Parents Raise Awareness Of The Potential Dangers Of Allowing Children To Sleep Unattended In Car Seats After They Lost Their Sweet Baby

Date July 5, 2018 10:23

The Dodd family still mourns the horrible and what’s more important preventable death of their 11-week-old boy, Shepard. The baby was absolutely healthy and unnaturally happy, as he was smiling almost all the time. Shepard was a special baby for the parents after years of fighting with infertility; he meant life to them.

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Little Shepard's horrible "accident"

Shepard died in his car seat. You might think it was some kind of a horrible car crash. No, there wasn’t any, and it is even harder to digest. The parents chose to leave their boy with a certified in-home day care provider, a woman who was recommended by the family’s friend. She left Shepard in a car seat to take a nap and came back to check the boy 2 hours later. Unfortunately, he had already turned blue and had no pulse.

Ali and Derek Dodd are sharing their story to raise awareness about the dangers of letting your babies sleep in inappropriate places. When Shepard fell asleep, his body shifted so that his head fell down to the chest. This led to the blockage of the airway, as the 11-week-old boy couldn’t lift his head back up. Reportedly, Shepard died of positional asphyxiation.

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Devastated parents

The father and mother arrived at the scene immediately after they had received the call from the caregiver, who also had called 911, of course. The father recalls the pain and fear in his heart:

As I rode in the van in front of the ambulance, I had to prepare myself for life without my son and the grief that would follow. When we arrived at the hospital, as they wheeled him past me into the ER, I gave him a kiss on the forehead. He was cold.

The doctors tried another shot of epinephrine, another two rounds of CPR, but nothing helped.

Surrounded by doctors and nurses with looks of pity, and police officers, detectives, and DHS officials waiting to interview us, we had to say goodbye to our son, intubated on a stretcher.

How to prevent positional asphyxiation?

The most horrible in this story is that the caregiver confessed she had been previously informed about the risks of letting another infant sleep not only in a swing but also in a car seat 10 days earlier by The Department of Human Services (DHS).

In fact, car seats, swings, strollers, bouncers, and even infant carriers are not suitable for a baby to sleep there. Basically, babies have weak necks and have troubles with head control. Therefore, any sitting and standing position can pose a threat to them. The best way to prevent positional asphyxiation is a proper sleeping position, which is a baby lying flat on their back.

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Children SEAT War