Safety - baby slings, pushchairs, buggies and car seats - Better Lives Healthy Futures

Safety – baby slings, pushchairs, buggies and car seats

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As a prospective or new parent, you will need to make decisions about how to transport your child around safely - there’s a lot to think about.
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There are many different devices to help you to take your baby out and about. Most are very safe, but it’s important to know what to buy and how to use these useful items.

Top tips for keeping your baby safe when out and about

Choose a baby sling that allows you to see your baby’s face at all times. Carry your baby upright and keep them close enough to kiss. It’s important to keep a newborn’s chin off their chest at all times. Because babies do not have strong neck control, their heads are more likely to flop forward.

Look for the safety standard when buying a pushchair or buggy. Read the instructions. Check brakes work correctly (lock, unlock, push). Be sure the pushchair/buggy is properly unfolded before you use it and keep little fingers away when you’re folding or unfolding.

Exercise caution if buying a second-hand pushchair. Make sure there’s no damage such as sharp edges or torn fabric that could hurt or choke your child. Check the product has not been recalled for safety reasons.

Keep your child harnessed at all times in a buggy or pushchair to stop them falling out. Don’t forget, babies should always travel flat on their backs until around six-months-old, when they are strong enough to support their heads themselves.

Overloading can be dangerous – don’t put coats and bags on top of the buggy as these can cause it to tip over. Handles are not for carrying shopping bags – these can also cause instability. If using a “buggy board” for older children to stand on while you push, please ensure that it is suitable for the buggy and fitted correctly

Choose the right car seat for your child’s height and weight, and ensure it is fitted properly (see further information below). If you’re in any doubt, ask for advice from a reputable supplier.

Always strap your child safely in their car seat before a journey. Even in a minor crash, children who aren’t strapped in could be thrown about inside the vehicle, or even through the window.

Search ‘safety’ or see the hot topics and further information sections below for more information on keeping your child safe.

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Further information

How to use a baby sling

Advice on using a baby sling from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.

Swaddling your baby and using slings safely

If you choose to swaddle your baby or use a sling it is very important to follow guidelines to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

Safety advice - pushchairs and buggies

Helpful information about buying and using pushchairs and buggies from the Royal Society for Prevention of Accidents.

Choosing and using a car seat

NHS advice on buying a seat that fits your car and is suitable for a newborn.

Checklist for choosing a child car seat

With so many types of baby or child car seats available, buying one can be confusing. The NCT has a handy checklist to help you decide which one to choose.