Sonya - posted on 02/04/2009 ( 3 moms have responded )




Baby seats are no place for sleeping: Quebec coroner

2-month-old boy died after one hour in car seat

Last Updated: Wednesday, February 4, 2009 | 1:21 PM ET Comments5Recommend55CBC News

Parents should not leave young infants sleeping in car seats for long periods of time, said a Quebec coroner who looked into the death of a two-month-old boy who suffocated when his mom placed him in a car seat after a restless night.

The recommendation comes two years after Montreal researchers warned very young babies are vulnerable to sudden infant death syndrome if they spend too much time in a seated position.

"The car seat is for the car. It is not for the bed or sleeping. It is for a car," said coroner Dr. Jacques Robinson on Wednesday.

'The head of the baby is heavier than the body. The neck muscle is not straight enough to let the neck rise. So, it falls.'

—Dr. Jacques Robinson, Quebec coronerThe case that prompted the coroner's recommendation happened in February 2008 in Pointe-Claire on Montreal's west island.

A mother woke at 3 a.m. to feed her baby who was crying. She put the baby back to sleep in his crib. At 6 a.m., the baby started crying again.

The mother used a trick she had used before: she placed the baby in his car seat and then put the car seat in the crib.

An hour later, the mother checked in on the baby and found that he wasn't breathing. His eyes were glassy and his skin had a white, waxy appearance.

The mother called 911, and the parents started CPR on the baby. The baby was pronounced dead in hospital.

Robinson determined the baby died of asphyxiation due to an obstruction of his upper airway and blamed the baby's cramped posture in the seat for reducing his ability to breathe.

"The head of the baby is heavier than the body. The neck muscle is not straight enough to let the neck rise so it falls," said Robinson.

In his report, Robinson notes there are risks to leaving a child sleeping in any seated position. He encourages parents to put their children to sleep horizontally at all times, preferably in a crib.

He also advises parents to move their babies frequently when they are in a car seat in a vehicle. He recommends parents take their children out of the seat every hour while on a long trip.

Researchers find dangers with sleeping while seated

The coroner's findings are echoed in a study conducted by researchers at the McGill University Health Centre.

Researchers analyzed more than 500 sudden and unexpected deaths among babies under the age of one in Quebec between 1991 and 2000.

Seventeen (3.3 per cent) of the deaths occurred in babies who were seated, mostly in car seats.

The study was published in the online edition of the Archives of Disease in Childhood in 2007.


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Brandi - posted on 10/24/2009




How sad! I'm glad you posted this because some doctors tell parents to put the baby in the seat to help with problems with spitting up/heartburn etc. (My dr. did!)
Thankfully I didn't leave my kids in them to sleep. I don't think the parents are idiots. I think they just don't realize how dangerous it is. Hopefully more articles like these will save lives.

Kristin - posted on 10/24/2009




These parents are idiots. I never understood leaving your baby in the seat. In some situations while the baby has colic and just fell asleep or whatever leaving them if you are right in the room knowing they will probably awaken in an hour anyway. But why in a crib. My SIL always put her daughter in hers and put it in the bassinet. I think if children were supposed to sleep that way they would design something...probably not call it a car seat

Alida - posted on 02/04/2009




We also had a child in our community die after being left asleep in her carseat.  I think she was 18 months (the mom left her in there all night)

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