By Stan Bush
Erin Brill was 16 weeks pregnant when she was rear ended on Lincoln Ave and Yosemite in Lone Tree.
“My heart just dropped and I thought ‘thank God nothing happened’,” says Brill.
It was the kind of accident that rarely injures the driver, but the sudden impact could have ended her pregnancy. However, Brill says she never worried because of a device she was wearing at the time called a Tummy Shield.
“I don’t remember any pressure at all.. I just remember my belly being free of any obstruction”
The Tummy Shield, a seat belt positioning device, is sold by Denver-based Safe Ride 4 Kids. The device threads the lap portion of a seat belt through a cleat in between a rider’s legs, harnessing the thighs, instead of across the belly.
“It’s engineered to be at least as strong as the seat belt itself,” says Greg Durocher, CEO of Safe Ride 4 Kids.
An Australian designer introduced Durocher to the product at a trade show and the former firefighter immediately began selling it.
“It was a no brainer,” he says. “This was a brilliant product and women need it.”
Products like the Tummy Shield are not federally regulated and there are many similar products online. Durocher sells his for $150. He says Congress needs to draft legislation to begin the regulation process.
“We’ve tried to find the most applicable safety standards and we go to that to show that the product is safe,” he says.
Brill says she has now used to Tummy Shield during her last two pregnancies. Her accident happened while she was carrying her son and it’s possibly the reason he’s perfectly healthy.
“There’s no way to know for sure but it gives me peace of mind to know I did everything I could to protect my child.”