LIFESTYLE & COMMUNITY

Don't Let Babies Sleep In Car Seats! Mom Warns Others After Her Daughter's Caregiver Made A Horrible Sleep Mistake

Date August 3, 2018 17:19

More than 3,500 babies in the United States die suddenly every year while sleeping. In most cases, it occurs due to sudden infant death syndrome or accidental deaths from suffocation. That's why it is important to know how to create a safer sleeping environment for your baby

 A tragedy that could have been prevented

Susannah was a healthy and happy baby, and her family loved her dearly. Her mother Erin did everything to keep her safe, but her life ended shortly after it had just begun. The girl’s life was cut short by a fatal mistake her day care provider made. The woman left the baby sleeping in a car seat.

READ ALSO: Don't Put Baby Car Seats On Top Of Shopping Carts! Ohio Mom Warns Other Parents After Barely Averting An Accident

Erin trusted the woman to take care of her baby daughter, as the daycare provider was a trained and certified professional who was supposed to know how to put babies to sleep safely. But the woman ignored every child safety rule there is. She left baby Susannah sleeping in a car seat, and that alone is a huge ‘no’. In addition to that, the girl wasn’t strapped in the right way; the straps were not tightened, and only the chest buckle was latched.

On top of all that, the day care provider left Susannah alone. The baby slouched, her neck got caught in the chest strap, and she died of strangulation.

Erin’s heart sank when she received the dreaded call from the police who told her to come to the hospital immediately. It’s hard to come to terms with the death of someone you love most, and it’s something you can never recover from, but Erin took the time to educate others about the dangers of letting infants sleep in car seats.

READ ALSO: 2-Month-Old Went Flying Out During A Flip Over Car Accident. Her Mom Blames Shoulder Pads On Her Car Seat And Warns Others

Mom raises awareness

One year after her baby daughter’s tragic death, Erin wrote a heartbreaking post on Facebook to reach as many parents as possible and spread the warning:

Unfortunately,  it was not an isolated incident. The similar tragedy happened to 11-week-old boy, Shepard Dodd. And his parents also decided to do everything possible to spread information about this problem.

As it turns out, the danger is still overlooked.  According to Child Safety and Abuse Prevention Programs, nearly 1,000 kids under the age of 14 strangle to death each year from all types of causes. Almost 90% of these deaths are in children ages 4 and under. Moreover, most of these cases could have been avoided

Car seat and sleep safety

As the grieving mother mentioned in her post, strangulation is not the only danger for babies who are left to sleep in car seats. Babies can’t hold their head up as adults do; their necks are not strong enough for that. That’s why when a baby is sleeping while seated, he or she can easily die as a result of positional asphyxiation (PA) when his or her head drops.

Ilya Andriyanov / Shutterstock.com

So here’s a word of caution to all parents and caregivers: don’t let babies sleep when they are seated. It doesn’t matter if they are in a car seat, swing, bouncy chair, or anything else – they just shouldn’t be sitting when sleeping. Other important tips include the following:  

  1. The only proper sleeping position for a baby is lying down on his or her back. Babies should sleep in their cribs, without any pillows, blankets, or toys.
  2. Do not leave children unsupervised (awake or asleep).

  3. The seats should never be placed on a soft or unstable surface.

  4. A child’s face should always be visible.

These are very simple and seemingly plain rules, but they can keep your child safe.

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

Babies SEAT War