In the 1970s Australian state governments made the wearing of car seat belts compulsory, and a variety of restraints for children came on the market. But there was no really secure way to protect babies in a smash until this Baby Safety Capsule was designed in 1984.
This Australian innovation was invented by Richard Boyson Heath and Colin Michael Nagel, employees of Rainsfords. Rainsfords (later called Britax Rainsfords, part of Britax International), the makers of the Safe-n-Sound child seat restraint, came up with the idea of the capsule. It consists of a bassinette inside a base that can be secured 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 outside the car.
Once the capsule was on the market, NSW public hospitals brought in a rule that parents could not take a baby home by car without one. Hospitals and municipal councils run hire services to encourage the use of safety capsules. Since 1984 over 2 million little Australians have been protected by the Baby Safety Capsule.