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SafetyBeltSafe U.S.A. the national, non-profit organization dedicated to child passenger safety. Our mission is to help reduce the number of serious and fatal traffic injuries suffered by children by promoting the correct, consistent use of safety seats and safety belts.
Founded in 1980, SafetyBeltSafe U.S.A. is nationally recognized for program excellence, training, and up-to-date technical materials. We provide consultation to advocates, parents, business leaders, the media, and professionals working in the fields of health care, traffic safety, and education.
Stephanie M. Tombrello, L.C.S.W., Executive Director of SafetyBeltSafe U.S.A., has been involved in child passenger safety since 1970. While shopping for a car seat for her infant daughter, she was shocked to learn that most of the models available in stores were unsafe. Stephanie and several other early pioneers in the field successfully petitioned the federal government to require crash testing for child restraints. She also wrote the petition which resulted in the federal requirement for manufacturers to provide shoulder belts in the rear seats of all post-1989 passenger vehicles.
In 1980, Stephanie founded a grassroots organization in the Los Angeles area which evolved to become SafetyBeltSafe U.S.A. Under her leadership, the organization has become the premier resource for child passenger safety in the nation. Stephanie is a nationally certified Child Passenger Safety Technician-Instructor and was appointed in 1995 to the National Blue Ribbon Panel on Child Restraint & Vehicle Compatibility.
Protecting Your Unborn Baby in the Car
Stephanie Tombrello with SafetyBeltSafe U.S.A. explains how expectant mothers can keep themselves and their babies safe in the car.
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Stephanie Tombrello: Hello, I am Stephanie Tombrello, Executive Director of SafetyBeltSafe U.
A. and I am here to tell you how to protect your baby in the car. First I am going to talk about how to protect the baby that you are expecting. Many people don't know that it is estimated that five times as many fetuses are lost in car crashes, as the children in the first year of life and that's primarily because the pregnant woman wasn't buckled up. When a woman is expecting, it's extremely important that's you buckle up from the very first day. Your body is the child's first safety seat. So it's really important to put the safety belt in the right place, between your neck and the top of your arm across your body and the lap belt portion underneath the bump.
Next it's really important to sit in a seat that's as far back from the front of the car as possible. If you are driving of course, it needs to be comfortable, but as you become more pregnant you'll realize that the bump is getting closer and closer to the steering wheel. Of course, pregnant woman do drive up to the day of delivery, but when you have the opportunity to be a passenger, we strongly recommend that, because it's very hard to keep the baby away from the steering wheel. Airbags are no more dangerous to the pregnant woman and to another woman except that you are much closer to the air bag compartment.
We would like everybody to sit back at least the distance of a piece of notebook paper held out straight that's about 10-12 inches, so you will see that you may end up trying to sit farther and farther away from the steering wheel. So be a passenger, even ride in the back seat, because you are the celebrity of the family right now. Now I have shown you how to protect the baby that you are expecting. Next, I will be talking about how to choose the right safety seat for that baby.