Thursday, November 4, 2010

Accidents happen

It's one of our worst nightmares, falling while wearing our little one.  I just read a story about a mom that unfortunately fell and her baby suffered broken bones.  But posted along with that story were a ton of stories about other moms that fell while wearing their babies and their babies were not only fine, but had probably been safer because they were in a carrier and not being held in their arms.

Having fallen while holding someone else's baby, it is extremely frightening.  Every part of you tenses and tries to protect that baby no matter what.  The only though going through my head when I fell was please don't let me drop this baby.  Luckily, I was able to hold on firmly with one arm while using my other hand to brake our fall and by some miracle, I was able to hold on to the baby.  But I firmly believe that baby would have been much safer I had been wearing them.

Why am I so sure?  First, the obvious, like a seat belt, the baby carrier would have made it practically impossible to drop the baby.  Like in a car crash, when you fall, the baby falls too.  When you stop falling, the baby keeps falling making the baby exert more force while being pulled away from you.  This makes a 9 lbs baby suddenly feel much heavier and it is harder to hold on to them.  While babywearing, the force would be absorbed by the baby carrier and it is not longer a question of if your arms can hold onto this little football you are carrying.

Another reason that babywearing is safer in my opinion, is that most carriers support the baby's head, especially when they are little and need the most help.  Also, babywearing allows you to have both hands free, which gives you a better chance to break your fall.  And with baby so close to your body, it is easier for you to instinctively protect them with your own body.

Now I am not saying there is no risk.  Unfortunately, accidents happen and no baby is ever completely safe, whether in a stroller, car seat, or in your arms.  The situation that allowed that mom to fall on her baby without being able to stop herself would not have been avoided if she had not been babywearing.  If she had been holding her baby when she fell, she probably would have still fallen on them anyway or dropped them, which may have been far worse.  There will always be the story of the person that got hurt by their seat belt.  But that doesn't mean they would have been safer if they hadn't worn one at all.  I feel safe babywearing my little one knowing that if I do fall, they are cradled in a baby carrier and not in these arms that feel extremely inadequate to protect something so dear to me!

I am in no way an expert on evaluating safety.  These statements are simply my opinion! ;) 

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