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Baby safety capsule
1984
car seat and bassinette for babies

Baby safety capsule
car seat and bassinette for babies
1984

In the 1970s Australian state governments made wearing car seat belts compulsory, and a variety of restraints for children came on the market. But what about babies? There was no really secure way to protect babies in a smash until 1984.

Rainsfords (now Britax Rainsfords, part of Britax International), the makers of the Safe-n-Sound child seat restraint, came up with the Baby Safety Capsule. It consists of a bassinette inside a base, which is kept in place by a seat belt. A release mechanism allows the bassinette to rotate in a crash keeping the baby more upright and distributing forces uniformly over its body. At the same time, the bassinette pushes against an impact-absorbing bubble in the base.

The capsule was designed to fit in an adult seat space. The bassinette can be removed from the base to carry the baby around.

NSW public hospitals won't let parents take a baby home by car without one. They run a hire service to back up this rule.

Since 1984 over 2 million little Australians have been protected by the Baby Safety Capsule. Despite this, and numerous design awards, sales to other countries such as the USA have been slow because they do not have compulsory restraint laws. The Australian Standard for infant and child restraints is one of the most stringent in the world, demanding an extremely rigorous degree of protection.

Safe-n-Sound exports child safety products to Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Sweden, New Zealand, Korea and Japan.

Who Did It?
Key Organisations
Rainsfords Safe-n-Sound : R&D, manufacture
Key People
Bill Botell : designer
Bob Heath : chief engineer Rainsfords
Eric Rainsford : financed development

Further Reading
'A little restraint'
Unnamed author
Choice, April 1993, pp 12-14.

Links
Safe-n-Sound
Choice. Australian Consumer Commission testing of baby capsules


The bassinette locks securely into the capsule, which straps into the car. Courtesy Britax Child Care Products Pty Ltd
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