Kidnappings: maternity hospitals opt for the electronic bracelet


Maternity: the choice of the electronic bracelet

To reinforce the safety of infants, more and more maternities are equipped with electronic bracelets. Explanations.

The disappearances of infants in maternity wards are more and more frequent. These various facts revive each time the question of safety in maternity hospitals. Faced with the risk of kidnapping, some establishments are equipping themselves with systems to strengthen control. In the maternity ward of the Givors hospital, babies wear electronic bracelets. This innovative equipment, based on geolocation, lets you know where the baby is at any time. Interview with Brigitte Checchini, the midwife manager of the establishment. 

Why did you set up an electronic bracelet system?

Brigitte Checchini: You have to be obvious. You can’t watch everyone in a maternity ward. We do not control the people who enter. There is a lot of traffic. Moms receive visits. We cannot tell if a person waiting in front of a room is there for a visit or not. Sometimes the mother is absent, even for a few minutes, she leaves her room, takes her mouth… There are inevitably times when the baby is no longer watched. The electronic bracelet is a way to check that all is well. We have never had an abduction in our maternity ward, we use this system as a preventive measure.

How does the electronic bracelet work?

Brigitte Checchini: Until 2007, we had an anti-theft system that was in the baby’s slipper. When we moved, we opted for the geolocation. A few minutes after birth, after having obtained the parents’ agreement, we put an electronic bracelet on the baby’s ankle. It will not be withdrawn from him until he leaves the maternity ward. This small computer box contains all the information relating to the baby. If the infant leaves the maternity ward or if the case is removed, an alarm goes off and tells us where the child is. I think this system is very dissuasive.

How do parents react?

Brigitte Checchini: Many refusent. The security bracelet side scares them. They associate him with prison. They have the impression that their child is “traced”. This is absolutely not the case since after each departure, the box is emptied and it is used for another baby. They are also afraid of waves. But if the mother puts her cell phone next to her, the baby will receive many more waves. I think there is a whole educational work to be done around the electronic bracelet. Parents must understand that thanks to this system, the baby is always under surveillance.

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