The Short of It
After their 11-week-old son died, devastated Oklahoma parents are urging parents, caregivers, and lawmakers to understand the dangers of infants sleeping in car seats and carriers.
Baby Shepard died after being put to sleep in an unbuckled car seat at a day care and was left unsupervised. The position of his head compromised his airway, causing him to stop breathing. Ali Dodd says she received a phone call no mother should ever have to take, telling her that her son had passed away.
Now, the Dodds want lawmakers to issue guidelines on safe sleep practices for car seats, because currently, there are no specific rules when it comes to car seats or carriers. And caregivers may not know why it's unsafe for a baby to sleep in a seat, only that they're supposed to place baby in a crib or bassinet for sleep.
"Unfortunately, that's the good that's going to come out of my son's death, is sitting in carrying devices are not safe for sleep," mom Ali Dodd said.
What happened to the Dodd family could happen to anyone. Who hasn't allowed their infant to doze off in a car seat carrier placed on the floor after running errands or while cooking dinner? But Shepard's death highlights how unsafe this habit is and that more needs to be done to educate parents and caregivers about the danger of this common practice.
Here's what you need to know:
- An infant should always be placed on his back to sleep, on a firm mattress in a crib or bassinet, and nowhere else.
- When using a car seat or carrier, babies must always be supervised or else they can change positions and block their tiny airways. A good rule of thumb for parents to follow is to never, under any circumstances, use a car seat for anything other than its intended purpose, which is to keep baby safe in the car.
- Never allow a baby, asleep or awake, to remain in a seat when the straps are loosened or unbuckled, so he can't maneuver into a position that compromises his breathing.