As parents, we’ve all been there: A fussy baby finally – finally! – falls asleep in her car seat or stroller.The first thing we’re tempted to do might be to collapse in relief and enjoy the silence. Now that the baby’s sleeping, we wouldn’t dream of disturbing him or her. Yet a new study in The Journal of Pediatrics reminds parents they should relocate the sleeping baby to a crib, because letting them sleep in car seats, bouncers, swings or strollers can lead to death in rare cases.
The researchers looked at records for 47 deaths over four years that involved sitting or carrying devices. Two-thirds of those cases involved car seats, where strangulation from straps contributed to have of those deaths.
The other cases involved slings, swings, strollers and bouncers. For fabric carriers like swings, the authors remind parents to position the child so its face is “visible and kissable” at all times.Scariest of all, the elapsed time the babies in the study were unsupervised ranged from 11 hours to as little as four minutes.
“Many parents use sitting or carrying devices, not realizing that there are hazards when they do this,” said Erich Batra of Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, who reviewed the death records. The study included newborns to toddlers up to the age of two. Car seats shouldn’t be placed on a soft or unstable surface, and straps that are used or installed incorrectly can let an infant’s head twist or slump forward.
Published: April 24, 2015. By Kathleen O’Brien
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