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Author Tizzie Hall under fire for “disturbing” advice

Self-proclaimed “baby whisperer” Tizzie Hall has once again been embroiled in controversy, accused of giving “disturbing” advice to swaddle infants before placing them in child car seats.

Hall is the author of Save Our Sleep which encourages sleep training practices and the enforcement of strict routine.

The latest accusations were made by Kidsafe Queensland via its Facebook page.

The post urged parents not to wrap their babies in a swaddle or blanket while in a car seat or pram/stroller under any circumstances, despite the suggestion to do so in a Save Our Sleep shop advertisement for the BabyOrigami wrap, which included the image above. 

“Arms and legs MUST be sticking out of the harness straps,” the post explained.

“The Houdini strap is not recommended and is designed to break apart in a crash therefore your baby could be ejected from the child car restraint or could jack knife out.

“See the case of Qld baby Isobella who was ejected right out of the car because she was swaddled then placed in her baby safety capsule.

“She died at just 4 months of age. The parents simply did not know of the danger they were placing her in.”

Despite the controversy, Hall has defended her stance in an interview with the NRMA, dismissing Kidsafe’s claim that arms and legs must be sticking out of the harness straps.

“If the Houdini strap didn’t break in the event of an accident, then I wouldn’t recommend it,” she said.

Bizarrely, she went on to liken the practice of placing a swaddled baby in a car seat to babies with missing limbs.

“It’s like saying an amputee can’t wear a seat belt.”

Hall also told NRMA that she believes wrapping babies in a lightweight swaddle before putting them in their seat actually makes them more secure.

“If you don’t wrap ababy beforehand, they tend to curl their arms up and it means they can end up not being properly secured in their seat.

“That’s because some parents simply aren’t prepared to tighten the seatbelts enough because they’re scared of hurting their children, but they leave slack in the belts as a result.”

The National Guidelines, developed by Kidsafe and Neuroscience Research Australia and approved by teh National Health and Medical Research Council, advise against using any kind of wrap for a baby in a child restraint as it is likely to introduce slack into the harness, increasing the risk of injury.

In reference to baby Isobella, who died after being thrown from her car seat, Hall said the accident was the result of speed, rather than the fact she was swaddled.

Hall said the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission had previously requested she remove the advice from her website, but weren’t able to force her to do so.

“I had to make it clear that I recommended wrapping with a light cotton wrap only, not with a blanket.

“They made it clear they still weren’t happy with my advice but I didn’t have to take it down.”
As well as following the National Guidelines, NRMA recommends:

  • Checking that any straps or belts are not twisted
  • Listening for the click when buckling your child in
  • Ensure the harness fits firmly – two fingers should fit snugly between your child and the harness

 

 

 

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