Hadassah taxis offering safety seat for newborn’s ride home

Many parents mistakenly think that infants are "safest” when held in their arms.

August 18, 2010 04:56
2 minute read.
Cute baby

cute baby 311. (photo credit: courtesy)


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Parents who have babies at the two Hadassah University Medical Centers in Jerusalem and don’t arrive with a car safety seat to take them home are now being offered one by the driver from the private company Hadassah Taxis.

In what is reportedly the country’s first-ever such cooperative project, the Hadassah Medical Organization, the taxi company and Beterem, the National Center for Child Safety and Health, are ensuring that newborns are belted up safely when taken home for the first time.

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The need for it became clear when Beterem and Hadassah’s neonatal and obstetrics departments did a survey of 56 mothers over a three-week period and found that five mothers declared they were taking the baby home without a safety seat.

Four of them were haredim and one Arab – the sectors least likely to have their own car, and thus, a car seat – though certain “sal-kal” infant seats are also considered safe for seating babies in vehicles.

Many parents mistakenly think that infants are “safest” when held in their arms.

Beterem reported that in the past year, there has been a decline in the number of children – babies included – who are belted in the back seat of vehicles; the rate of those up to the age of one year who were not in safety seats or not belted properly was 56 percent, according to a 2009 National Road Safety Authority survey; the figure in the 2008 survey was only 31%.

By law, babies and children may not be transported in vehicles without being properly seated in car seats, booster seats or seat belts (older children only).

US research has shown that the risk of a child being seriously injured in a car accident if he is not seated and/or belted is 3.5 times that of a child who is properly seated and/or belted.

The neck muscles in babies and toddlers are not strong, so in a crash, whiplash can cause serious injuries and death; the safety seat also prevents the child from being thrown into the windshield and reduces the risk of being crushed in an accident.

Until babies up to age one should be seated in the back seat and facing the back window.

After that, a young child can face the front but should not sit in the front seat due to potential harm from airbags inflating in an accident.

According to Beterem, sitting belted in car seat cuts the death rate of babies in accidents by 71%.

Hadassah and Beterem have taught the managers of Hadassah Taxis and all the drivers how to insert the safety seats and buckle up newborns.

The seats were donated by the Shilav store at Hadassah.

Signs noting the availability of the car seats have been hung at the stations and inside the taxis.

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