Canvas restraint jacket for children

1930-1960 in London

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Science Museum Group Collection
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Canvas jacket for restraining young children, sleeveless with side straps to allow the arms to be tied in at waist level, made in London, England, c.1930-1960, and used at the Frenchay Hospital, Bristol.

Child patients in institutions were restrained using this jacket. It is made of canvas. The jacket was used during the 1930s through to the 1960s. It buttons up the front and is sleeveless with side straps. These allow the arms to be tied in at waist level. Such garments restricted the movements of children considered violent or unruly. These children often had mental health problems. Restraint jackets were phased out when anti-psychotic drugs and more ‘humane’ methods of management were introduced.

On display

Science Museum: Medicine: The Wellcome Galleries

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Psychology, Psychiatry & Anthropometry
Object Number:
restraint suit
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment
Monica Britton Exhibition Hall of Medical History

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