convenient for mom or dad – especially in the city where you may be in and out of small stores or taking the subway or bus.
But, to quote the words of Dr. Seuss:
Would you? Could you? In a car?
I would not, could not, in a car.
Baby-wearing is NOT safe in a taxi (or any other car, for that matter). While your friend might wear her baby in taxis, and your pediatrician or baby care instructor might have even said it’s OK, the Baby Bjorn–or any other type of fabric carrier – Ergo, Snugli, slings, wraps, etc–will not protect a baby in a crash. Watch the video below to see what would happen to your child in a crash.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau created a video of a crash test where an adult dummy wore an infant dummy in a BabyBjorn. The BabyBjorn fails to hold the infant and he goes flying into the front of the test platform. We created a short video including the crash test explaining what happens technically and why it happens.
Researchers Kathleen Weber and John Melvin of the Highway Safety Research Institute at the University of Michigan Medical School tested this same scenario using a 30 mph, front, dynamic crash test of the type required by the current U.S. federal safety standard for child car seats. Unfortunately we have no video of this crash test. In the test, an adult wore the baby in a soft, cloth front carrier like the Baby Bjorn and used a lap/shoulder belt. The researchers found that this infant was at a very high risk. The tested carrier shredded completely, ejecting the infant dummy into the dashboard. If the carrier had not shredded, they found that the infant would likely still not have survived. As the adult’s head traveled forward in the whiplash motion, the adult’s chin would have slammed down into the infant’s head right where the soft spot is.
If you find yourself in a taxi with just your infant and a Baby Bjorn (hopefully you never will), there is NO way to protect your baby! However, you can still protect yourself by wearing your seatbelt. Putting the seatbelt over you and the baby will only make matters worse. It will not help the baby and will endanger you in the process.